I thought that as an official #SHRM16 Blogger I would share my personal agenda for the conference next week. I do this because I am not the stereotypical conference attendee or blogger. I am an “old guy” in HR. I sponsor myself. I don’t have corporate backing for my attendance, other than my conference fee is taken care of in return for tweeting and blogging. I am within a month of my 65th birthday, so I cannot stay up all night drinking and then put in a full day at the conference especially since I attend many of the compliance sessions (catch my drift?). With this less-than-typical background, here is what I am planning and looking forward to at #SHRM16.
I am excited about the opening session keynote on Sunday. I have long been a fan of Mike Rowe. I think he sees work from a different perspective than many. As I was reading about Studs Turkel’s 1974 book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, I thought that perhaps Mike should do a modern version of this book. I see some parallels between Rowe’s work and Turkel’s. So, I am looking forward to Rowe.
The next keynote I am looking forward to is that of Amy Cuddy. Her work on posture and its impact on behavior is fascinating. Having been in HR for 35 years, I have seen people transform—both good and bad, by their posture and body language. Her talk should be very interesting.
Sal Kahn I know nothing about, so I will be interested in what he brings to the table. The other two, well I have to be honest, are talking heads that I get enough of on a daily basis. Sorry guys.
I will be attending a good number of sessions. After all, I am there to get educated just like most attendees. I try to expose myself to new information that may be of assistance to my clients and my blog readers. Thus, I will attend sessions on compliance issues, as I have for the last five years. I live tweet from those sessions. So, speakers, I will call you out on how good your material is and how well presented it is.
I try to get into the marketplace and speak to as many vendors as I can. I have arranged several interviews with vendors already. As with concurrent sessions, I am looking for information that will benefit my clients and interest my readers. If you have a creative product, I may even write about you in my blog.
I don’t mind letting a vendor take my name. They are the source of new things happening in different fields, and it is a way to keep informed. If I don’t like their emails, relief is just a delete button click away. I will tell you, I have gotten good information out of each year in the marketplace; and I encourage all attendees to visit the vendors.
Dinners, Drinks and Conversations
I want to spend more social time with people this year. Last year in Vegas, I did not get enough of that in. Unfortunately, I also need sleep in order to function at my best; and many of the session I am attending start at 7 a.m. I also had to get one of the “cheaper” hotels, and it is away from everything. That may make that social time a bit more difficult.
I would love it, if you catch me walking around, that you spend a minute introducing yourself and saying hello. Making social connections is important at #SHRM16. So, I will try not to be a social hermit, and you shouldn’t be one either. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to a speaker or another attendee. Most will appreciate the gesture. And, if you see someone sitting at a table by themselves, go join them.
Lastly, if you see a volunteer or someone from SHRM, say, “Thank you.” Putting on a conference is hard work. We bloggers work hard, but nothing in comparison to the people who organize it. So, show them some love.
For more information and to attend SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition, visit www.annual.shrm.org.