The CIPD HR Software show, taking place at the London Olympia on June 15th and 16th, is an excellent opportunity to meet with the UK’s leading HR software providers, all under one roof. Find out about the latest developments in HR technology, take a first-hand look at cutting-edge HR solutions and learn how they can drive your organisation forward. Teams of experts are available on each stand to discuss your individual requirements and demo their product.
Meeting with a variety of different providers, one after another, can be tricky. With limited time to absorb large amounts of information and make your way through lots of exhibitors, the experience can be overwhelming.
Whether you have attended before, or are new to the show, here are 7 useful tips to ensuring you get the most out of your day:
1. Get ahead of the crowds
When you arrive at the HR Software show, there are likely to be queues at the entrance. To minimise waiting time, register early for free fast track entry to the exhibition. You may also want to put your belongings into storage, or travel light; the day can be very tiring, especially if you plan to visit several providers.
2. Shortlist vendors
To ensure you spend your time wisely on the day, do your research well before you attend. Search online for the top HR software providers. Take a look at popular review websites, such as Getapp or Software Advice, to see what people have to say about their experience with each provider.
Think about whether the software is suitable for your organisation’s sector and size. Providers attending the show will range from targeting around 50 employees, to those who target employees in the 1000s. Get a feel for which sectors suppliers have primarily worked with by taking a look at their case studies. These are enormously helpful in understanding how their software has not only helped customers within your sector, but what their software could do for you.
3. Prepare your questions
Make a list of the products and services that are mandatory to your requirements, ones that you would be interested in learning more about and ones that you definitely aren’t interested in. From here, you can create sets of questions to ask when you are on the supplier stands – this makes the process more efficient and directly tailored to your needs. Ensure that you ask each provider the same sets of questions to give yourself an easy way to accurately compare what providers have to offer, after the event has finished.
4. Pre-arrange meetings and plan your route
Once you have a list of suitable providers based on your research you can approach providers to book meetings in advance of the event. Stands at the show can get very busy, this ensures that there will be someone available to speak to you when you arrive – you can also avoid peak times at the show. The earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to beat the crowds. A map of the venue and stands is available here, this can also help you to establish who you want to see first and make the most of the time you have available.
5. Keep an open mind
So you’ve carried out your research and have your questions at the ready, but don’t forget, new functionality may be showcased here. Some providers will take the opportunity to show upcoming functionality that you may not have necessarily heard about. Take the opportunity to learn as much as possible about what the future of HR looks like, and see if the provider’s offerings fit those requirements.
6. Ask for customer stories
The better the product, the more advocates an organisation is likely to have. Make sure you ask to view stories covering how a provider’s customers use their products and services. It is not only useful to see what they have done for other organisations, but take it as an opportunity to see what they could potentially do for you. You could also ask to arrange to speak to one of their customers; some providers may bring customers along to the show to talk to prospects in person, others may want to organise a phone call at a later date to ensure you are speaking to someone in a similar industry.
7. Ask for information to take away
Viewing so many different suppliers in one day can be tiring. Post-event, remembering which information applies to which supplier can be very difficult. Make sure you take as much information as you can away with you, from brochures to leaflets. Some suppliers may also be able to send you relevant information if you provide them with an email address. All of this information will be branded, so will be easy to put together with your notes. This way you will have a much clearer idea of what each provider has to offer.