The calendar is about to turn. The only and only Jazmine Wilkes, a.k.a., @HRJazzy, has been on the official countdown to #SHRM18 -- the 2018 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition. Jazmine is also one of the official #SHRM18Bloggers for this event. There are a host of HR professionals armed and ready to keep you informed.
Conferences present a unique opportunity to gather like-minded people. Your SHRM team has created a star-studded line up for you. Here are some tested suggestions to make your Conference one of the best and most memorable in Chicago.
- Be Here Now. Be Present. Devote your time, attention and energy to the Rock Stars that you will have the chance to meet in June and re-connect with those Stars with whom you have been touring before! There will be thousands of experts in your area within your reach. Take full advantage of this awesome opportunity and focus on the many resources at hand.
- Begin with the End in Mind. Think long and hard in advance about what you want to gain from attending this Chicago Session! Be specific, so that you can be successful in finding the answers you are seeking. Many of us are wrestling with a puzzling question that is keeping us up at night; ask this question of your colleagues over June 17th- 20th. If folks know what you are looking for, they will help lead you to the colleagues who can be an added resource.
- Keep an Open Mind. Be open to learning from everyone. Plan to attend at least one session that will stretch you as a professional.
- So Many Sessions, So Little Time. Create a game plan of your days and a back-up plan. Strategically attempt to meet folks who are presenting sessions that you cannot attend. Possibly, do a quick introduction at the beginning or end of their session will make for easier follow-up.
- Create a New Posse. Engage new colleagues in conversations at all Networking Events. It is easy to hang with the folks you already know. Make some new friends.
- Business Cards Required for Admission. Do not forget your business cards. Create LinkedIn Connections as your follow-up. Keep the connections active and engaged post your time in the Windy City.
- Avoid the Distractions of the Windy City. Resist the temptation to sightsee. You came to this SHRM Annual Meeting to learn something specific. Drill-in and find the subject matter experts. After hours you can find the Magnificent Mile, discover some Deep-Dish Pizza or a box of Frango Mints.
- Challenge. Work to gain insights from the Conference that will aid you both personally and professionally.
- Networking Can Happen Anywhere. Sometimes, the best work done at conferences is chatting in the hallway or the lounge and continuing a conversation you started earlier.
- Get Your Smile On. You never know where the cameras will find you! Plus, you will meet more interesting people with a smile.