Exhausted Yet Energized: A #SHRM21 Wrap-Up

Exhausted yet energized has been the phrase I find myself repeating since I left Las Vegas a few days ago. I honestly needed the last few days to process everything that happened during the conference! It was my first conference in over 2 years – so many hugs, learnings, connections etc were had and it was SO WONDERFUL.

I said this in my #SHRM19 wrap-up, but I thought nothing could top the last annual conference, but after this year, I’ve learned that every year is likely to be better than the last!

I’m so grateful to have been part of the SHRM Blogger/Influencer Team for my third annual conference in a row. It’s such a special experience to attend the conference with this tight knit group. We are all passionate about learning, sharing and connecting and it’s so much fun to work together to put out SHRM blog content, content on our own blogs, Tweets and other posts to help the broader #HRCommunity prepare for the conference and get the most out of it while they are there. Thank you Michele Wood and SHRM for the opportunity to participate on the #SHRM21Influencer team!

This year was extra special because it was my first SHRM annual conference attending as a member of the SHRM YPAC, and as a speaker! I was accepted to the YPAC in May of 2020, and was so excited to meet my fellow YPAC members there in person for the first time after working together on Zoom for the past year! The YPAC is such a good group and community in itself, so having this team together at the conference was an added layer of fun. Shout out to Christopher Lopez, Dr Vernon Williams and Kevin Abbed, the SHRM staff who supports the YPAC and made the onsite experience so welcoming. It was so nice to meet all of them in person as well!

Thursday the 9th was a big day for me. At 11 AM I co-presented orientation with SHRM staff. I was SO EXCITED to be afforded this opportunity to incorporate connecting, posting, and engaging online and in person into the orientation agenda. I had so much fun sharing about a topic that I’m so passionate about. I probably could have carried on for another hour LOL. Afterwards, so many people approached the 3 of us to introduce themselves and ask questions. Many selfies were taken and new friends made! I was also so impressed with the amount of SHRM student members who came up to introduce themselves. I was not a SHRM student member during my time in college, nor did I attend an annual conference then, so I am SO pumped for these folks getting started early in their careers! I also had someone at orientation come up and tell me how much my packing list blog post had helped them, which just made my day. I am a planner and like to be prepared, so I like to help others do the same.


Later on Thursday at 3:45 PM, my fellow SHRM YPAC members and I (Crystal Granger, Kirk Wyman, Rebecca Rowe and Amanda Brunson) participated in a panel event for the student tracked called “What I Wish I Knew, Emerging Professional Insights.” We probably had a couple hundred people in the room who were engaged and asked us great questions about our career paths. Each of us has a different story and I also really enjoyed learning more about the team from hearing their answers and responses! There is a brief recap article of our session on the SHRM website here! We received great feedback after the session and hope to be back at #SHRM22 in New Orleans to present for a similar event.

On Saturday, my virtual session aired on “Personal Branding” which was also part of the student track. It was so much fun to see the LinkedIn connection requests come through from those who had watched the session and wanted to share what they learned. I prerecorded this one from my home about a week before the conference! I started my HR career in 2012, and didn’t consider my personal brand or actively work to build and showcase it until 2017. Since 2017, the trajectory of my career has changed significantly so I love to help young and emerging professionals get started… literally on “What I Wish I Knew!”

I tweeted throughout the conference using my hashtag #ClaireShares – check out the Wakelet collection of my conference tweets!

So many fun meet-ups and selfies took place – thank you to everyone who joined in the fun with me! Visit my #SHRM21 photo album.

I need to give a special shoutout to Mary Williams, a member of the #SHRM21Influencer team who attended virtually this year. Throughout the entire conference Mary was ALL OVER the internet – sending me pictures of me that had ended up on SHRM’s instagram, the summary article that came out about the YPAC panel event, screen grabs she had taken of my sessions, and just all around looking out for me and keeping me up to date with everything happening online. I can’t thank you enough Mary! You are amazing!

To say that #SHRM21 was a blast is an understatement. I was so bummed when #SHRM20 in San Diego was cancelled, so this year was such a special reunion and being able to hug my friends that I hadn’t seen since last time in Vegas was amazing. My bucket and heart are so full! See you at #SHRM22 in New Orleans!

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