• 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.

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    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!