7 Steps to Get the Most Out of #SHRM13

Maximize Your Experience at #SHRM13

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Is this your first year at SHRM? Do you want to know how to get the most out of SHRM activities? I have compiled a list of things to do while visiting Chicago during SHRM’s annual conference and exposition June 16-19th.

7 Steps to Get the Most Out of #SHRM13


Know what sessions you’re attending. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not planning the sessions you want to attend ahead of time. Without proper planning you’ll miss out on some of the great sessions by not scheduling your time effectively. As a three day conference there will be a lot of sessions to attend knowing ahead of time will help you maximize the type of knowledge you want to consume.

Meet and Eat. One of the better networking opportunities at SHRM is their Meet and Eat activity. This is an organized dinner during the conference at a type of resume of your choosing with complete strangers who are also attending the conference. Take advantage of the Meet and Eat and enjoy a more structured, yet exciting way to meet new people.

SHRM Exposition. The exposition hall is a fast-paced place where attendees are able to meet with vendors in over ten different areas. The exposition provides networking opportunities mixed with information gathering. You can meet up with other attendees over lunches or snacks during the Grand Opening Reception. This all takes place Sunday night.

SHRM Certifications Preparation Courses. Are you thinking of sitting down and obtaining your PHR, SPHR or any other accreditation? The annual conference at SHRM offers several preparation courses for HRMP, PHR/SPHR and GPHR accreditations. Classes are offered Friday-Sunday and would be beneficial if you want to sharpen up on your studies.

Attend sessions, earn HRCI recertification requirements. You already paid for the membership so why not get the most out of it? You can earn up to 14 recertification for attending specific sessions and additional credits by being apart of preconference programs. Check out all that SHRM offers to you in this aspect by visiting the conferences official website.

Enjoy Chicago! Most aren’t able to get away for 3-4 days at a time with no kids or commitment. Use this time to enjoy Chicago. Plan to explore the city a bit even if you do have to miss a session or two. We’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Things to do in Chicago in case you’re looking for suggestions on how to explore.

Network. This should be a dead giveaway, but every year there are people who attend sessions and head back to their hotel room without networking with anyone in the space. The great thing about HR people is that they’re willing to help each other. Go out there, make some new friends and you’ll reap the benefits when you have a question and you’re able to call up a friend.

For SHRM veterans what do you recommend a newbie do to get the most out of this conference? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add our favorites!

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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.

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