Art Imitates Life, the Movies and Outliers of Las Vegas #SHRM19


Art imitates life and movies are often our lens into places and things that we have not yet experienced and places never visited. For many attending the conference, interesting speakers and topics at the edge are also fascinating, providing a different lens to approach our roles in HR. Many attendees will focus on the keynotes each morning and the traditional breakouts throughout the day. I enjoy a different path to see folks from the business world and the edge of HR that can inspire new directions for the future. It is my Vegas speaker style list to see!

So, let’s start with a discussion of a few speakers who fit my “Vegas” living on the edge or what’s next in business discussion.

First, there is a Change Maker series that looks awesome with two speakers in particular that I hope to catch live. I hope to see Chip Conley from Airbnb discussing “Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder” and Geoff Colvin from Fortune Magazine presenting “the New Rules of Business”.

Next up are two Mega session presentations. Both presenters are friends, innovators and outliers in the HR space. Stuart Chittenden will spend some time discussing the application of Design thinking in HR and Jennifer McClure will bring to light the inspiration behind Disrupt HR. If you are attending either of these sessions make sure to get there extra early.

I love the Smart stage and this year my pick for uniqueness is Karlyn Borysenko who will be dishing on “Understanding the experience of being fired”. I am sure this will be a thought-provoking conversation.

And for those visiting Vegas for the first time for the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition #SHRM19 or even if you’re a regular, here are my top 10 Vegas movies that you should check out prior to the conference in no particular order:

  • Swingers
  • Oceans 11
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • Vegas Vacation
  • Diamonds are forever
  • Very bad things
  • Viva Las Vegas
  • Fear and loathing in Las Vegas
  • Casino
  • The Hangover

There are plenty more, but these 10 movies depict Vegas in so many ways. Funny, adventurous, action pacted, dramatic, sexy, and even tragic.

I have been to Vegas several times. I have visited the Zappos campus with some folks at HRPS back in 2015, I have sung a couple of songs at Karaoke bars on the fringes of downtown, and even won a few dollars at blackjack at the Encore and Treasure Island hotels over the yrs. I have seen Cirque shows, rock concerts, been to a Sunday night “pool party” with a top DJ and some late-night clubs too.  I have even played a couple of rounds of golf and seen an NBA summer league basketball game.

Vegas is a dynamic city with offerings for everyone. Recreation, professional and collegiate sports, music of every genre, great shows, culture, awesome restaurants, interesting people and great weather (at least most of the time – although a little hot in the summer). Movies often provide a glimpse into the pulse and vibrance of different locals and I believe these movies are representative of so many different flavors of Vegas!

All food for thought as you plan for your trip this June. Is there one thing you would like to do outside the boundaries of the conference? What is your inspiration? Will you share it with others or “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?”

So here are some challenges for all of you reading this post:

Can you name how many academy awards were given to these movies and which movie, actor, actress won what award(s)?

Who were the 5 biggest stars?

What were the 3 funniest moments?

Who were the sexiest characters?

The most dramatic scene?

What is the most iconic Vegas landmark that appeared in these movies?

The best song from which movies soundtrack?

What movie is missing from the list that you would add?

And of course, which movie  was your favorite from the list?

We love to chat with our readers so feel free to comment here on the site and tweet your responses at #SHRM19 and #SHRM19movies

I’ll be on the lookout and you just might catch me at one of the speakers I have highlighted. Can’t wait to see you all this June and make sure to say hi if you bump into me!




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