• TNSHRM and Mission Point

    Every Human Resource Conference has at least one, if not more Flagship Conference Sponsor.  They are the Company whose name is the biggest on the marquee and on all of the literature.  They are also the Company who has dedicated the most resources (dollars and people) to this event.  This year at TNSHRM13 that organization was Mission Point.

    Have you even thought about this — a company has paid a gazillion dollars to bring in an ostentatious booth to a show, have their staff all attired alike, seemingly giving away money, or a close equivalent.  Why in god’s name would they do this?  Do they have so much money they are trying to get rid of it to lower their income tax liability,  is it a cult, or are they just weird?  No;  they do it because you and me, the attendees, at these events are the people they want and need to talk to, in order to grow their business.

    And it is my opinion, that every conference you attend you should spend at least 5 to 10 minutes listening to what the flagship sponsor has to say.  After all the money they are spending on the event, just to try to get in front of you help keep your ticket price down.  This is savings for you or your employer or both.  You may think that you are not in a position to buy, use, resell whatever it is that the sponsor is selling, and maybe you aren’t – TODAY.  But, one never knows where the future will take us, and in what capacity we may be operating in at that time. It will also help you be plugged into what is going on in the industry around you.

    I once had a friend who sold the services of a freight company.  He was always infuriated by one large local shipper who would never see him.  He would always confide in me and say, “If he won’t see me at least once a year, he is not doing his job right. How does he know I might not be offering up a 90% discount?”  In other words he didn’t think this fellow had a handle on what was going on in his industry.

    So now are you feeling guilty because you did not drop by and chat with the good people at Mission Point, and perhaps you don’t know what is going on?  Well brother Dave can help you repent!  I did stop by the booth and chatted briefly with Allison Foulds – Vice President Client Services for Mission Point Health Systems.  Here is what she had to say about being at TNSHRM13.  Check it out, maybe they can help you. If not you can be thankful that they helped support a great event and a bunch of Human Resource professionals.  Thanks Mission Point!

     

     
  • Observations from TNSHRM13

    Compared to most other SHRM state conferences this one is large. I am told that there were nearly 1200 people in attendance.  That is big.  The location for the event moves around the state on a four year cycle. It goes from Memphis to Nashville, to Knoxville to Chattanooga.  The story is that Nashville always draw best due to it central location.

    TNSHRM seems to have more men in attendance than most other state or the national conference. I would say it looked like about a 50/50 mix men to women here.  Most other events seem to favor women 75/25; just check the bathroom lines at any of the events and you will see what I mean.tweetdeck

    The venue of the Opryland hotel (a Gaylord Property) is amazing.  The atrium area is huge and simply amazing. Go on line and check it out. My attempt to describe to describe it would not do it justice.

    HR issues in the macro sense do not change from state to state. Employee engagement, turnover, diversity issues and hiring practices are concerns in all 50 states.  You will see virtually the same agenda in Ohio, Wisconsin,  Tennessee or Illinois.

    Tennessee SHRM has done an excellent job of assembling a great staff of unpaid volunteers. They are all friendly, dedicated and immensely competent. Kudos one and all!

    Monday’s lunch was served buffet and hot. It was good and the seating was plentiful.

    The exhibition hall is rocking.  There are the peaks and valleys when sessions are going on (slow in the hall) and when they are out (rocking in the hall).  The traffic is good. I am guessing that there are 150+ vendors, making the event big but not too big.

    The last thing is to reflect upon is social media and it conference interaction.  I know from the people I have been working with that they have worked diligently attempting to give social media a large presence at this event.  They have done an excellent job. They admit that there is more to do, but due to their perseverance they have shown the TNSHRM board that there is merit and value into using social media as a way to both promote the event and interact with participants and vendors.  The Social Media team here in Tennessee is feeling positive about their efforts as I feel they should.

    Today is full day number two.  I think things will only get better on Tuesday. At this point if I could change one thing about TNSHRM13… I am not sure what that might be.   More to come…

     
  • TNSHRM13 – Volunteers make it Happen

    Nashville , TN – September 15, 2013…

    The Social Media Team is assembled.  We are here to do our thing.  We will support the conference, its

    IMG_2214organizers, its sponsors and all of the volunteers who help pull off an event like this. I had been meeting with the team, having dinner and a drink or two. We are good to go!

    On my way back to my room, I thought I would check out the digs one more time.  The conference hall (for the exhibitors) was coming together nicely.  It looks like most of the hardware is in place. The displays were set. The signs for the am sessions were ready.

    Then I walked down by the registration desk to see three women there.  These three  women who were  there, were there when I registered at about 2 PM. It was now pushing 8 PM, and they were going to be there until 9 PM.  I stopped to chat with them.  They were still all smiles and most courteous.

    I asked them if they would chat with me a bit.  They did.  They are Aimee Hull,  Shannan Duggin and Verta Ross.  Aimee and Verta were co-chairs for registration and  finance. Shannan’s official role is as a chapter management professional.    These ladies had been on-site since 6:30 am and were working until 9 PM.   At my shop those kind of hours are grievance material. These ladies were still happy and smiling.

    IMG_2216

    Verta, Shannan and Aimee (L to R)

    So if  you see  Aimee, Shannan or Verta during the conference, or any one of the TNSHRM volunteers goes out of their way to help you or make you feel welcome, tell them this.  “Thanks, I appreciate your efforts and volunteerism!” These three and many others like them are the people that really make these conferences happen.  When asked why do you do this, Verta responded, like this, “Because it’s fun and I get to meet people from around the state.  It allows me to give back to the organization that has allowed me to develop.”

    So during the conference know this, it is volunteers like this that make these conferences happen.  They don’t get much out of it, other than the satisfaction of knowing they did their job well.

    Please treat them accordingly!

     
  • The MTSHRM Tale of Two Dans

    I have been active on twitter since 2009 and on LinkedIn since 2007.  One of the things I love about both of these platforms is the social aspect of them.  It is another way to meet people.  One of the people I have met and befriended this way is named Dan Ryan.   Dan lives in Nashville.   I have a son named Dan Ryan, he lives In Memphis.  Two Dan Ryan’s both live in Tennessee.

    DanRyanLinkedInPageI sought out Nashville Dan’s assistance out after son Dan’s girlfriend moved to Memphis and was in need of employment.  You see Nashville Dan is in the recruiting and employment business.

    As it turns out I found out Nashville Dan grew up right here,in Central Illinois,  in the area where I grew up and still reside.  Small world huh?  I had several conversations with Nashville Dan, about Memphis Dan’s significant other. Ultimately she did find employment. Nashville Dan was most helpful in contacting folks about her, although he knew nothing much about me, other than we shared the same last name and we both worked in Human Resources.

    Along the way Nashville Dan and I had several conversations.  He and I discussed how he might present at ILSHRM.   For whatever reason that did not happen in 2013, perhaps it might happen in 2014.  I really wanted to have an opportunity to get to meet him, and do something to assist him.

    This all came to came back to me last week.  After a couple phone conversation about MTSHRM, I thought  I am going to be in Nashville at a BIG TIME SHRM event.  I would almost bet, for sure, that Nashville Dan will be there.   So I reached out to him last week via LinkedIn.   Guess what, not only is Dan going to be at MTSHRM, he is going to be presenting at a breakout session.   Dan told me about this, and I responded back and told him I will be there to meet him and tweet his session – that’s what I do!

    DanRyanSessionAtMTSHRM

    So  Mr. Ryan I am looking forward to meeting you in real life, as we say – and getting to sit in on your session as part of the MTSHRM Social Media Pit Crew. I can’t wait!

     

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