Wednesday, June 5, 2013

10 Ideas to Get the MOST at This Year's SHRM Conference

SHRM's national conference is right around the corner, June 16-19 in Chicago.  I am really looking forward to this year's conference not only because your's truly is speaking on Monday, but I can't wait to see all my buddies. (shameless plug, come see me if you are attending).

I think to get the most out of your conference experience you need a definite plan before you get there.  If you are like me, you get to a conference, especially one that is as big as SHRM's and you get swept up in the moment and get distracted by all the shiny objects.

So here are a few tips:

1) Find out where all the cool parties are.  You see were my priorities are.  Jessica Merrill Miller has made that easy for you over at her blog,  She actually has a SHRM party guide.  Brilliant.

2) Download the conference AP.  It is a great way to stay organized and tag the sessions you don't want to miss.

3) Get involved in the conversation.  Get on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and see what the hot topics are at the conference.  Search the hashtag #shrm13

4) Meet NEW people.  Network.  That's all I have to say about that.  You can't have a network that is too big or too smart.

5) Go to the exhibit hall and don't make a beeline to the food and drinks.  See what is going on in our space.  Chat with vendors, see demos, be curious.  So what if they get your card and email you, they may just have good info that you need.  Hey, sometimes the conference swag is awesome!

6) If you are truly interested in a topic, say HR Metrics (I may know someone) for example, don't be afraid to meet the speaker, ask the speaker a burning question.  It's all about learning something new.

7) If you are going with a group, don't just hang with the people you know, see #4.

8) See the sights of the host city.  Go in a day early or stay an extra day to check out what Chicago has to offer.

9) Visit the SHRM bookstore.  There are so many good books, on so many subjects. It's hard to pick just one.

10) Share your knowledge.  Don't just go to the conference and learn and hear about what's new.  Spread the word when you get back to your offices.  Keep that conversation going.

If you plan on going to the conference please feel free to stop by my session and say hello.  You can always find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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