In June, I will be attending my 17th straight SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition. In that time, I have experienced a bevy of conference highs and lows. So, what are three things that are crucial for any attendee to know?
1. Drink LOTS of water
Every day will likely be in the 90s and it will be likely very humid! But, given the significant amount of walking you're likely to do as well as the arctic temperatures inside the convention center to counteract the heat, you'll need all the H20 you can handle. Bring a portable water bottle and keep it filled and by your side at all times. P.S. If you're a coffee drinker, the lines are HUGE at the convention center. Get your coffee at (or near) your hotel, bring it on the shuttle, and avoid the lines.
2. Do NOT suffer from SWAG remorse.
The exhibit hall is going to open at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 18 and you going to be tempted by every vendor with some sort of gee-gaw or doo-dad that you absolutely have to bring back to the office. You may have already received an inch tall pile of vendor mail and you've mapped out your strategy for maximizing your haul. You may have even packed light so that you have plenty of room in your suitcase for all the giveaways. It is free, right? You HAVE To grab it. Trust me, as a former victim, you will suffer from SWAG remorse. It may take a week....it may take a month, but you are going to look at that tote bag full of "goodies" you brought back and you are going to ask yourself why you grabbed that 7th t-shirt or 14th squeeze ball. Regret always tastes sour.
3. Do NOT bring a rollerbag to the conference
I have posted this several times since 2010, and people are still not listening. Rollerbags are the scourge of the exhibit hall. They get underfoot, and people are often unaware of the people behind them when toting it along. Don't be that person.