SourceCon Austin 2017: Never A Dull Moment

SourceCon Austin_NeverADullMoment Blog Header

Knowledge, community and non-stop action!

Attending the 10th anniversary of SourceCon this September in Austin, Texas, was a dream come true.

SourceCon has been, and is, a common conversation topic around the Objective Paradigm office. My colleagues Ben, Robyn, and Sarah had attended the last two in Anaheim, CA (you can read about their experiences here, here and here) and you can read mine from Austin 2017 below!

To recap my time at SourceCon, I found inspiration in a technique that echos Mark Tortorici’s “Reality Bites: When sourcing strategies stop working” keynote from the conference; I’ll be sharing my favorite SourceCon Austin moments through musical references (we kindred spirits tend to think alike, I suppose).

P.S. if you’re looking for some new tunes, check out Mark’s band, Blue Dali, they’re pretty good 🙂

The Celebrity Sourcer

Starstrukk, 3oh!3 ft. Katy Perry

As a sourcer, you become familiar with names in the community by reading blog posts, receiving emails, and seeing names listed on panels, webinars and presentations.

SourceCon was my chance to meet the ‘sourcing celebrities’ – Highlights included:

  • Comparing tattoos with Steve Levy after his inspirational keynote
  • Discussing music hobbies with Mark Tortorici after his engaging keynote
  • Celebrating my birthday with Susanna Frazier, last year’s Hackathon winner!
    • p.s. – you know who was the winner this year? My boss. No biggie.

I loved putting faces to names as I took pictures in the SourceCon photo booth with Brent Baker and Vu Thai from ERE Media, and I can’t thank Tangie Pettis and the rest of the Welcome Wagon enough for being so friendly and answering all my questions, even if it was just “Can you take my picture with the Bob Ross cutout?”

SourceCon made everyone feel like a celebrity, especially since “sourcer” isn’t the most common job title in the world. It was comforting to be surrounded by hundreds of people who understood my work experience implicitly, and be able to swap stories and have fun enhancing our sourcer skills together.

AL_SourceCon blog photo booth

Product Placement Perfection

I Turn My Swag On, Soulja Boy

Exploring vendor booths, learning about products and snagging cool swag was such a treat! As a first timer, it was awesome to talk with representatives from the tools we use to do our jobs, and those we could potentially use in the future.

Shoutout time! Big thanks for these practical, branded items that I will use regularly from my favorite industry brands:

AL_SourceCon blog swag

A plethora of valuable information was provided, non-stop.

I’ve Got The Magic In Me, B.o.B ft. Rivers Cuomo

Breakout Sessions

This platform helped me feel more confident in my abilities as a sourcer coming back home. In particular, Ronnie Bratcher’s breakout session on alternative search engines, titled ‘SXSW: Source by Searching Weird’ (a play on Austin’s famous South by Southwest festival).

The session introduced me to not one, not two, but ten different search engines that I’d never heard of. Talk about opening a whole new world in which to discover quality talent!


Participating in the Hackathon was an amazing experience. I was a bit intimidated at first, as I was surrounded by so many sourcing veterans and had recently read Susanna Frazier’s blog post about how she won the event last year.

I almost chose to sit this one out and simply cheer on my fellow teammates, but Ben pushed me to at least give it a try – and to my pleasant surprise, not only did I make it past the first round, I made it past the second one too, only to get stuck on the third before time was called!

Being able to successfully find the answers to those first two questions, and make progress towards the third, really showed me that the Hackathon was not as scary as I’d imagined and I can hold my own amongst other sourcers of the world.

SourceCon hackathon

Photo Credit: ERE / SourceCon 

I’m already looking forward to the next one and having fun playing sourcing games!

So much community!

And She Will Be Loved, Maroon 5

It’s been said a million times, but I will say it again: the sourcing community really is like a family. I felt welcome immediately and especially by the end of it, which was the day before my birthday.

Those of us who were still in Austin went out to dinner, and I have to say, it doesn’t get much better than being sung to by a group of people this big – sourcers really are truly special.

SourceCon_AL Blog_Group Shot bday

Reach the Top!

Bring It All Back Now, S Club 7

The greatest hits of SourceCon Austin kept coming! Until my next national SourceCon, I look forward to the regional events and participating in the online community SourceCon has developed to make us better at our jobs everyday!

The best trips are the ones where there’s…

Never A Dull Moment

Bonus Album, Rod Stewart

The non-stop action of SourceCon helped bring me confidence in my craft and gave my team a new learning experience to share.

Thank you SourceCon and thank you Austin!

Alyssa Lloyd, Sourcer, Objective Paradigm

Alyssa Lloyd is a Research and Sourcing Specialist at Objective Paradigm. She is from Pittsburgh, PA, and graduated in 2013 from Northwestern University with a degree in Social Policy and International Studies. Alyssa studied in Australia and has worked in industries such as hospitality, legal, nonprofit, and research institutions. She loves connecting with people over things they have in common, whether it be Hispanic heritage, the ability to speak Chinese, or practicing yoga. She enjoys working in tech recruiting because it makes her feel like she’s part of the world of the TV show Silicon Valley. Stay in touch with the OP Team, follow Alyssa on Twitter @ms_alyssamarie 


One Response to “SourceCon Austin 2017: Never A Dull Moment”

  1. Steve Levy

    …and next year there’s the other arm.

    Alyssa – you’re too kind. The tribe is grateful for your presence, enthusiasm and knowledge.

    Gawd, I’m sounding way too much like Uncle Steve…


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