I am beyond excited to be attending my third SHRM Annual Conference and Expo this September in Las Vegas. As the world’s largest HR conference hosted by the world’s largest HR association, the SHRM Annual Conference and Expo is an incredible event that HR practitioners at all levels and from all industries will find value in attending. While this year’s rescheduled conference may feel a bit different from previous annual conferences, I am confident that it will not disappoint in providing all of us with the programming and resources that we have all been missing for over two years!
Now an event of this size and magnitude can be a bit overwhelming, particularly for a self-described introvert as myself. One way that I prepare is to have a plan, even a loose one, particularly when I am deciding which sessions to attend. Here are some tips to help make your selections and your SHRM 21 experience enjoyable!
- Connect – One way to help you with selecting your sessions is to first connect with your fellow attendees BEFORE the event. You can connect with others on social media and within the SHRM Connect Communities to find out who others are excited to see. Plan to meet up with them at a session, or even reach to some of the speakers that are also active on social media. Making connections before attending your sessions can be a wonderful way to network and enjoy your sessions with others.
- Research – Research the speakers that are presenting at the SHRM Annual Conference and Expo. Most are accomplished authors, write industry articles, or have blogs or podcasts. Do your research and then seek out those you want to hear in person. I cannot think of many events that bring together so many industry experts that fill our HR bookshelves and podcast streams in one setting!
- Think Outside of the Box – With so many session options, the SHRM Annual Conference and Expo provides a great opportunity to learn about HR-related topics that may be new to you. Find sessions that cover areas that you are unfamiliar with, but you may want to learn more about. See what piques your interest. I usually try to find at least one session that is “out of my wheelhouse” and gives me something to think about and learn from.
- Pick Some Favorites – After you have attended several SHRM Annual Conference & Expos, State Conferences, or even chapter events, you may start to see some familiar names and faces at these events. My list this year includes speakers that I have seen before but cannot wait to see again at SHRM 21. Some of these include Steve Browne (who I have seen countless times), Louis Lessig, Jennifer McClure, and Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.
- Don’t Worry About FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) – With hundreds of sessions, eleven content tracks, keynote sessions, concurrent sessions, mega sessions, Smart Stage presentations, and a huge exhibit hall…trust me, you will not see everything, and that is OK! Yes, you may not see every presentation and session that you may want, but that just gives you another reason to then look ahead to SHRM 22 and see what is on the schedule next year!
Whether you are attending or not, please follow the conference on social media. I will be posting regularly as a member of the SHRM 21 Influencer Team on both LinkedIn and Twitter using hashtags: #SHRM21 #SHRM21Influencer #SHRMNMTE