It’s been a week since #SHRM19 wrapped up, but thanks to social media, I am still reliving all of the special moments through pictures and key takeaways. And thanks to email, I am also reminded of all of the great vendors that were in attendance. In all seriousness though, #SHRM19 was an unbelievable experience for me this year. I had more opportunities to be a part of events and activities than I knew what to do with. By the time it was all said and done with, I realized that I didn’t attend as many sessions as I had wanted, but I reflected on all of the “out of the box” conference experiences I had. In order to reflect on my experiences, share lessons learned, and showcase ways to enjoy the conference without attending sessions, I decided to write a three-part conference wrap up blog series to share some top seven experiences from three categories! This first one will discuss all of the great things I was asked to be a part of. Keep an eye out for “Top Takeaways from #SHRM19” and “Out of the Box Conference Experiences“ coming soon.
Top 7 personal experiences (in no particular order...)
- SHRM YPAC: As most of you know, I am on the SHRM YPAC, otherwise known as the Young Professional Advisory Council. Because of this opportunity, I got to kick off the conference by attending the Super Sunday Session for Students & Emerging Leaders. I got to meet & greet with the attendees as they arrived, witness a live podcast recording from our keynotes, and moderate a networking session for the attendees. It was an incredible experience, and I was able to add one more public speaking event to my 2019 goal.
- Meet to Eat: In addition to attending the Sunday session, I attended a Meet to Eat event on Sunday evening on behalf of the YPAC. We went to Hofbräuhaus, a German restaurant. I think there ended up being about a dozen of us in attendance. It was great networking with other Young Professionals through this SHRM sanctioned event. It was so successful, that the YP’s that came all went out afterwards and planned on doing the Meet to Eat the next day as well!
- I’m famous: The YPAC also had an incredible opportunity to sit in the third row from the stage for the general session on Tuesday. It was great to be with my fellow YPAC members and to be recognized by SHRM with our 10 seconds of fame. And guess what – we stood up, smiled, and waved this year!!
- SHRM Foundation Step Challenge: This was also an opportunity provided to me because I am on the YPAC. I got to be a team captain for the YPAC team, Young and Hungry for Steps. I think we ended up with about 50 people on our team. I was so honored to be representing such a great organization that does so much good for so many people. On the day of the step challenge, I had over 21,000 steps. There were a few people on my team with over 30,000 steps! I was definitely impressed. We may not have won, but we also weren’t last! On a side note, I stepped 82,535 steps over a 5-day period… can you say #TiredFeet!
- #SHRM19 Blogger: This was by far the most monumental conference experience for me. Leading up to the conference, I had an opportunity to do Q&A interviews with four speakers and five vendors. I got to meet most of the people I interviewed during the conference, which was super! But honestly the best part about the whole thing was all of the people I got to meet in the Bloggers Lounge. We all connect on Social Media throughout the year, and some of us have met before, and some have not. To see those I’ve met before, it’s like a family reunion! And to meet those I have not, it’s like welcoming them to the family! It made me so happy to catch up with my friends that I’ve met before and to meet my new friends IRL. What is even cooler, when you have a “family” of all of these bloggers, you are never alone at the conference. No matter what session you are in, or where you are at, you’re always running into each other. It helps the crowd of 20,000 conference attendees not feel so large.
- Social media: In addition to meeting these great people, I got to do what I enjoy the most, and used my social media influence to share my “golden nuggets” as Callie and I were calling them and pictures from my conference experience! I’ll share my top seven in my next blog!
- Ribbons, ribbons, and more ribbons: So if you weren’t already aware, ribbons are like a thing at conferences… every year leading up the conference I tell myself, I’m not going to play the ribbons game this year… but then every year at the conference I end up trying to break my record from the year before. This year I ended up with 25 ribbons; they almost touched the ground! The great thing is, they all applied to me! I don’t just get ribbons to get ribbons, I get them because they mean something to me. My favorite one this year was “I know what you did last conference” from the Geico booth! Now my ribbons are hanging up in my room so I can think about #SHRM19 all year long!
Wow! That was fun to write! It was so fun to write that I originally wrote a four page blog with a lot more. However, I realized I should break it up a bit… so… keep your eyes open for the next two… I think you’re really going to enjoy! Coming soon... "Top takeaways from #SHRM19!