Similar to Brigadoon—the magical Scottish village of Broadway musical fame that appears for only one day every hundred years –the SHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition bustles with activity for 4 days once a year. And then it’s gone.
In Brigadoon, all citizens are forbidden to leave the town or it will disappear forever. It’s the opposite with Annual Conference. Everybody has to leave on July 1—when the applause for the last concurrent session has faded, the SHRMStore has packed up the last box, and the Exhibit Hall is just a big empty space.
But there’s a different kind of magic at play for conference attendees that allows them to take 200 conference sessions home with them and extend their conference experience for a full six months thereafter. Digital capture of conference sessions gives 21st Century HR professionals access to more than 10 times the number of educational sessions they could attend during the live conference.
Let’s think about what this means.
- You can arrive at the Convention Center primed for an early morning session, but decide, instead, to continue your conversation with the person you met in the coffee line.
- You can attend a session and simply sit, watch and listen to a living, breathing human. You do not need to type or scribble in a notebook.
- You can choose to attend a session that “speaks” to you personally, not the one you know you “should” attend because it addresses a troubling compliance issue.
- You can answer that inevitable work phone call that pulls you away from the session you were most looking forward to.
When used mindfully, digital media can support and enhance our experiences as humans. Defy the smartphone stereotype! Look up! Look around you! Talk to someone! Sink into an experience! And if you miss a conference session that is important to you, there’s a good chance you can enjoy it later—virtually—by means of Annual Conference On Demand. The exclusive offer of On Demand to attendees at $149 for 6 months is a small price to pay to thrive.
Margaret Clark is manager, On Demand, Virtual Products & Events