Wearing my Unfurling HR t-shirt
In the past few days I've attended a few conferences and there are more to come. But one conference has a point of difference, like no other that I have attended in the past. It was an "unconference".

Held at a Boy Scout hall in the western Auckland suburb of Green Bay, Amanda Stirling and her team of helpers hosted a conference that had no agenda! While there were a few planned short presentations, what happened on the day was planned by the attendees on the day. The lack of structure provided Human Resources professionals with a non-threatening environment to think outside of the box while looking for ways to revolutionise their profession.

It's exciting to see that the rapid changes in consumer behaviours are now becoming the concern of all parts of the business. Business is changing faster than ever before, the fluid demands of our customers are hard to keep up with. Our people are looking for exciting, flexible and better places to work. The requirement for change has been in the air for a few years now and business is waking up to it.

One of the things that I thought worked really well was the group size. With approximately 50 attendees, I was able to spend time getting to know most people through group and individual conversations. I think that this is something to be protected for future events.

Unfurling HR was an event that resonates well with me. The idea of collaborating, generating ideas and developing those ideas is really important. It was also good to see real world interaction supported by the use of social media. While, social media provides tools to enable virtual collaboration, the value of face to face collaboration must not be underestimated.

Yet again it was a good example of how Social Media works in the real world. Over the past few weeks I have used Social Media to connect with people working in the Human Resources profession. Due to some of the work that I do, I need to understand the challenges that they are facing. Most of the people at the event knew who I was without introduction. They had seen me active on blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter as I have tried to build new relationships. Had I not spent time doing this, I would have been spending a lot more effort in breaking the ice with people.

For further information, take a look at this page on pledgeme. Yes, the funds for the event were crowdsourced, totaling $10,530!