• SHRM Atlanta Takeaways

    The exhibit hall at SHRM ATL 13

    The exhibit hall at SHRM ATL 13

    I have been back from the SHRM Atlanta conference for a couple of days now and had a chance to gather my thoughts about the event. First and foremost I would like to thank the Board of SHRM Atlanta for putting on a superb event.  It all worked;  the hotel, the meeting rooms, the exhibit hall, lunch and the tweet-up.

    There were a number of familiar faces on-site, all smiling and enjoying themselves.  It was particularly nice to run into Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritsen, who apparently brought down the house with their opening keynote address.  Unfortunately, I did not arrive in time to catch them. Those of us in Illinois hold Talent Anarchy in high regard.

    One thing that did jump out to me about this conference was that there was really no regionality to the event.  Any of the Atlanta sessions would have worked just as well in Albuquerque or Anchorage.  This tells me HR shares the same issues no matter where you are in the country – and probably in North America.

    Some other things that I noticed at the event were that HR folks in Hotlanta dress nicer than those in the Mid-West. Many, if not most, of the men had on coats – yeah sport coats or suits.  The women – many dresses.  I told one of my friends Deborah Herman, I expected to hear ZZ Top bust out into Sharp Dressed Man at some point.  This actually was a nice departure from what I have become used to.

    I was somewhat surprised at the continued lack of adoption of twitter by HR Pros.  I took  a look at Tweet Reach and only found 707 tweets for the event. (Although I do not know what that time frame represents.)  There were a number of the social media luminaries there, but overall I really didn’t feel the twitter big buzz.  Nonetheless, Jim Stroud and Teela Jackson took it upon themselves to do some heavy lifting on  the twitter stream for the conference.

    Probably the most interesting thing I encountered in the exhibit hall was a booth selling Pet Insurance as an employee voluntary benefit. VPI Pet had two representatives on site and they were working the crowd very well.

    I did get to attend a few sessions (so I could grab some of those old HRCI re-cert credits).  I caught the end of Joe Gerstandt doing “No, Great Minds Do NOT think Alike.”  Joe gets an A+.  I also caught Beth Miller speaking on Multi-Generational Management.  I give her a B+.  She needed to have her twitter handle out there so folks could mention her in their tweets.  And the only other session I attended was one that Teela Jackson commanded me to attend (not really).  Jennifer Mc Clure did an encore presentation of her program “From HR Leader to Business Leader.”   Her room filled up early, and there was simply no place left for anyone to sit.  So the ever gracious Jennifer did it again. A+

    Julie and I getting ready

    Then capping off the day were the last break out sessions at 3 PM on day two of the conference.  This was my reason for being there. I, along with my co-presenter Julie Moreland Senior VP from PeopleClues presented, as advertised, a highly interactive session, on HR Thinking Creatively.  I would like to thank Julie and People Clues for giving me the opportunity to work with them.  I would really also like to thank the 30 or so people who stuck around and joined in our session. It was an excellent group – diehards; each and every one of them. I do need to call a few of the folks out by name – Deborah Herman, Chris Havrilla, Lisa Watson and especially my friend Mike Haberman.  They all stuck with us, and Mike was gracious enough to talk about our presentation in one of his blog posts on SHRM ATL.  SHRM Atlanta ’13 was great experience for me. I got to visit with and make some new friends, meet up with some old friends, and I was a presenter at an awesome conference – a pretty good way to spend a couple of days out of  the office.

     
  • SHRM Atlanta Bound

    SHRM-ATL LogoSaturday April 27th, 2013.  –  SHRM Atlanta begins on Monday morning April 29th.  I have attended and participated in my share of HR events, most of them in the Mid-West. On Monday I am off to a different region, to look at conference from a little different prospective.   I will be a Mid-Westerner in the South, and I will a speaker at one of the break out session.

    Fortunately for me, I am not flying solo, I will be presenting with the Uber-Talented  Julie Morelandfrom People Clues. Julie and I are leading an interactive session entitled HR Thinking Creatively.   This is going to be an intensely interactive session, so much, that I imagine (although I hope not) we may chase a few folks out at the opening.  The session takes place at 3 PM, and is the last of the day, as well as the last of the conference.  The challenge is on,  but I am confident we will bring home the goods!

    Past all of this, I am stoked to attend the event.  My twitter buddy Teela Jackson is one of the main conference organizers, and the President Elect of SHRM-ATL.  Teela tops the list of people I want to visit.  However, I must comment, as I reviewed the agenda I have discovered this is in-fact a varitable whose-who of peeps who will presenting at the event – below are  just the ones I know (and I am honored to be among them.)

    Jennifer Mc Clure | Matt Charney | Joe Gerstandt | Jason Lauritsen | Eric Winegardner | William Tincup | Daniel Crosby | Chris Hoyt

    I will no doubt have some tweets, some Facebook posts, and probably a blog post or two from the event.  So it’s off to Hartsfield- Jackson.

     

     

     
  • Networking Did I do it Right

    I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. SHRM’s director of Social Engagement, Curtis Midkiff included me in his blog squad of over 70 people. Additionally, Sabrina Baker and Susan Avello, a couple of my peers from Illinois were also in this group. Said another way, we were Curtis’ guests. We were also hosted by the folks from Dice.com in the bloggers lounge, and they turned out to be a great partner for all of the bloggers and SHRM as well.

    As part of the deal it was expected that we would attend and help promote the event through social media outlets, that we would attend certain events and that we write and tweet about it.  Heck that’s one thing we all enjoy doing, so who wouldn’t want to go to the big show and do what you enjoy doing.

    When you get on site along with the rest of the folks (the numbers vary but let’s say 15,000) the opportunity to network is phenomenal.  This was not a stated objective of the blog squad, but it is also very conference like.   The first stop was meeting all of my fellow bloggers that I already knew and exchanging hugs and handshakes.  Next I wanted to meet some of the folks that I had not met  in real life.  Most of these folks could be found either at The Hive or The Blogger’s  Lounge.  After hooking up with blogger friends it was time to meet some people and make some new friends.

    On Sunday evening I was at one of the tweet-ups where I was conversing with my fellow Illinoisans; Susan and Sabrina whereupon we were roundly castigated by a Mr. Steve Browne, networker extraordinaire.  Steve told the three of us,“Hey you folks from Illinois, break it up, go meet some new people, you can talk to each other when you get back home.”   While Steve’s comment was somewhat tongue in cheek, knowing Steve I suspect he was about 2/3 serious.

    While at the big show I continued to attend the litany of events, traveling to them with new friends, and friends from out of town – ones that I rarely get to see. I was networking.

    Now that’s the set-up; word got back to me via several folks that I was snubbing the Illinois SHRM delegation, because I didn’t go hang with them.  Really?  I thought I was doing the right thing.  Well see where Big Steve comes down on this one. The jury is out.

     
  • Looking for me – Better Catch a Buzz

    I apologize, I have not posted in a while here at home.

    Why?  Largely because I am part of a team of 70+ social media enthusiasts who will be helping to cause a BUZZ at the SHRM Annual Conference in Atlanta begining June 24 and running through Wednesday June 27.

    As part of the team, I have been asked to put most of my posts up at the conference site www.buzz.annual.shrm.org.  So if you are into the HR stuff, that I mostly talk about here at the HR Official, you should probably be watching this site for the next 5 days.

    On twitter the most common hashtag for the event is going to be #SHRM12.

    There will no doubt be a ton of content on Google Plus and on Facebook.  If you would like to see my facebook stuff you can find me there at www.facebook.com/davethehrczar .  Send me a note, mention the blog and I’ll friend you.

    Thanks to all of you who look at this occasionally, I really do appreciate you giving what I have to say a look.

     
  • The Buzz Site, SHRM12 and Social Media

    A Happy conference attendee getting her book autographed by Marcus Buckingham - SHRM-2010

    If you follow much at all of what is going on in this space, you certainly know that the SHRM Annual Conference is coming up in Atlanta.  It is at the end of June, start of July – just about the same time every year.  Volumes have been written about the conference, the attendees and so on, so suffice it to say it is a big deal. If you work, live or feed off of the HR space, it is something you should attend routinely; even if you have to pay your own way.

    Again, this year I have been lucky enough to find myself in the ranks of those attending. I am attending as part of a cast of social media bloggers.   In 2010 in San Diego SHRM has an official blog squad of 5. This year it is 75.  Amazing, Simply Amazing.

    Given the count it is obvious that top power players at SHRM have dedicated a lot of resources to social media this year. However, like any other business entity, even the Not for Profits, they are looking for their return on investment.    I am not sure specifically how that will be measured.  In my opinion, while aspects of social media can be monitored and measured – I am unclear on how you accurately measure the true impact?

    I have noticed on a number of television shows now, such as Dancing with the Stars, American’s got Talent and Deadliest Catch the producers are now marrying the tweet stream with the show. I also see Delta Airlines, and their #DeltaAssist program growing. Again I am not sure how what this is generating or how it is being measured, but it is continuing to grow.

    I think this is reflective of the business intrigue surrounding Social Media.  There is so much going with SM it is mind boggling. We have new sites, new tools, court cases, new users, IPOs going on, and just when you think you have a handle on it everything changes.

    Now back to the conference, let’s discuss this year.   I think that SHRM is to be applauded for their efforts and the amount of resources they are dedicating to this year’s event.

    My worst fear is that it has become a case of go big, or go home, with the analogy being this.  If we (SHRM) don’t see some tangible results from this event we will contemplate a “push back” from social media.  I hope my fears are unfounded.  To help ally my fears I implore all of you to share in the conference via social media – even if you aren’t there. Watch the tweet stream, check out the video uploads, watch the Facebook posts, read some of the thousands of blog posts that will be coming out – and lastly share it with a friend or acquaintance who is not yet immersed in Social Media.  In order to get the needed ROI we must continue to grow the base.

    One final note, a specail and unique web site has been launched just for and about the conference. The site is called The Buzz and you can find it here.

     
  • Going to the SHRM Big Show

    To quote the Pointer Sisters,  “I’m so Excited and I just can’t stand it.”   I am going to the Big Show in Atlanta – and I am going to be part of the SHRM Social Media Team.

    If you have attended one of the National Conferences, you know what a mammoth event it is, if you have never been, you should do whatever you can to attend the event – really. Charlie Judy says you should go, even if you have to pay your own way. For the record, I agree with Charlie.

    If you have never attended a SHRM National Conference, you can not grasp the largess, the over the topness of the whole event.   It can only be held at a handful of venues, because these venues are among the few in the country that can accommodate the number of attendees (often near 15,000). Flying to the event you will find that probably 25% to 33% of the people on the plane are going to SHRM.  There are dozens of motor coaches contracted to move attendees from hotel to the conference  venue and back. The SHRMies descend upon a city and overtake it.

    What do you get from the conference? It is learning and seeing.  There are countless breakout session covering every HR Topic imaginable, and a few unimaginable.  The HRCI credits abound – even the strategic ones. You also get to see.  On the exhibit floor, it is an HR Carnival on mega-steroids.  There is every product or service that you could conceivably want to purchase on exhibit.  This is not the run of the mill stuff man, this is the cutting edge stuff. The vendors are showing off, trying to get the HR folks jacked up!

    The Networking is unbelievable as well.  And if you are a SHRM member and you are not into networking with your peers – you might want check out your own EAP to see how you can fix that.

    I was looking for video to give you a flavor of the event, and I found a great one from my friend Jennifer McClure.  You know I first met her face to face at a break out session at the 2010 SHRM Conference in San Diego.  Funny how those relationship develop and grow.  Take a look at Jennifer’s video wrap from Las Vegas 2011.

    My 2011 SHRM Annual Conference Experience – from Jennifer McClure

    I hope to see you there in Atlanta!