Collision 2023 proves why HR events still have the power to surprise

Collision 2023 saw a host of insights for HR professionals. It proves, says David Creelman, that more HR pros need to get out of the office and visit these important events.

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Aug 9, 2023

I was recently invited to attend the 2023 Collision Tech conference (thanks SkoolSpot) and I thought I’d share some of the things that caught my eye as an HR professional:

No surprise here, Generative AI is coming on strong:

Many start-ups were talking about Generative AI – artificial intelligence that is capable of generating text, images, or other media in response to prompts.

One application that is relevant to HR is transcribing and summarizing meetings.

I think transcribing meetings will become absolutely a standard practice and it’s worth having a chat with your colleagues about what impacts this might have on management.

Another relevant tool are those that are capable of editing communications – either to customers or employees – to maintain a consistent tone of voice (for example Textok).

If you have a strong-willed CEO I suspect they will like the idea that all employee communications are automatically tuned to align with their tone.

We hope we don’t need tools to help with layoffs, but if we do, these tools exist:

One type of HR tool I hadn’t seen before was a SaaS application from Newond. Billed as a more compassionate way of doing redundancies, this helps HR professionals doing layoffs by creating contract templates and letters to employees, as well as providing other communications services and to-do-list schedules.

Certainly, layoffs are stressful for HR so anything that could support us in such a time will be appreciated.

Not as many robots as expected…maybe wait until next year.

Collision tends to showcase software rather than hardware startups which may explain why we did not see more robots.

One application that did impress me (for its simplicity), was a little transport robot that could autonomously take things around a hospital.

Right now, highly trained nurses may be asked to carry something to another part of the hospital since there is no one else to do it.

Getting a (relatively), simple robot to do this task makes a lot of sense in a tight labor market.

For any of your jobs where there’s a labor shortage it is worth considering whether robots could take over some tasks.

Tech is highly international

Many countries and regions had booths to support their tech businesses.

There were booths for Taiwan, Italy, Pittsburgh, the Yukon, and many more.

The one that caught my eye was the one from Kosovo.

Years ago, Kosovo was wracked by war but now it’s full speed ahead on being part of the global tech world.

There are always surprises

One of the main reasons for attending conferences is to expand your understanding of all the things going on in the world.

My biggest surprise was that a Korean company, Petnow, has developed what might loosely be called facial recognition for pets.

I encourage HR pros to visit conferences and not just HR ones, check out some tech conferences to see the surprising things entrepreneurs are up to.