The HR Technology Conference

On July 24, 2013, in HR Technology, HRExaminer, by John Sumser If you follow the HR blogosphere, you’ll notice that there is a full court press by bloggers around the world in support of the HR Technology conference.

If you follow the HR blogosphere, you’ll notice that there is a full court press by bloggers around the world in support of the HR Technology conference. Each and everyone of them have been tasked with writing a piece about the conference. Each and everyone of them is including an offer that gets you $500 off of the ticket price.

In a universe known for topic monotony, this is a new high (or low, depending on your perspective).

At the heart of this old fashioned press carpet bombing is an iconic guy at the pinnacle of his career. At 75 (at least), Bill Kutik has finally decided to call it quits. The one-time legitimate journalist is hanging up his jersey and headed into the nether regions.

Kutik, a master in the art of self-promotion, built the HRTechnology conference from scratch into the HR Technology industry’s watering hole. 15 years into the process, he’s mastered the consultant’s art of playing politics while getting work done. When social media emerged, he found interesting ways to co-opt the new energy. His replacement, Steve Boese, is one of the natural leaders in the social media scene.

Everyone who matters is there. The well heeled have ginormous booths and somehow make it on to the stage. The early entrants and startups find their way in to do some guerilla marketing.

Should you go?

If you are interested in the future of HR or the state of the art in American HR Technology, there is no other single event that serves it up as coherently.

The week really kicks off on Sunday with HRevolution. This unconference-y get together is where the brightest minds in the industry’s next generation of leadership gather each year. You might think of it as the event that birthed Steve Boese. Registration is separate and a bargain at $120.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (the 7thm 8th and 9th) are the main event. Something like 2,000 people – vendors, customers, analysts, pundits – all focused on aspects of the role of HR Technology in our lives and businesses. In some ways, it’s part high school reunion and part trade show.

When I go, I usually take a seat in the back of the press room and conduct 30ish minute reviews with some of the vendors in the space. It’s a quick way to take the pulse of the industry. Bill and his team have allowed me to be on the receiving end of that firehose for a number of years now.

This year Kutik and his long term foil, Naomi Bloom will be hosting their version of the Tonight Show. I’ll be on the couch with Brian Sommers (TechVentive), Leighanne Levensaler (Workday) and Patricia Milligan (Mercer). It ought to be a rollicking conversation with tons of disagreement and tons of enlightenment.

I’d go if I were you.

Vegas is cheap. Just use the Promo Code SUMSER13 (all caps) when you register online to get $500 off the rack rate of $1,895. The discount does not expire until the conference ends on Oct. 9. The learning possibilities are enormous.

Let me know if you’re going. I’ll see you there.


  • BillKutik

    As usual, John, high on original insights, a tad off on some of the facts.

    am actually going to be 85. And if you count everyone at HR Tech — as
    you correctly have: including, HR practitioners, vendors, analysts,
    pundits — we were 6,000 people last year and more this. Too much time
    in the press room, John.

    Mostly I want your readers to
    know that I am only stepping down from HR Technology and not hanging up
    my HR technology spurs. I will continue my monthly column for “Human
    Resource Executive” (an archaic form with which I’m totally comfortable,
    of course, despite being it appearing on, The Bill
    Kutik Radio Show (which I finally figured out lacks the coordinated
    social push that I saw before and after my appearances on FOT’s CYA
    Report, HR Happy Hour and DriveThru HR, looking forward to your show in
    August!), and the panels I run at other events, real and online.

    fact, I justed realized the Predict & Prepare webinar I’m
    moderating for Workday in December will be my 100th since starting in

    I say all this just to prove you right about my being self-promoting.

    think “The HR Tonight Show” with you as one of the four guests will be
    the hit of HR Tech, worth the price of admission. If anything is ever
    worth the price of admission.

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