LinkedIn have announced that they will be shutting down the LinkedIn Events App on 26th November 2012.
I think this is a real shame as it can be a great sourcing tool. I have spoken many times about how powerful events can be for sourcers and that Social Media sites offer you the opportunity get something out of an event even if you are unable to attend – who has the time or money to go to everything?
If you’d still like to let your LinkedIn network know what events you will be attending then using LinkedIn’s status updates could be a good alternative. This also gives you the opportunity to say more about why you’re going than just using LinkedIn Events would have done.
LinkedIn’s Events App is, of course, only one small way to follow the plethora of breadcrumbs left online by event attendees. So, what other apps could we start using to discover events, promote our own events and source names of interesting people to talk to?
[Note: If the search strings in this post seem confusing then check out my Search Engine Handbook for Recruiters – it will explain everything.]
Event organisers use Eventbriteto manage ticket sales for their events and as a promotion tool. This makes it a huge, fully searchable, events directory. I would guess that most people reading this blog have registered to attend an event through Eventbrite at least once before, but have you ever used it to search for events?
Some event organisers make the attendee lists of their events publicly visible. This is really useful for us! You can search for events very effectively from inside Eventbrite or if you just want to find events that are displaying a list of attendees then try X-raying Eventbrite via Google or another search engine like this:
“industry keyword” (location OR location) “attendee list sort by” site:eventbrite.com
Eventbrite is particularly good for: Event Discovery & Name Sourcing (if the organiser has chosen to display an attendee list). Similar Tool: Amiando
Not every event on Facebookis for “Toni’s 30th Birthday Bash”. A lot of big conferences and smaller networking groups promote their events on Facebook. Try X-Raying Facebook to find events in your industry. A string like this might help you get started:
site:facebook.com inurl:events “industry keywords” location
The intitle:operator can be useful here as event names form part of the page title.
As you can see above, there are often lists of those attending, invited, maybe attending… and you can see all their names just by clicking. Of course, some networking and event communities have Facebook pages. Take London’s Digital Sizzle community, for example. At the time of writing they have 512 likes on their Facebook page – if this is the sort of talent you’re looking for then these people are probably of interest. Facebook might not let you see those 512 names, but if you take a look at the page’s most recent posts and hover over where it says “3 people like this” – then you will see the names of those three people. No doubt three people very engaged with that page and those events. You can also see who has commented on and shared posts made by a Facebook page.
The names you gather on Facebook can be cross referenced with a Google or LinkedIn search.
Facebook Events are particularly good for: Name Sourcing
Further Reading: Cracking open Facebook by Balazs Paroczay
Lanyrd is an app that helps people discover events via their Twitter networks. If you use twitter then you probably have quite a chunk of followers that work in a similar niche to your business.
Sign in at Lanyrd with your Twitter credentials to find out what events your network is going to be attending. You can even get weekly event suggestions sent to your inbox. Build 2012 seems to be very popular in my network this week:
Lanyrd allows people to register both that they are attending the event or if they are just interested and would like to track the event. This means that you often get a lot more useful names (with links to their Twitter profiles) than you would do from a straight forward attendee list.
If an event is popular on Lanyrd then its attendees are probably going to generate quite a lot of tweets on the day too – remember to set yourself a reminder to monitor Twitter on the day of the event to find more attendees. The page above tells us to use the #buildconf hashtag. I’ll say more about hashtags later.
Lanyrd is particularly good for: Discovery and Name Sourcing.
Similar Tools: Plancast
Meetup is a great hybrid of community and events. Some people join an event community on Meetup but never actually attend an event. Like Lanyrd, it gives you that bit extra compared with a standard attendee list.
The URLs for groups and people profiles make X-raying Meetup really easy too.
Take the PHP London meetup group. It has 1,696 members who will all have a profile page. If I wanted to find developers with experience on eCommerce sites I might try a string like this:
(magento OR ecommerce OR “e commerce”) site:meetup.com/phplondon/members
Meetup is particularly good for: Name Sourcing, Promotion
Further Reading: How To Source On Meetup by Peter Kazanjy on the SourceCon blog
Not everyone on Twitter will be active on Lanyrd or Plancast. Once you know about an event, Twitter can be a really powerful to way to discover who is attending and why.
These days most events have a #hashtag. If you are unsure how hashtags work then take a look at my post explaining how recruiters can use hashtags.
An event’s hashtag can sometimes be slow to emerge. It is worth leaving a search running for “the name of the event” in quote marks weeks, even months, before a big conference or expo.
If attending or sponsoring an event, I will often build a Twitter list of all those I find that look like they will be attending. It’s then easy for me to spend a little time ahead of the event interacting with those people via Twitter. This makes meeting up on the day much easier as you already feel you know each other and feel part of a community.
Twitter is particularly good for: Being there even when you can’t attend, Name Sourcing, Discovery & Promotion.
Further Reading: What is a #Hashtag?
Do you use any other sites to identify great events and the talent that attends them?