Saturday, February 7, 2009

Good Conference

Provide reliable Internet access, and plenty of power outlets. Operate on the assumption that each attendee has a laptop and that everyone will join the wifi network simultaneously. Make sure the conference center or other venue you contact has the capability to handle this.

Schedule generous breaks between sessions. Recommend at least 15 minutes to a half-hour ideal. Audience members almost always go to ask the speaker(s) questions, Usually audience goes to speakers during break to ask questions. If they know they only have a few minutes till the next session starts, they might not ask those questions, and move on to the next session.

Give everyone the space to schmooze. Wide passageways and open public spaces encourage attendees to interact with each other.

Get Wired and Get Hired

The news isn't good: Fidelity Investments this week announced its second round of job cuts, NEC is cutting 20,000 jobs and Motorola just shed 4,000 workers. But despite the doom and gloom, some companies are indeed hiring. As the optimists say, the sun is always shining somewhere.
Here are a few ways you can use online tools and social media to find a position that suits your needs, and puts a few bucks in your wallet.
Get networked. Take the time to build your online networks, both social and professional, using tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, suggests LinkedIn's own Mario Sundar.
Use social-media megaphones. There's no shame in looking for work. Let folks in your networks know that you are looking for a job, says Sundar. Write about your job search on your blog, if you have one, and Twitter about your search.
Research smarter. Check out specific companies to target via research tools like this one from LinkedIn, which allows you to network with specific people at the companies you might want to work for, Sundar says.
Solicit LinkedIn recommendations. "A strong recommendation from your manager highlights your strengths and shows that you were a valued employee," writes entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, adding, "If you were a manager yourself, recommendations from your employees can also highlight leadership qualities."
Hit the boards. In addition to the typical job boards, try Rafe Needleman's Spreadsheet of Sunshine: Who's Hiring, PR News Online and Indeed.com, the latter of which sports a simple Google-like interface and handy RSS feed.

The Po!nt: Be sure you take full advantage of online tools and include a heavy dose of social media in your hunt for a new and promising gig.