Personal Agenda for #SHRM16

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.

Keynote Addresses

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.

Concurrent Sessions

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.

The Marketplace

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.




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