I’m doing something I never do. Seriously. In nearly 10 years of attending the annual SHRM conference pretty regularly, I have never done this before.
As of the writing of this post, I have actually taken a little time to review the session descriptions for SHRM16 and have earmarked a few I want to attend.
I’m planning ahead.
I am the girl who plans her outfits, places to see in the city she’s visiting and other important aspects like food, but never have I planned what sessions I’m going to. I look at the session booklet a few days in advance mostly to see when I might be able to sneak in a nap, but never do I decide what session I’m going to attend until 30 minutes before, when I start scrolling through the app until something pops out at me. But this year is different.
I have had several blog readers tell me that they cannot attend this year and are counting on my blog and social feeds to keep them updated on all the happenings. Some have even asked me if I can attend sessions specific to topics they are interested in (that may interest me, too) and report back.
Something I’m more than happy to do.
I thought I would go ahead and lay out a few sessions I have already marked as a must attend for me. If you aren’t going and see any sessions you think would be interesting, send them my way. If they make sense for me and my readers, I may just attend them and share any insight I can to make you feel like you were there with us.
Obviously I will attend all of the keynotes, but I’m most excited about Sal Khan. I’m experiencing a little political fatigue during this election season, so while I’m sure the point-counter-point session between CNN and Fox correspondents will be entertaining, I’m most interested in hearing how Sal came up with the idea for his non-profit and his vision for how it will change our education system.
Is it weird that I have never attended a Master Series before? I think maybe the time commitment has always freaked me out a bit, or maybe a title just never captured my attention. This year is different. Following my talk at DisruptHR OC on Use Your F*ing Words where I talk about having open and honest conversations even if they aren’t nice, I’m anxious to hear Sheila Heen’s take on that same topic. The session title, “Thanks for the Feedback (Even When It’s Off-Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood)," spoke to me and I think those two hours will fly by.
Obviously I will be hitting up my friend Scott Hamilton’s HR 2020 mega session. I already talked about that one here. I also like the title of Ryan Estis’s session: “Rethinking HR: The Future of Work and HR.” I’ve heard him speak before, and his sessions always prove informative. Also, I won’t be attending this one, only because I’ve already heard it, but if you haven’t heard Jennifer McClure speak, you are missing out. She’s super smart.
So this is where I still need some work. I have to review again (and probably again) because there are so many to choose from. I really like the title and description of this one, “Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: How to Effectively Improve Diversity Skills and Competencies,” and I’m building training around that now; so the more info I have, the better. I also like this one for reasons that are likely obvious, “A Business Case for Hiring Veterans: Designing and Implementing a Veteran Hiring Program.” I will likely attend at least one on California law specifically because it tends to give me a headache and confuse the heck out of me. I may also attend a Dept. of One presentation or two, but I’m not sure yet.
So, that’s where I am right now. If you are going, what sessions have you planned to attend? If you aren’t, look through the session guide and see which ones you might recommend to me.
One thing that occurs to me every year is that we have so few seated practitioners speaking at these events. Speaking as a consultant who speaks, I get why it’s heavy on the consultant side. But, as I was looking through, I was hoping to find a few more sessions from seated practitioners who were going to share what had worked at their workplace. Maybe I missed them.
I’m getting excited for D.C. My sister, Ashley, will be joining me. My former board members at ILSHRM and SHRM’s own resident bookstore goddess Andi Cale say she looks just like me, so maybe I’ll send her in for a session or two so I can get that nap in.
Will I see you there?
Originally posted on Acacia HR Solutions Blog.
For more information and to attend SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition, visit www.annual.shrm.org.