#SHRM12 Conference Unofficial Party Guide

How to Navigate the Human Resource Conference and Parties

For human resource managers, an HR conference is a must. The SHRM 2012 Annual Conference & Exposition is right around the corner. This year the national conference is being held from June 24th to the 27th in Atlanta and if you haven’t registered yet, get over to SHRM.org and get on it!  Party information is listed below, but if you’d like to stay current with party reminders and new events as they surface, text SHRM12 to 55678.

Of course it’s not only the training for HR professionals that makes national HR commences such an important part of continuing education in HR management.  As with anything, it’s the people you met and the networking that goes on form being able to relate to people in a conference setting. A very important part of that are the conference parties.

But first, if you happen to be taking your children to the SHRM conference, I might advise that the party nightlife might not be the best environment for them.  Besides there is ALOT in Atlanta to do for the kiddos and for adults looking to get away, SHRM also offers childcare options.  My daughter, the infamous @ryleighmerrell, however, is not coming with me no matter how many people ask.  It’s a little mommy-free time for me at the SHRM 2012.

How to Navigate the Human Resource Conference and Parties

My secret to conferences including this year’s SHRM Conference in Atlanta is simple.  I try to make it into my room just before 2:00 AM.  I’m not the first to go home from a night out among my friends, and I’m not the last.  I sleep five hours and am up by 7:00 AM and back into the conference folds by 8:30 AM.  I eat, attend sessions, demo products, and meet with HR folks.  I love doing this!

Around 4:00 PM I am dragging so I wait for my second wind except that it doesn’t happen.  I head back to my hotel to grab a couple hours of sleep.  I’m recharged, refreshed, and just in time for dinner and the night life all over again.

Because of the sheer size of SHRM 2012 Annual Conference (it’s 15,000+ attendees strong), there is a lot going on especially after hours.  Let me tell you those SHRM parties do not disappoint.  Last year I got a lot of great feedback on my 2011 SHRM Unofficial Party Guide, and so I bring you the 2012 version.

SHRM Annual Conference 2012 Party Guide

If you have a party, that is not included in this list, leave a comment, and I’ll add it.  Make sure to include a link or phone number so HR folks know how to register and a location of where to go.

SHRM Pre-Conference; Saturday, June 23rd

  • SoMe-tup.  7:00-11:00 PM.  Hosted by the Social HR Camp at Pulse.  Cost is $10 but blog readers attend free with promo code SHRMVIP.  Register.

SHRM Conference Day 1; Sunday, June 24th

  • HRCI Hideaway Networking.  Hosted by HRCI.  11:00 AM-2:00 PM.  Inside the Georgia World Congress Center.  Register.
  • SHRM Street Hockey.  No HR Conference is complete without a street hockey match.  5:00-6:00 PM.  Georgia World Congress Center.  Register.
  • SkillSoft Party. 6:00 PM-8:00 PM.  Stats.  Dinner served promptly at 7 PM.  Attendees can snag a city pass which will get you into 5 Atlanta attractions free.  Register.
  • TLNT-up.  7:30-9:30 PM.  Stats.  Hosted by TLNT and Bright Jobs.  Guaranteed registration is limited to HR Practitioners or join the stand by list.  Register.

SHRM Conference Day 2; Monday, June 25th

  • Tennessee SHRM Mixer.  3:30-6:00 PM.  Legal Seafoods (Ground Floor Oyster Bar).  No registration information available.
  • Fisher & Phillips Party.  5:30-8:30 PM.   The Georgia Dome.  Hosted by Fisher & Phillips.  Invitees were notified via direct mail cards but you can snag an evening with employment law attorneys.  Register.
  • Exclusive Cocktail Party.  6:00-8:00 PM.  Stats.  Hosted by BackTrack & MyStaffing Pro.  Drinks & appetizers.  Invite says to present this postcard.  No RSVP necessary.
  • Plum Benefits Cocktail Mixer.  6:00-8:00 PM. Taps. Drinks & appetizers.  Text your RSVP to Chris at 914-806-3584.  Tell them Jessica at Blogging4Jobs sent you.
  • Dinner & Cocktails with Constangy.  6:30-9:30 PM.  Mary Mac’s Tea Room.  Drinks & Dinner.  RSVP deadline has passed.  More information or contact Contact Shana Holmes at sholmes@constangy.com  or 404.230.6763.
  • Southern Affair.  7:00-10:00 PM.  Georgia Aquarium.  Hosted by Career Builder.  Registration is thru June 18th, or until sold out and is by invite only. Register. (Sold out.  CB is being stingy & they won’t let you guys have access even though I asked nicely.)
  • #SHRM12  Tweetup.  8:00-11:00 PM.  Der Beirgarten.  Hosted by the folks at SHRM where you can eat, plus tweet, and meet.  Register.
  • Cocktails on the Skyline.  5:00-8:00 PM.  Visit the Purchasing Power’s SHRM12 Booth  #331 for more party information because they won’t tell me.

SHRM Conference Day 3; Tuesday, June 26th

  • Social Siesta.  2:00-4:00 PM.  Location Hilton Garden Inn.  Hosted by me, Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR.  Register.
  • SHRM Blogger Party.  5:00-7:00 PM.  Blogger’s Lounge at the Atlanta Convention Center.  Hosted by SHRM & Dice.  Register.
  • Jerry Seinfeld Live.  8:30 PM. Location is the Atlanta Convention Center.  Hosted by SHRM. Ticket included with purchase of conference included in registration.  Learn more.

Plan to have fun, meet great Human Resource managers and professionals and don’t forget to grab a handful of business cards and, of course, your dancing shoes. SHRM Conference parties are not to be missed which is why I’m here to help, Text SHRM to 55678 and I’ll send you new party information as they surface and remind you of the upcoming events 30 minutes before they happen.


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Leah Lewis says


    This is Amazing. You have really laid out a great foundation for HR professionals looking to maximize their conference experience. I can’t wait to meet you!

    Keep up the great work.

    I love it!!!

    • Darlene says

      Hello Leah,

      You are awesome and you are everywhere! She does this every year and I love it too! See you at dinner on Saturday in Atlanta!

  2. Peter Brannan says


    Thunder up! Thanks for a great SHRM blog. See you in Atlanta.


  3. Sarah says

    This is such great info! My first conference, so articles like this are so helpful! Would you say for most of these you must have your conference badge? Or can you bring a guest?

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says

      Hi Sarah,

      Some of them are sticklers and will only allow SHRM Conference registered attendees to the events. Some of the events are not affiliated with SHRM and you should be able to bring a friend without an official badge.

      See you there.



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