The Big 5 or a Local Event -- SHRM has a Conference for You



Missed the Annual conference this Year? Don’t fret, catch a local SHRM conference in a city near you!


Last year I had the opportunity to catch my favorite golf and tennis players at tournaments less famous then the ones covered on TV each year. In Tennis and Golf there are the big four events, and at SHRM there is the Big Five (I’ll get to them in a minute). But much like my two favorite sports, there is ample opportunity to attend state and major local conferences to see great presentations by jumping in a car or taking local mass transit. In fact, this year there will be approximately 75 major SHRM events around the country. And that is not countless breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings of your local SHRM chapter.

Were you wondering about the Big Five? Well, of course, the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition is the granddaddy of HR conferences, held each June at a rotating location.

There are also four other “Majors” on the schedule:

In the Spring there is the Employment Law & Legislative Conference and Talent Conference & Exposition.

In the Fall there is the Diversity and Inclusion Conference & Exposition and Leadership Development Forum.

All rotate their locations apart from the Employment Law & Legislative conference, which is always held in Washington D.C.

However, not everyone is able to get away at the exact times that each of the Big Five are scheduled. Well, there are great supplemental opportunities offered throughout the year that do not get the fanfare of the Big Five.

Smaller budgets, less time, …. inconvenient scheduled times?

No worries … Almost every state affiliate offers a single or multiday event through out the year. A few local and regional groups also offer similar offerings. For example, I will be speaking in September at the New York State Annual Conference. Many of my fellow speakers and one of the keynotes present regularly at the Big Five along with State and local events.

At the New York State Conference this September, Cy Wakeman is key noting. Frank Canai, John Bagyi and I are doing breakout sessions. We have all presented at other regional and national SHRM conferences this past year. Many of the other speakers that will be participating have presented at SHRM events over the years as well.

Some of the advantages to a local conference include a more intimate setting. You can get up close and have personal conversations with the keynote and breakout session presenters. At the New York State Conference all the break outs are done twice, too. So, there is an extra chance to catch additional presentations without comprising on choice. Vendors at the exhibition are local and able to service you directly. Most are in your backyard or major corporations with folks assigned to your geography.

I have done a few local conferences the past few yrs. Including NYC, Long Island, and the Mid-Hudson Valley (All in NY and close to my home). Again, the experience is similar. As a speaker it is great to get a few extra opportunities in and it has made a big difference in improving my presentation skills over the past few years. I also get to share Big Five presentations with folks who couldn’t make it. A win-win for all.

Not sure where to find a local SHRM conference?  Visit SHRM Events or your local SHRM chapter’s website …can’t wait to see you all at the next conference.



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