We’ll make this nice and easy.
SHRM National is big. This ain’t your local conference. To navigate big you need to logistically think small. If you logistically think small, you can save all your big energy on networking, learning, and thinking.
My list is broken into 3 sections. Learning Essentials, the Expo Hall, and Clothing/Accessory Essentials.
#SHRM14 Learning Essentials:
- IMPORTANT! If you want to get to the “next-level”, skip the fundamentals classes, even if you don’t yet know all the fundamentals. You can learn the fundamentals at your local SHRM chapter or a webinar or your team lead. Go to the strategy sessions with the mind frame “when I get to the next level, I’ll lead employees who will handle the fundamentals”. Or “What do I need to learn about leading a stellar HR team?”.
- Phone charger. You will want to kill yourself if you forget your phone charger. Life will cease to exist.
- Download the #SHRM14 App. If you say, but I don’t have a smartphone, then you aren’t that smart. Live a little- get a smartphone.
- Skip the legal briefs. You can learn that stuff from a webinar.
- Do get info on the new SHRM Certification Credentials. It’s pretty big and you’ll want to know what is happening on that front.
- Pick sessions that will help your 2014-15 work strategy. HR is responsible for such a wide breadth of knowledge, no one person can know it all.
- Pick sessions based on your PASSION. If you are passionate about an area of HR you will a) do better at it, b) love learning about it, c) differentiate yourself by being the ultimate knowledge leader in that specialty.
- Find a way to meet the presenters at the sessions you pick. Why? You will not remember everything they taught in an hour and a 1/2 session. You will learn much more from them by networking and connecting with them later. BTW – they LOVE your adoration.
- Learn from as many CEO’s as you can. That is all.
- Check out these people. I am too lazy to connect links to all of them, so look them up on the app: Jonah Berger, Robin Schooling, Jennifer McClure, Matt Charney, Gerry Crispin, Trish McFarland, Steve Boese, Craig Fisher, Bob Kelleher, Sharlyn Lauby, Jennifer Payne, Jessica Miller-Merrell, Michael Burchell.
The Expo Hall
- Go to the Expo Hall. Actually you may want to skip several sessions to explore the expo hall. Your HR future will definitely include the technology and services shared in the expo hall. You are foolish to not spend significant time there.
- It is BIG so at first tread lightly: It’s big, there’s booze at the opening bash on Sunday, there are spinning wheels and prizes, and booze….. so spend the first day getting the lay of the land at the expo hall. Good news is on Sunday the vendors aren’t real pitchy. So enjoy.
- There are speakers in the Expo Hall. For instance, Globoforce has an HR influencers Series at booth #2864 that will have fabulous speakers all day Monday and Tuesday. Including Laurie Ruettimann, Jennifer McClure, Robin Schooling, Kevin Grossman, Sharlyn Lauby, Meghan Brio, John Hollan,
#SHRM14 Clothing/ Accessory Essentials:
- Clothing: Class up the joint – comfortably. This means you need to channel your inner Tim Gunn. He did not allow any excuses for looking like a schlub. You can be comfortable and make a good impression to the folks you meet. How? See my next bullet points.
- Eyebrows. Ladies, Ladies, Ladies and Gents. Get your eyebrows waxed. Not off. Just cleaned up. I swear you will feel like you lost 20 pounds. And a wooly-booger unibrow is distracting.
- Nails. Clean up the nails. Here is what I recommend — short nails. I loved longer, but you CANNOT type or text with long nails. And gel nails are the best thing ever. They instantly dry and stick around for 7-9 days. Perfect. You don’t need to worry about touch ups.
- Comfy shoes a do! You will want to kill yourself if you don’t wear comfy shoes. Really. I mean, really. They have about every style of cute,comfy flip-flop. They have flip-flops with a faux heel. You can spend 2$ or 70$. No matter. If you do decide to wear any shoes that have a remote possibility of hurting you, carry flip-flops in your bag. Another do, cute ballet flats. Another do, cute Sketcher or Nike slip-on “sneakers“. Another do, cute flat sandals. If you HAVE to wear a heal – a wedge or a chunky heal and I say 3 inches max.
- Shoe DON’T’s: No stilettos unless you are presenting. On the other end no Saas Comfort Shoes. I get that they are comfortable. But just don’t. No Croc’s. I say that fully admitting that I have a “croc-like” pair of Dr. Scholl’s at home that I love. But don’t. No running shoes (unless they are cute and neon and you are wearing something white).
- Backpack or sling-bag (you know-the bag that you cross across your chest). I really don’t like the burlap bags they give folks. But I know I am likely not choosing this battle wisely. All I am saying is that I have brought briefcases with a computer and notepads and stuff and I thought I dislocated my shoulder.
- Aquaphor for lips. Eye drops for eyes: It can get dry in there – especially if you have contacts.
- Enough with the “badge ribbons” for goodness sake. They distract me from looking and listening to you.
There you have it. If you need more info connect with me!
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