Grape Expectations: Conference Lessons through a Wine Maker’s Lens #SHRM18


For those following the SHRM18 Bloggers, you know that in addition to providing great information about speakers, exhibitors and how to prepare for the busy time in Chicago, the team has also been posting about our exuberance for bacon and wine.  Many of the tweets and blogs have mentioned these two items, thereby showing that in addition to acknowledging the amazing learning that we are about to embark on, we are also excited about some of the fun, networking and lighter moments that we will enjoy.

Spring boarding off the bloggers’ comments about wine, and as someone who relishes a good glass of vino, I want to share some winemakers’ tips that are applicable to the upcoming 2018 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition experience.  With less than 3 weeks to go until we gather in Chicago these ideas (albeit simplified comparisons to what is actually a complex process) can be useful to wine connoisseurs, beer lovers and teetotalers alike.

Growing the vines

Like any plant, grape vines grow differently in different places.  As such, one of the first decisions winemakers make is where to plant each vine. Different types of soil will produce different types of grapes (in taste and quality) and different types of grapes do better in different types of earth. There are many ways to describe soil ranging from its texture, depth, composition and layers. The different layers and the depth and composition of each layer impact this earth and what growth it best supports.

What does this mean for you?  The sessions at the 2018 SHRM Annual Conference – #SHRM18 are the groundwork that will provide for your development. Each session is unique and presents its own depth of exploring a topic and delves into different layers of information. A key decision you must make is what “soil” will best suit your unique growth. There are plenty of places to plant yourself throughout the conference and there are a tremendous variety of opportunities that will suit the diversity of attendees’ interests and development needs.

Grapes like it hot and cold

Hot days and cool nights create well-balanced grapes.  So, while we have been warned that the rooms in McCormick Place may be chilly (in other words don’t forget to bring a wrap, coat or sweater) the days promise to be buzzing with excitement and learning opportunities.  So, this will make for hot days that are blazing with sessions, networking and informal conversations.  To maintain balance, it is important to be cool during the evenings.  What do I mean by this?  Be a cool cat and meet up with some new-found friends and enjoy Chicago.  Check out previous blog posts for ideas and suggestions.  Or, you may want to literally “cool it” by ensuring that you get some rest and recharge for the next busy days.  Think like a good grape and seek balance.

Support is essential

Grapevines need to be supported in order for new shoots and fruit to be off the ground, or the grapes will rot. Support also allows more of the vine to gain sunlight and air. Time taken to provide a strong structure for a grapevine increases the likelihood that it will thrive for a long period of time and produce quality fruit.

This insight reminds each of us to support one another. Be sure to reach out to new people and welcome others to join in your conversations and activities. If you see someone looking confused or lost, offer assistance. Last, but certainly not least, use the SHRM18 app and read the Bloggers’ posts. Our team wants to share key ideas, information and insights so that we can support you and enhance your conference experience.

A “vine time” awaits

SHRM18 promises to be a dynamic and fruitful event. I look forward to meeting you while we share in our learning and growth as HR professionals.  All that now remains is for one of my fellow bloggers to write a post about bacon and the applicable conference lessons!


Originally posted on Double M Training and Consulting blog.



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: