SHRM Outside the Conference. Outside the Box

SHRM Outside the Conference. Outside the Box


As a first time atendee to the SHRM Global Conference, I wanted to get the most out of every single minute in sessions, keynotes, and evening activities. A conference is more than just sessions, tracks, talks, and the bookstore.  It’s about a state of mind and experiencing your conference experience outside the box and outside of SHRM.

  • Self Reflection. The conference is action packed but between sessions and events, we must self-reflect and decompress otherwise we can quickly approach information overload.  I found sanctuary during my state at SHRM in the HRCI Hideaway.  Certified professionals can relax, eat, and engage quietly from the crowds.  One of the highlights of my conference experience was my 15 minute back, neck and foot massage in the Hideaway.
  • Mingle. Mingle outside your comfort zone and outside your circle of friends at large and small conferences and events such as this.  SHRM encourages networking among like-minded professionals in a comfortable and controlled atmosphere with a program called, Meet and Eat. I attended dinner at la Fiesta with 19 other strangers over dinner and met some amazing HR professionals from all over the United States. Meet and Eat has groups from large to small at a variety of different restaurants throughout the conference.  I encourage all professionals to attend an event such as this.
  • Be Friends with Vendors. To make the most of my time when visiting the vendor hall, I targeted specific vendors in which to meet with.  Just like when making my grocery list, I created a list in order of booth number to make my visits organized, smooth, and controlled.  Because I am a consultant and business owner who is always in sales and engagement mode, I wanted to make the most of my time.  I employ this strategy at the grocery store by writing my list in order of the store and depending on how busy the store is, I leave with a cart full of groceries in 30 minutes.
  • Social Stream. Hands down the social stream in my opinion was the best way to engage the conference outside of the box whether you are here in San Diego or listening in from your office, smart phone, or living room.  At the time of this blog post being published, there were over 5,700 tweets that included the #shrm10 hash tag over 7 days.  The Monster Street team with @beneubanks and @cincyrecruiterSmart Brief’s video coverage of the conference and  along with the other three members of the SHRM 10 Blog Squad, David Bowles@akabruno, and @adowling.

I think that Eric Winegardner, the VP of Client Adoption at Monster Worldwide said it best, “This conference (SHRM) is about optimisim and with tools like social media we no longer have to say, see you next year.  We can say see you tomorrow.”

Winegardner’s sentiments have been echoed throughout this amazing event.   The openness is surprising refreshing and with the rapid adoption of social media at this conference, SHRM can truly say it’s officially moving to Next and outside of the conference, outside of the box.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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