I Really Don’t Give a S&*t About Your CEO

Getting ready to go to The HR Tech Conference in a few weeks.  I’m totally jacked up to see all the new HR geeky tech stuff!

For those who haven’t been, as a blogger/media type to a conference, let me give you a little behind the scenes.  As an ‘invited’ guest blogger of the HR Technology Conference, my personal information is released to all those vendors who are attending.  This is so those vendors and I can schedule some time together.  They tell me how great their stuff is, and the hope is I’ll be so impressed that I’ll write about it.  Once I write about it, you (my savvy reader) will then go and buy this product.  That’s the game.

Here’s what you probably don’t know.  This ‘process’ of setting up these meetings happens mostly through emails coming from PR firms that the HR vendors have contracted with.  The emails usually have a title like: “Come meet PeopleWankers CEO at HR Tech!”  The body of the email talks about how great of an industry veteran the CEO is, how they are leading their company into the future of HR tech, what is new and exciting about their product, etc.

Here’s my issue.  I don’t care what your CEO has to say.  Let’s be honest, most CEOs are so removed from the actual daily, end-user, product experience they have no idea what actually happens after install!  The real job of the CEO is to make investors feel great about the millions that are being spent in bringing this product to market.  I don’t care about that.  I care if your product actually works. If it actually makes the job of HR, Talent Acquisition, Operations, etc.  more efficient and more profitable.  You want to know something else, the CEOs at these literally look like they are being tortured! They hate these briefings.  Is that really how you want your product presented.  Bored to death CEO with an overly caffeinated PR and Sales person trying to cover up for the complete shit show that’s going on in front of me.

The person I really want to meet from your company?  One of your clients who is currently using the product!  Find one of your companies champions, fly them into the conference, have them stop on their way from the airport at a convenience store and pick up a 20 oz. Diet Mt. Dew, and let’s sit down so they can show me how they use the product and how it has changed their life!  That’s what my audience really wants to read about.  They want real life.  It’s okay that your product isn’t perfect, we don’t expect it to be, we just want to know how it might work for us and if it would be a fit.  The CEO can sit with us if she wants!  It might be the most valuable time they spend at the conference.

So to Summarize how to talk to Timmy at HR Tech:

1. Cool Product or Service

2. Real user of product

3. Diet Dew

Seems really easy.  Alright, I need to get back to going through 300 emails about meeting lame CEOs…


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