The Woodstock of Recruiting! #RecFest19

Yesterday I got to have an amazing experience in London. I was invited to speak at RecFest! What’s RecFest?

RecFest is the brainchild of Jamie Leonard and the team over at Recruitment Events. It started five years ago with 95 participants. Yesterday it sold out with 3,000 in attendance.

RecFest is an outdoor recruiting ‘conference’ of sorts. There are five outdoor stages, like a music festival. There are food and drinks, and adult beverages. There are vendor ‘booths’, which are really smaller tents that participants can visit. There are large open spaces for the community to network and talk shop.

Did I mention there are bars inside huge circus tents of all five stages!?! This isn’t your normal “HR” conference.

The content is awesome. Thirty-minute segments coming at you on all the stages all at once, so you need to pick which sessions you want to see. Fifteen minutes in between so you can feel free to go check out other stages, and some breaks so you can check out vendors, eat, drink, etc.

Oh, and at that end, why not, let’s throw a party with DJs and bands on the stages like a real music festival! Yeah, why not! It might the coolest recruiting/HR event on the entire planet! The conference pass includes all the content, food, drinks, and after-party.

I couldn’t help but think why can’t we have something like this in America? 

London and how compacted the UK and Europe, in general, makes this a bit more feasible.  Where in the US could you get 3,000+ Recruiter pros and leaders to show up for a one-day event, outdoors, in a park for about $250 per person? New York, Chicago, LA? It’s problematic from a logistics standpoint.

Most Recruiting conferences in the US can’t even get 1,000 people to show up. SHRM Talent, LinkedIn Talent Connect, and Indeed Interactive are the only ones who have an audience even that big, and two of those are vendor conferences.

How could we make a Woodstock of Recruiting in America? That’s really the question I leave London with, because it was awesome! For our community, for learning, for team development. But it’s also super difficult to pull off and we need to give credit to Jamie and his team for putting together such a great event.

If you get the chance, make sure you check out RecFest 2020! I hope to be back!

2 thoughts on “The Woodstock of Recruiting! #RecFest19

    • Sorry, Dan! I did forget that and I was there, and it was one of the better ones from a content perspective!

      What I was referencing were the recruiting conferences I knew had at least 3,000 or so, but the growth you guys have had with OPEN is similar to what Jamie and his team are doing in the UK!


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