Ep 84 – #SHRM16 Conference Preview

It’s that time of year again, when HR and recruiting practitioners travel from far and wide to attend the annual SHRM conference. This year, the event is nearly sold out with more than 15,000 professionals making their way to Washington DC.

Episode 84: SHRM Annual Conference Preview in Washington DC

In our 2016, SHRM Preview, we are looking for the hidden gems and the best tips, suggestions and strategies from conference veterans to help us navigate this amazing but overwhelming conference. I’m talking to 3 conference attendees who know their stuff. Let’s get this SHRM preview party started!

Kristina Minyard, Corporate Recruiter for Dynetics

Kristina, says SHRM is great because we want to connect with our peers and have fun. It’s hard because we are sometimes pretty isolated at work. She suggests that attendees pick a problem to solve and go to the SHRM conference with an agenda. Find sessions to help you to solve that problem and don’t float aimlessly.

The Conference Digest Daily (email) is great to get ideas, suggestions and for evening events, breakfasts. SHRM Connect is a great place for those kind of things.

Kristina also suggests you stop by the volunteer leader lounge. Some state councils are having dinners, meet ups and opportunities to connect with each other. Do your best to attend your state councils. Connect with Kristina Minyard on LinkedIn & Twitter, @HRecruit.

Kristen Daukas, Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media for Atlantic Webworks

Kristen is a conference planner, content creator and marketing mogul who represents her client, US Connect. They are a leading integrated technical food service provider.

Kristen tells me that the exhibit hall has more than 600 vendors and companies. She says conferences like SHRM can be very overwhelming if you let them. Do your research beforehand and build a strategy. Companies at the conference want to hear from you and are looking for feedback at the conference and event so be sure to share with them. It’s the perfect time for one stop shopping.

Be prepared and plan in advance. Conferences are exhausting. There is no way you can take advantage of everything so understand priorities and be open to opportunities that present themselves. Plan out your sessions with your teams or friends. They can span out and share each other’s notes. Connect with Kristen Daukas on LinkedIn & Twitter, @kristendaukas.

Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR for LaRosa’s and SHRM Board Member

Steve Browne is leading a session on Tuesday at 2:15 PM on the topic of HR on Purpose. He is here to remind HR to stop apologizing for who we are. Steve says we need to own what we do and be proud of the industry, our jobs and focus on building relationships. Being engaged yourself as an HR person and making it work with the larger the organization.

Steve suggests as you walk around the conference to acknowledge others. Never miss an opportunity to say hello and get to know those who are attending sessions, in the line at the SHRM shuttle or walking in the expo hall. You can connect with Steve Browne at the Blogger’s Lounge, on LinkedIn & Twitter, @sbrownehr. As a board member, Steve is here to connect you.

My SHRM 2016 Tip for You: 

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be at SHRM in DC this year. I’m looking forward to meeting, connecting and getting to know you. In researching my plan of attack for the annual conference this year, I learned that much of the DC metro is under construction, which means long delays and weird schedules. My husband, who actually works in the DC metro and travels from our home in Oklahoma, recommends that you take Uber versus the metro or bus. You might pay a little extra but you’ll arrive at your destination more quickly which means more time to connect with peers and other conference attendees.



*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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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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