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The 2020 HRD Summit – a fresher’s view

Elissa Dennis
24th February 2020
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As part of our Customer Success team, Tasnia Begum spends a large part of her day communicating with HR professionals – be that over phone, on online chat or via email. Since joining the team in October 2019, she’s become very comfortable talking about Appraisd, how it works and offering solutions for making the most of it.

However, two days at the HRD Summit in Birmingham this February with 1,500 senior HR leaders presented a very different, and potentially daunting, challenge. Spending hours on your feet, ready to answer any question from experienced professionals and being continuously positive can be exhausting, but also exhilarating and hugely rewarding.

So, how did our industry event novice Tasnia find it? Below she shares her thoughts and experiences.

What did you expect before you went to the HRD Summit?

In all honesty, as this was the first event of this sort that I’ve attended, I wasn’t sure what to expect! I assumed that it would be somewhat like a university careers fair and I thought that I would do a lot of explaining what Appraisd was and how it worked. I was prepared to do a lot of talking!

What was different to what you expected?

I thought that I would have to spending a lot of my timing explaining who we are and what we do, but I was surprised that many delegates who came to our stand had heard of Appraisd and knew something about the system. It was great to have conversations with people who were in the process of changing their performance management process and who were also seeking our suggestions for what would work best. I’d assumed that most delegates would already know what worked best but everyone was keen to find about the experience of others and learn as much as they could.

How did you find the experience?

It was really tiring but great fun! There was lots of people, more than I expected, all interested or involved in HR in some way and keen to talk about it. I had dozens of meaningful conversations about performance management and how Appraisd fits in with that.

It was also a fantastic learning experience as many of the people I spoke to are experts in their field. They had a wide variety of ideas about how they would like to approach performance management at their organisations. It was reassuring to discover that so many of the people I spoke to identified with Appraisd and our attitude towards improving continuous conversations while having the option to maintain quarterly or annual reviews to assess objectives in a more formal setting.

What was the best part about the event?

I really relished the opportunity to chat with all the delegates who came to our stand and find more about their needs and challenges. I also enjoyed attending several of the speaker sessions. I was particularly interested in the workshop by Emma Codd from Deloitte who spoke about achieving a gender and diversity balance in the workplace by ensuring that employees’ experiences are heard and understood, and that the workplace retains great talent by being flexible to the changing needs of employees over time.

What would you do differently next time round?

If I attended another similar event, I would take more time to explore the other stands and talk to the other exhibitors. It would be useful to see how they position themselves and their products. I definitely think there’s a lot that can be learned from seeing what angles resonate with HR leaders and what really grabs their attention.