Well, it was bound to happen eventually. In a week I’ll be venturing to Washington, DC in order to attend the SHRM Leadership Conference. It’s geared towards SHRM Volunteer Leaders, and I definitely have an interest in becoming one. Much of what I do now isn’t exactly in the spotlight when it comes to helping SHRM leaders learn and grow. Things like the SHRM chapter leadership guide are pretty unobtrusive, but they can really help chapter leaders to think about things critically instead of running their chapter “the way it’s always been done.”

I pushed hard to attend, talking with my local chapter, reading up on the requirements, and even going so far as to pitch the idea to SHRM to help me get there (yeah, right, but I still had to try). In the end my local chapter backed me up (as they always seem to) and the big boys at SHRM didn’t (as they always seem to). I thought the pitch was a good one. I’ve included the text of it below.

I have heard so many great things about the leadership conference, but the problem is that it has all been from word of mouth. I’ve never read another blogger really dig deep into what happens there and how they benefited from attending the event. While I spend a considerable amount of time volunteering with my local chapter, my position as webmaster/social media coordinator doesn’t qualify me for a ticket to the event. Bottom line: I would love to have the opportunity to share about the event and promote it to my audience and network.

I know it is more of a niche event, but I believe it has the potential to radically change how SHRM reaches and guides its volunteer leaders. I so strongly believe in the idea of bringing volunteer leaders together that I have created a LinkedIn group to gather feedback and form some close ties to the SHRM leaders in the field.

Because I’m also involved with the HRYP committee with Chuck, I’d love to find a way to help reach the young volunteers and help bring them into the leadership conference experience. WIthout them seeing the value in attending, the event will be losing a lot of attendees in the coming years.

I’d like to write about the leadership conference from several angles:

  • First, from that of a first-time attendee. What’s it all about and is it even worth the trip?
  • Second, from the young volunteer leader’s perspective. Is this a tool that can provide me and my chapter with value?
  • Third, from my blogging persona. This event really is where a lot of connections and changes are made that other people never even have the opportunity to observe. I want to push bloggers to learn more about SHRM and share how their experiences have influenced their careers and organizations, because this is where the magic happens.

See? Not really a hard sell, but it has a lot of potential if they want to prove the value to the young HR professionals and other new and future SHRM volunteer leaders around the country (world?). Anyway, like I said, my local SHRM chapter made it happen for me, so I’ll be going and focusing on ideas to really help them in the coming year. I have a lot of ideas on my mind already, and I’ll be traveling with our president-elect, so there will be some deep discussions on chapter strategy on the trip to DC. If you’re going, shoot me an email. I’d love to meet you there!

By the way, my friend Dave Ryan did a little survey and realized that only 1.57% of the attendees for the event are active on Twitter. Not sure if that’s above or below the average, but I’m interested to see what happens when we get together.

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  • 4 thoughts on “SHRM Leadership Conference

    1. Given it will be my 11th straight Leadership Conference, it’ll be interesting to get your perspective compared to my aged and jaded self.

    2. Kudos to your chapter for providing you with this opportunity! Alas, I won’t be attending this year, but here is a task I put before you: try to ascertain how many of the HRYP’s are in attendance. Or people remotely close to the YP demographic. The 2 years I attended Leadership, the attendee-mix skewed heavily toward the boomer demographic.

      But there was a very good male/female mix, which I always found interesting considering how the HR demographics are so heavily female.

      p.s. pretty soon, SHRM can have Matt emcee the opening session! ;)

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