I thought as an official #SHRM16 blogger I would share my personal agenda for the conference next week. I do this because I am not the stereotypical conference attendee or blogger. I am an “old guy” in HR. I sponsor myself, I don’t have corporate backing for my attendance, other than my conference fee is taken care of in return for tweeting and blogging. I am within a month of my 65th birthday so I cannot stay up all night drinking and then put in a full day at the conference; especially since I attend many of the compliance session (catch my drift?) With this less-than-typical background here is what I am planning on and looking forward to at #SHRM16.
I am excited about the opening session keynote on Sunday. I have long been a fan of Mike Rowe. I think he sees work from a different perspective that many. As I was reading about Studs Turkel’s 1974 book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do I thought that perhaps Mike should do a modern version of this book. I see some parallels between Rowe’s work and Turkel’s. So I am looking forward to Rowe.
The next keynote I am looking forward to is that of Amy Cuddy. Her work on posture and its impact on behavior is fascinating. Having been in HR for 35 years I have seen people transform, both good and bad, by their posture and body language. Her talk should be very interesting.
Sal Kahn I know nothing about so I will be interested in what he brings to the table. The other two, well I have to be honest, are talking heads that I get enough of on a daily basis. Sorry guys.
I will be attending a good number of sessions; after all I am there to get educated just like most attendees. I try to expose myself to new information that may be of assistance to my clients and my blog readers. Thus I will attend sessions on compliance issues, as I have for the last five years. I live tweet from those sessions, so speakers I will call you out on how good your material is and how well presented it is.
The market place
I try to get into the marketplace and speak to as many vendors as I can. I have arranged several interviews with vendors already. As with general sessions I am looking for information that will benefit my clients and interest my readers. If you have a creative product I may even write about you in my blog.
I don’t mind letting a vendor take my name. They are the source of new things happening in different fields and it is a way to keep informed. If I don’t like their emails relief is just a delete button click away. I will tell you have I gotten good information out of each year in the marketplace and I encourage all attendees to visit the vendors.
Dinners, drinks and conversations
I want to spend more social time with people this year, last year in Vegas I did not get enough of that in. Unfortunately I also need sleep in order to function at my best and many of the session I am attending start at 7 am. I also had to get one of the “cheaper” hotels and it is away from everything and that may make that social time a bit more difficult.
I would love it if you catch me walking around that you spend a minute introducing yourself and saying hello. Making social connections is important at #SHRM16 so I will try not to be a social hermit and neither should you. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to a speaker or another attendee, most will appreciate the gesture. And if you see someone sitting at a table by themselves go join them.
Lastly, if you see a volunteer or someone from SHRM say “thank you.” Putting on a conference is hard work. We bloggers work hard but nothing in comparison to the people who organize it. So show them some love.