I love the energy of the Expo Hall and this year’s Expo Hall at 2018 SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago did not disappoint. I did some due diligence and made an Expo Hall plan so that I could have some targeted time. Before the conference, I shared some tips on how to work the expo hall like a pro, and I wanted to share how following those suggestions lead me to some interesting products, services, and technologies.
Top Expo Hall Picks at SHRM Annual Conference 2018
I had some GREAT conversations and this year I wanted to focus in on the health and wellness space — and I came up with three really cool trends who were doing some pretty cool innovative things in the space.
I was SO excited to see someone in this space at the conference this year! As a new(er) mom (…who breastfed for 20 months!) I have a new appreciation for the importance of having a clean, readily available place(s) to pump or nurse. I would go to mom groups and my heart would break when I heard others share stories of others who didn’t have a place to pump at work, or as asked to pump in a “converted” closet, or stopped breastfeeding because it was too hard to get a space. Mamava was at the conference this year and they showcased their mother room pods — you may have seen these at your local airport or museum — or any other number of areas. Also DayOne Baby was at the conference showing their portable breastfeeding pods. I’m thrilled that there are companies who are trying to address some of these pain points for our employees — it’s hard enough coming back from maternity leave and return to work without also being stressed out about when and where you are going to pump and store your milk.
So I wasn’t so sure what “neuro-meditation” was but the folks at the StoryUP were happy to give me some more information on what it was and show me their apps for mindfulness and meditation. In a world full of stress its an option to take a quick moment to reset. I liked the application of the app and thought that their company had a pretty cool story. They also have a cool virtual reality headset (I didn’t try) but I did check out the app. I expect that we’ll be talking more about this in as HR people and see it start to crop up in wellness programs and EAP offerings (that’s just my opinion based on my own HR gut)..
Alternatives to Standing Desks
If you are like me you have a love-hate relationship with your standing desk. My legs are on fire right about an hour an a half in but I try to power through it because I know that there are tremendous health benefits to standing. I’ve always wanted a treadmill or cycle desk but they haven’t always been so convenient to my workspace. Enter two cool vendors that I saw at the conference this year. Cubii has taken the concept of the under the desk elliptical and kicked it up a notch. I have to admit, I geeked out a bit when I saw their booth (I think I scared them with my enthusiasm, seriously!)– I first heard of Cubii several years ago during their Kickstarter campaign and so I was thrilled to see them at SHRM. I also spotted a company called LifeSpan. They also have standing, treadmill, and cycle desks — but they also have balance boards! I had heard of these but hadn’t seen one in person. I have to admit, I was super intimidated by it when I first saw it, but they encouraged me to give it a try at their booth and I’m glad that I did. I love the idea that it’s small and portable, yet super engaging –perfect for moving for moving from different workspaces or even sharing!
What do you think? Did you, or a co-worker, go to SHRM this year and if so — what were some of the cool trends or conversations that you had with vendors?