I’m starting to get excited for the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19)! There so much to do during those five short days. I’m not a big Vegas person – I used to go quite a bit for work back in my twenties, but as someone living pay check to pay check, I didn’t have any extra cash laying around to be able to “enjoy” the city. This time, I am looking forward to a few of the sites: the Paris Hotel was not around when I was going, so I’m hoping for some wine, cheese & bread near the Eiffel Tower!
First & foremost, connection. This is the number one reason to attend events like this. I’m not one for traditional networking, exchanging business cards & wondering if it’s a real connection or not. My favorite way to connect is Twitter or LinkedIn first. Get to know the person a little and then set a time to meet. Happy hours, lunch, coffee or even making a plan to meet a few minutes before a session for an in real life "IRL" connection. I’ve done all of these at SHRM Annual and am looking forward to more in Vegas. Jon & I are working on a Saturday happy hour for all those who are arriving early [more information as soon as we can confirm].
Speakers. Like most, I am excited about Brené Brown. But for the most part, I get more excited about the concurrent, mega sessions and the SmartStage. This is where the real stuff happens. The keynotes are great but it’s pretty rare that I leave with action items. But those other sessions? At least one thing to do. It was a concurrent session where I came back with “we don’t have a knowledge problem; we have an execution problem.” And it’s usually even better if the speaker is (or was) a practitioner!
- I had great conversations with S. Renee and Caron Greaves so watch for those podcasts coming soon!!
Vendors. This is an odd one for me to say, though I do enjoy the expo and the vendors that entice you to visit their booth with fancy drinks or massages. But I’ve always worked somewhere where I don’t have a lot of say in the vendors we use, so it’s a bit uncomfortable to give them my contact info when I know there’s very little chance they will get our business. But now, with the podcast, there are a few I’d like to get to know a little better and I’m getting better at pitching what we do! And I’m hoping to bring back some fun prizes for our Fun Committee.
SHRM Events App. The new app is fantastic! You should get it downloaded and start connecting with other attendees right away – especially if you aren’t already connecting on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook (though I HIGHLY recommended getting yourself on Twitter & following #SHRM19 as soon as possible— you are missing out on great content if you aren’t on social media). But the app is another great way to connect and keep your calendar at your finger tips. You’ve got your schedule, your people, a map, vendors & up to date information. What more do you need?
Packing. I’ve got my comfy shoes, #HRforSnoop t-shirt, new battery pack, a water bottle, sun block and a sweater (you KNOW it’s going to be cold in the conference center) ready to go.
So, are YOU ready for #SHRM19? What are you looking forward to most?