The SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition starts in one week in Las Vegas !! This venue seems to scream “extrovert” with all of it’s bright lights, shows and casinos. With over 15,000 people, expected the Conference can be overwhelming for everyone.
We don’t write about extroverts much because we assume they’re going to fill the space with their outward thoughts anyway !! I have to be honest, most of my friends are not extroverts. I assumed because they were active socially, they’d be extroverted. I am, so why wouldn’t they be? (1st fault of the extrovert . . . )
Being introverted or extroverted is neither right nor wrong. It just is who we are and how we’re wired. So, I wanted to put some hints and advice that will fill up the extrovert’s need for constant communication and interaction so that you can fully enjoy SHRM15 !!
Pick Sessions that STRETCH you !!
There are so many great sessions at this year’s Conference. Don’t fall into the trap of going to ones that reflect your day-to-day role. Stretch yourself and feed your inner desire to see what HR could look like and may look like in the future. Get on the edge of what we do and claw out of the trenches for a week. These sessions will challenge the way you think and you’ll love it.
Make connections that matter !!
Extroverts have to talk. They can’t help but express themselves. Use that fact to meet the folks who are at the event. We are all in HR together and instead of trying to continue to go it alone, meet the folks that are milling around you. We’ve lost sight that we’re all in the same profession. The best resource you are looking for could be right next to you. So, when you talk to strangers, because you will, connect with them so that you can be resources for each other long after the conference concludes. To put this in HR math – if you connect with 10 people and each of those folks are connected to 10 people, you have just built an incredible network !!
Tweet, SnapChat, Post, Blog, etc. !!
Face it, you’re already social. It’s part of your inherent nature. Social Media use by HR pros jumps through the roof during SHRM15 and that’s awesome. The challenge is that you carry it forward and remain social. Remember, social media is just another way to communicate and connect. Tweet during sessions using the speaker’s Twitter handle and the hashtag #SHRM15. Post to Instagram with pics from all over the SHRM Store and the Vendor Hall. Show HR people who weren’t able to attend all of the great things going on.
As an extrovert, you have a drive that needs to be constantly fed on the social side of your personality. Use the Conference to launch your social side and then keep it going strong with all of your new connections once you head back to your part of the HR universe.
Take in EVERYTHING !!
I know that the temptations of the Vegas Strip will pull on every attendee, and there will be plenty of time for that. My hope is that you take in the entire vendor hall and talk to people to see what they have to offer and not just make the dash for swag. Sit up front in the keynotes and the concurrent sessions to grow and develop.
Extroverts are great at “conferencing” which means that you are eager to see the 7:00am sessions and then you are on the go through the wee hours of the night. Don’t miss a thing. You’ll be glad you did !!
Finally, don’t just hang with your own kind. There will be people from all over the world at the Conference. Don’t just stay with those from your own state or country. Release your inner extrovert and meet folks from everywhere !!
When you meet our introvert counterparts, greet them, give them a second and then hug away !! (if they’re cool with it). Have fun !! The SHRM Annual Conference is always a great event. This is where you can flourish and be your extroverted self !!
I will make sure to find you – count on it !!