The Back Story of The FOT Show

Jessica Lee Uncategorized

In case you missed it yesterday, we announced something big here on FOT – The FOT Show. June 26, 2011. Las Vegas. You can stay tuned here on the blog, or by heading to The FOT Show site. It's gonna be good. I promise you.

Capture You may wonder why though. What's the back story? Why have we decided to give this venture a go?

The post yesterday talks you through a bit of it. We're tired of the kvetching about SHRM and our profession, so it's time for us to take some action and actually do something. But why now and why us? Are we just a scorned crew of rejects? Why jump in, especially when there are a dozen other conferences and unconferences out there? Why not just support another event and take our presentations elsewhere? Even I couldn't help but to hesitate for a moment and question why. We're doing this a few weeks before I get married for christ sake. Personally, the timing couldn't be crazier. I'm no bridezilla, but I can be nutty when it comes to details and making. every. last. detail. perfect. 

But I believe in The FOT Show enough that even despite the timing, I still feel that it's time. And we've got to do this. 

So why a show? There simply isn't anything out there that's good enough, and cool enough for folks like us. As crass and snobby as that sounds, it's true. You're an over achiever, right? You're slightly type-A. You want to stay at the top of your game, for now 'til eternity. You give HR a good name. But besides that personal drive of yours, where can you turn to for further motivation? Fulfillment? Inspiration? We are dying for a show that's going to have us walk away feeling smarter. More energized. Refreshed. Proud of what we do as HR folks and proud of how we do it. We've been yearning for something to help us reclaim what got us excited and drove us into the HR space in the first place. So we're going to try to bring that to you.

But why a show of our own? Why not work with others? As a collective, we all know what it's like going to one of those traditional conferences and then leaving feeling as if something were lacking. Or that feeling of simply not belonging there. Hasn't that happened to you? Where you've looked around and wondered why the other HR pros around you looked, acted and sounded nothing like you? In fact, I have been embarrassed by the HR pros around me at past conferences. It's made me seriously question whether I'm in the right field. But through the FOT blog and the community that's developed around it, I've learned that there indeed are others like me. Others who get it. So it's time to bring us – the few and the proud, not all 150K SHRM members mind you – together. And we've been talking about doing an FOT "conference" for a while now. Even before the presentation rejections. We love the community we've developed through this blog and it's long overdue for us to bring the community together, and bring it to life. 

Las Vegas though? And why June 26? We thought about a road show stopping in a handful of different cities – and originally, Las Vegas was never on my list of places to have a show. It's not as if we need to really go to sin city and pull a bunch of lush-ious HR pros together so we can all get together the next afternoon, sunglasses in tow because we're hungover. But for a first show, and asking you to come and join us, it's a bit of a risk. We understand. Sure, we deliver you great content through the blog every day… but can we put on a show? Will it be any good? So in case you were planning on heading to that big 'ole SHRM conference… it can't be a huge ask to have you tack on one more day to that trip and join us for The FOT Show. It felt a bit safer. 

I could go on and on and on about the show and why I'm ever so confident that it's the right time even though it's bad timing with me getting hitched. And the many, many reasons you should come and join us. And how and why we're going to have a fantastic, energizing, amazing time. And how you're going to walk away feeling smarter. I believe in The FOT Show that much. But that's not what you come to FOT for every day. I know. So indulge me just today with some more words about The FOT Show and Monday, we go back to regular programming.

We can't wait to see you in Vegas.

Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee is a VP of TA at Marriott International where she leads a team that enables the company to think big, broad and boldly about all things talent acquisition and in effect, keeps them relevant and ahead of the curve in how they attract and acquire top talent. Don’t be fooled by that fancy pants title and description though, she’s still an everyday HR gal in the trenches at the core. SPHR certified, a decade and a half into trench HR life… she can whip up a corrective action plan or source for your purple squirrel in a heartbeat.

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See Jessica’s riffs and rants on Fistful of Talent here