There are but a few days until the Big Show opens up in Washington D.C. If you are attending, you better have your plan assembled very soon if not already. Boys and girls this is bigger than a trip to Disney World. There are so many attractions, if you don’t have a plan, you are going to spend a lot of time staring at shiny objects. If you are in HR you have heard the old line, Plan your work, work your plan.
After some consideration, these are the reasons I have come up with as to why people would attend the SHRM Annual Conference.
- Quest for Knowledge
- To see all of the new HR toys
Ok, I understand that my groupings are pretty rudimentary but I think most everything you can do relating to the conference would fall into one of these groupings. Having said that, there is a bunch of stuff underneath the big broad headings.
First, if you have not downloaded the SHRM app (pictured to the left) do it now! This will be your guide, your reference manual, your social media hub and the place you should go to look up anything you need to know about attending the event. Put in on your phone and a tablet if you have one as well.
Know which sessions you are going to attend. I didn’t count them but there are A LOT of them, you need to know what you would like to attend before you get on site. You can always change your mind – but have a plan.
Carve out two to three blocks of time to spend in the vendor hall. See what is going on in the industry. Talk to the Company representatives, be courteous and friendly – they are at work. Don’t be a swag hog, limit yourself to no more than one shopping bag full of giveaways.
Networking – this is something you should be doing the entire conference time. This includes the airport or train if you are using public transportation. I would bet if you are on a plane to the DC area, half of the people on the plane are attending SHRM 16. Get outside your comfort zone. My buddy Steve Browne sits down on a coach, and then he goes to work. He will know a dozen more people by the time he gets to the conference hall. When you sit down in a session, introduce yourself to the people around you, ask them who they are, where they are from, and what brought them to this session.
As a subset to networking I would strongly encourage you to engage on some social media platform, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube or Snapchat. If you have NEVER done this, push yourself, it might be fun! If you have questions and don’t understand something hit me up on twitter at @DaveTheHRCzar, I will be happy to help you.
Lastly, enjoy yourself and get your batteries recharged. When you return back at your work, you should be full of vim and vigor and ready to slay dragons in your Company parking lot.