There is a problem with the hotels in London.
All the hotels?
It seems that way.
Geoff Webb is fielding phone calls from disgruntled conference speakers who are flying in to London from the states and elsewhere. They are not happy with hotel issues and more. Geoff does not panic. He stays on task and keeps the ball rolling on day one (sourcing) of TRU London II.
Geoff, Bill Boorman, and Maha Akiki, the TRU Crew, are doing something that would normally require a large planning committee and sponsored staff to accomplish. They are hosting a major international conference with speakers and attendees from all over North America and Europe. It’s a good trick. I’ve hosted local events with more help, bigger budgets, and far fewer travelers, and it’s still tough.
Rooming with Geoff, I got a backstage view of what the they went through: logistical problems, sponsors who deserved more acknowledgement, and more. I enjoyed unofficial TRU Crew status, along with Bill’s very cool wife, Fran (love you!). I have fond memories of carrying boxes and boxes of fish and chips for blocks in the rain to feed the grumbling conference masses at lunch – delays being not the fault of the Crew, but of the restaurant, trust me.
TRU London II brought around 200 great people from Recruiting and HR together for a truly special three-day learning party (err… unconference). So many smart people from both sides of the pond made for valuable learning, cultural enlightenment, and intelligent conversation during the day.
Then it was off to the pub, which was just as important as the conference room. And the stimulating, albeit slightly less intelligible, conversation that took place at night was also immensely valuable.
That’s what Bill does quite well, bring people together and let them roll. Maybe even give them something to complain about? Perhaps a good, if unintended, strategy. We bonded nonetheless.
From a business perspective, there was real value and real learning. Real partnerships and friendships made. Real leads generated. Real knowledge gained. And a really good party – one of the best I’ve ever attended – all over London for several days.
The logistics must be smoother and sponsors must be appeased to ensure future success. That will happen. If they can pull off the party each time, I’m in. In fact I’ll be leading a track at TRU USA in April. Hope to see you there.
Thanks again to Bill, Geoff and Maha. And big shouts to all the lovely folks I met, led tracks with, drank beer with, and learned from. Thanks for sharing with me. I miss you already.
Want to chat with me about some of the crazier things that went on there? Or some of very interesting things we learned? Let’s catch up tonight on #TNL on Twitter at 8pm Central.