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My take on my first TEAM National Networking Conference

It wasn’t what I expected

Having attended numerous recruitment conferences over the years I thought I had a fair idea of what to expect… the same rehashed presentations and topics, a sprinkling of suppliers more intent on buttonholing me to part with my money and attendees who saw the event as more of an “escape” from the office. I couldn’t have been more wrong and pleasantly uplifted by the event.


The handpicked suppliers at the event took time to understand my business and my challenges before explaining the benefits of their solution. Some even walked me over to meet competing suppliers so I had a wider view of the potential of each offering and critically I wasn’t “sold”. Each supplier I met was happy to spend time giving advice and ensuring I walked away with knowledge and ideas and refer me to other specialist suppliers who could help the business, and take it from me, that’s rare in the industry events that I’ve been to.

Specialist Workshops

At similar events the most memorable workshops are few and far between and are the ones that gave me something I could implement today, that would add value to my team, my business and me personally. The breadth of the 20 workshops gave me a dilemma as not having yet mastered time travel I had to make some tough choices on which seminars to attend and I had to queue! Each seminar was well attended, the sessions and Q&As were actually adding value to the delegates and each imparted, “free knowledge” and I walked away with countless “takeaways” and ideas from each session.

Guest Speakers

It’s never easy to choose speakers and topics to suit a diverse audience of delegates. Organisers often end up plumbing for banal speakers and topics, attempting to appeal to an “as wide as possible” demographic which sadly often results in them dumbing down the content. Convergence in Singularity and a forward looking view at the Economy are two topics I’d never have naturally put together in one event – but it worked with each speaker and their presentations gave me pause for thought.

Sci-Fi, Futurology, Economy and rock music – What’s not to like?

TEAM Members

Recruiters and firms don’t share information, knowledge, experience and fees with each other, within the same desk, the same office with their group or non-competing firms. I created a referral programme for a group I ran thinking it was unique, where owners increased their bottom line results, enhanced relationships with clients and covered more ground through sharing and referring opportunities and fees.

It added value but it wasn’t ground-breaking. TEAM, the Regional Directors and each member firm had already been doing it. Having met many of the members at the event and heard how they had won more business by using TEAM Xchange I was encouraged at the level of collaboration that exists between the members. It’s more than just a job sharing board – it’s an ecosystem. The members I met couldn’t do more to help a newbie like me to meet others, and help each other. Together more can be created.


I am passionate about the value that independent recruitment businesses can provide to clients, candidates and to one another. SMEs are the powerhouse of every economy, better innovators and going further, faster and better in their niche than most “big box” competitors can do or want to do.

Be your niche a geographic location, a functional discipline or sector, the trend for more niche and micro-niche businesses is happening in many industries, recruitment isn’t alone in that regard. To have the ability to work together in a truly collaborative basis, to create purchasing parity and on-going support it is like having an extra ace in your arsenal. Simon, Liz, Tricia and the wider team have created something special in TEAM.

I very much enjoyed and took a lot back from the entire event, meeting the members, the executive and the suppliers. I’m re-booking for the next conference and the 3Rinside team am very much look forward to helping the members further and seeing them at the regional meetings.

Graeme Read

CEO 3Rinside

Tel: 07703 575 908 or email

About 3Rinside:

3Rinside offer “Board-in-a-Box”, Interim and advisory services to SME recruitment owners giving them advice, guidance and counsel on a range of business challenges and opportunities. To get down to earth practical support on all aspects of your existing business meet the team at