My Experience at CultureCon 2012

Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR

(This was originially written as a guest blog. Didn’t make the cut but I wanted to share it regardless)

I had no idea there were other companies that cared enough about culture to share their ideas. Luckily, through a chance retweet of a twitter contest by Dyn, I got to experience a conference dedicated to culture, through the eyes of a marketer/blogger (you’ll see why that is important). It was awesome!

Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR

I was shocked when I found out that I had won a free ticket. After that faded, I quickly checked my schedule to make sure I was free that day. I was, and I headed up to the Zendesk HQ to check it out. I got there early, and once again ended up being let in with part of the group (Dyn) that was planning/executing the event. The key advantage was I got to meet some very nice and important people before the crowds showed up.

Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR

Once people started arriving, we took our seats and starting listening to speakers. They had a hashtag set up already (#culturecon2012) so I popped open Hootsuite, set up a search, and starting “live tweeting” some of the talks. While I don’t want to spoil what was presented, it’s safe to say that a lot of the points resonated with me. We all then split up into breakout sessions.

Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR

Remember above when I mentioned that I got to experience this conference through the eyes of a marketer/blogger? I found out upon joining my first breakout session that 90% of the other attendees were HR personnel. When I mentioned that I was not only not in HR, but also job searching, I felt a change of energy in the room. Turns out, I was the only person there actively looking for leads. Some people called me a genius but I don’t think that’s the right way to put it. I was lucky. (Nick Muldoon, one of the speakers, has a great post about his newfound appreciation for HR people)

Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR

The rest of the day (besides lunch) consisted breakout sessions followed by a closing session. From there, the food and booze was rolled out and we got to talk to one another in a more relaxed format. It was here I got to talk to some great people from Zendesk, Dyn, and other companies before I had to head home.

Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR Joe Sterne Photography, Dyn, CultureCon 2012, ZenDesk, HR

It’s safe to say that this conference was by far one of the best I’ve ever been to. Not only did I really love the topic (culture is a question I ask any executive when I have a chance) but also the group of people who attended showed me that there are companies out there that really care about culture. In the battle to win clients and customers, culture is a secret weapon that more and more companies are using to their advantage. I look forward to Culture Con 2013- I plan to be back!

You can check out the Flickr album of the entire day here.

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