#SHRM18 – Overwhelming, Exciting & Inspiring!  



I can’t believe it’s been just over 2 weeks since the annual SHRM National conference was here in my hometown of Chicago!  I’m naturally a very introverted person, so when I attend conferences or big sessions like this I get pretty wiped out; and after reading this post you’ll see why!  I even needed to take a few days off to completely unplug and go camping, just to let the mind recharge.

First, I’d like to thank Mary Kayler & Andrew Morton from SHRM for the wonderful welcome & invitation to be part of the Blog Squad and the opportunity to attend SHRM National Conference & Expo.  Their passion and energy for the jobs they do is top notch.  They have tremendous drive for the work they do and for supporting the HR community and pushing our profession forward. 

This was also a great opportunity to meet many of the #SHRM18 Bloggers in person; after many months of tweeting and exchanging comments and GIFs (of course!) digitally, it was great to put a personality behind the profile pics & user names. 

I was also beyond excited that the SHRM Conference was held in Chicago this year. Not only did many get to come and enjoy the city I live in and love; but it was a great opportunity to invite a couple of up & coming stars on my HR team -  Shannon Yates, HR manager and Dana Dieska, Recruiter / Generalist - to attend the conference & truly “Expand their World”.  We all know it’s difficult to get in opportunities to grow and develop, as HR tends to be somewhat overlooked or not always thought of first; so being able to provide development opportunities to employees is a great benefit & great reason to love what SHRM is doing. 


I’m still processing all my notes from all the great presentations from the conference and plan to share much more in a series of upcoming posts here & on my blog / podcast so please stay tuned for those! 

To keep on topic with the title of this post, I’ll try to quickly summarize why SHRM18 was SO exciting to be a part of; and why, if you haven’t already – you should definitely consider attending SHRM19 in Las Vegas!

  • Overwhelming

This being my first SHRM National Conference I wasn’t sure what to expect.  From the numbers leading up to the conference, I knew this was going to be big; but didn’t know it was going to be THAT BIG.  It was huge.  I’m seeing posts with numbers between 17,000 – 22,000 + attendees; but during Johnny C. Taylor, President & CEO of SHRM’s keynote session he mentioned it was the largest HR conference on the plant, and I believe him!  With over 200 sessions to attend, hundreds of vendors in the human capital space, and what seemed like miles of walking to attend different sessions, this was an exhausting & overwhelming conference!

  • Exciting

Despite how overwhelming this conference was, it was incredibly exciting.  The amount of energy you felt just walking thru the expo, thru the halls from one session to the next, all the chatter laughs and smiles, was amazing.  I truly love my job in HR, and feel it’s “my calling”; to be in a position to help organizations & employees improve.  I feel my motto and place in this world is as a “success facilitator; being at the intersection between frustration & success”.  HR always gets a bad rap, and constantly is viewed as the policy police.  However, at this conference it’s very clear that HR has a seat at the table, and there’s so many professionals in our industry (remember, over 20k at this conference alone!) that are just as passionate as I am about the value and importance of the work we do.

  • Inspiring

From the smart stage talks, to the general sessions to the key note speakers.  The enthusiasm each speaker had during their talks was contagious.  As I started off this post with, I’ve taken so many notes that I still need to dissect them and put them in some type of order that makes sense, which will inspire not only future posts you can look forward to, but also so many changes and movement at work and in the industry.  The best way I can sum this up, is with a quote from Johnny C. Taylor’s keynote presentation which has been helpful to motivate our HR team, and hope it helps motivate you.

See you at #SHRM19! 


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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