Last week was the #OHSHRM18 conference, and it exceeded all expectations for a number of reasons. If you have never experienced Jon Petz, I encourage you to do so. He was the closing keynote, and it was magical. I could be a bit biased, but Ohio has one of the BEST State SHRM Conferences. In fact, there was a conference attendee from North Carolina there who had heard the same thing and was encouraged by her manager to attend!
If you are unable to attend a conference for whatever reason, you can still participate by following the hashtags of the conferences and commenting, retweeting, etc.
This is very similar to the #NotAtSHRM movement, and it shouldn't end with the National Conference. I took a quick glance at the State & Affiliate Conferences section of the SHRM website. There are a plethora of conferences going on between now and November, including #ILSHRM18 and #NYSHRM18 this week!
If you are able to attend one or more conferences this season, please take advantage of every minute of learning, connecting, and sharing. Our connections through social media, particularly Twitter are wonderful, and they are even better when we meet (and take a selfie) in real life! I had the pleasure of connecting with Callie Zipple and Renee Robson at #OHSHRM18 after "meeting" on Twitter through various chats, including #Nextchat.
Please also participate in the activities! I can't tell you the number of times I heard "I'm going to skip this [insert session or social activity name here.] I have work to do in my room." I understand we all have stuff, but you came to the conference for a reason, and in many cases, your employer has paid for you to be there, so please take advantage of every experience! It's not easy to step out of your comfort zone to socialize with a few thousand HR pros you've never met, but I promise it's worth it.
Be a participant - not a spectator.