We are happy to present a special series of articles by Gerry Crispin & Mark Mehler (authors of CareerXRoads) as they report directly from the EMA conference in Orlando. When the Talent War combatants get together for R&R what do they talk about? What are their pressing concerns, issues and strategies? Tomorrow the annual EMA (Employment Management Conference) will open in Orlando (May 3-5), the first of more than half a dozen conferences during May and June- all about recruiting. Everything appears to be set. Nearly 800 attendees and 83 vendors are expected. The conference agenda seems packed with interesting speakers ranging from John Sullivan, PhD, who has been billed by Fast Company as the “Michael Jordan of Hiring” (but who better fits the image, tongue in cheek of course, as the “Tom Peters of Employment”) to Michael McNeal, the senior director of staffing and development for Apple Computer, Inc. The concurrent sessions will cover the gamut of recruiting issues including metrics, branding, technologies and relationship building. Take a quick look at the line up http://www.shrm.org/conferences/ema and let us know if you have any questions or comments you want us to share with the speakers. We’ll be asking a few of our own and reporting at the end of each day. As we approach “zero-hour” kicking off Wednesday’s EMA conference in Orlando, it was a fascinating exercise to peruse the list of 83 vendors and suppliers lined up to tackle the 800 expected attendees. We’re told the final list won’t be known until the last minute but most of the folks in the exhibit hall can be found at http://www.shrm.org/conferences/ema. Of the exhibitors we saw listed on SHRM’s website for the EMA Conference, many were long time supporters: recruitment advertising firms, newspaper publishers, search firms and agencies but a growing number are here for the first time – technology tools and systems, internet strategy consultants and online career networks. A sample of the e-cruiting suppliers and consultants we skimmed included: Alexus, BlackVoices.com, BrainBuzz.com, Brass Ring- thepavement.com, Career Mosaic, CareerPath.com, Deploy Solutions, Inc., Destiny Group-A Military Transition Center, The Wall Street Journal Online, The Employment Guide, gotajob.com, Greentree Systems, Inc., Headhunter.net, Hire.com, HireSystems, HRLogix, IIRCInterviewNow.com, jobiMinorities.com, InfoGIST, Personic Software, Recruiters AID, Recruiters World, Resumix, ReviewNet. You can be sure that many other players who are not exhibiting will be walking the aisles as well. Will Headhunter.Net man the Career Mosaic booth? Will HotJobs and Resumix share a bit of space? We’ll be looking forward to the demos, the hype and the reality. Are there questions you want to ask? Let us know. By the way. JWT Specialized Communications is sponsoring (FREE) the EMA Conference Employment Center. Employers seeking HR candidates can post their job listings on an electronic database (online if you are not attending) created for this event and review resumes already added to the system. Job seekers can post their resumes and search for available jobs. Get there via http://www.shrm.org/conferences/ema/jobs.html or http://www.jwtworks.com/ema/. Contact Tim O’Reilly, SPHR at email@example.com if you have questions. If you are missing EMA, there is still time to get to Kennedy’s e-Cruiting Conference in Las Vegas, IDG’s Technical Recruiter Conference in Orlando, SHRM’s mega conference in Vegas (as well as several others). Good hunting.