Thursday, June 28, 2012

SHRM12: Social Media, Seinfeld and Volunteers



This is my first day back in the office after attending the SHRM National Conference in Atlanta.  It was a great experience for me for may different reasons.  I never went to any concurrent sessions as I was so busy but I had a fantastic time nonetheless.

My highlights this week:

1) I was thrilled to be able to hear Condoleezza Rice speak.  She was hands down, phenomenal.  I want to read her book.  She spoke about not wanting to be in the political arena anymore and she also discussed our crisis in the K-12 education arena.  She spoke without a single note or teleprompter and she was classy and interesting.

2) Our SHRM-Atlanta volunteers rocked the house headed up by Teela Jackson and Maureen Whatley.  Everyone commented on how friendly, efficient and knowledgeable our SHRM-Atlanta team was all week.  They worked a gazillion hours and have the blisters on their feet to prove it!  Well done.

3) I had the chance to spend time with some of my favorite vendors discussing product updates and just generally catching up.  Visier Analytics has some awesome new features in their product making it EASY to visualize and analyze your HR Metrics.  Halogen Software is brilliant.  They have a new feedback feature that makes giving feedback to employees so simple.  And yes, they have an app for that.

4) Jerry Seinfeld's show was great and yes he is still so funny.  He still talks about ordinary life, which makes his comedy so relatable.  I heard laughter for about an hour.  HELLO JERRY!

5) I think HR folks are finally stepping into social media land.  There were many sessions on the subject, there was the HIVE, where you could go and learn about social media, and I saw everyone with the phones, iPads and laptops tweeting away.  I heard that #SHRM12 was trending on Twitter...WOW!  Curtis Midkiff, SHRM's social media guy, did an awesome job this year in getting the word out and keeping the conversation going.

6) HR metrics and analytics are hot topics.  I was honored to be chosen to deliver a session on HR Analytics on Wednesday.  I think there was between 800-1000 people in the room.  I have heard different estimates, but I was just thrilled.  Attendees asked great questions and it was so cool that so many HR people want to understand this area.

If I were going to suggest areas to improve it would be the "how to connect with other cool people at the conference."  I know there was a BUZZ website and that was cool, but I was trying to find other HR people that were interested in metrics.  So, maybe a searchable linkedIn kinda ap would be cool.  With 13,000 plus attendees, I know I missed a few.  Networking is more than the social media piece, I still needed to "have a conversation" with other cool people that love what I love.

I would also have a way to keep the conversation going after the session.  Maybe, setting up groups in LinkedIn or Twitter with speakers and attendees, so that information can still continue to be shared after the conference.

There were some logistical issues, just because its hard to move 13,000 people around, but I get that.

All in all...glad I went, got the t-shirt and the blisters!!!!
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