SHRM 2010 in San Diego, California

SHRM 2010… It’s coming up in just a few short months in San Diego, California. Are you going? Back when SHRM 2009 was going on, I was salivating to attend, and I was really looking forward to SHRM 2010. When I found out it was going to be across the US, my excitement waned. I can’t make that trip.

People often ask if I will be attending this event or that function. Remember, people, I’m an entry level HR pro (in terms of years worked, anyway). I do not have the means to support multiple conferences each year. And my employer being a nonprofit doesn’t really help, either. I’d love to be able to meet some friends (like my pals at HRCP), be a social media evangelist, and generally raise some havoc. But as of this moment, it’s not going to happen.

What I will be doing

Instead of attending SHRM 2010, I’ll be planning the next HRevolution. Right after I returned from the best HR unconference ever, a friend passed me a link to an article about conference design. It’s really an interesting read (I’ve been over it four times already!), and I encourage you to at least skim it. You may get sucked in, too.

I’ve had people tell me that HRev was better than any other HR event than they had ever attended.

Why? What makes it so special? There are a few specifics:

  • Small groups=big discussion
  • Much of it was topical, valuable info (little fluff)
  • Participants helped to shape the event
  • Low cost, high value

While HRev wasn’t a full-blown unconference, the post-event surveys show that those unconference-y aspects were some of the most appreciated. Yes, the lack of a solid takeaway was an annoyance to some, but to others it was an inspiration to seek out answers.

What’s the point?

It would be difficult for me to go to a normal event after such a spectacular showing at HRevolution. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t go or that it wouldn’t be beneficial for me, but I am saying that it would be tough to get as much benefit from that sort of conference. Like I said before, I have friends and contacts to make that would really be beneficial to me at an event like this. However, it’s a steep price (and a long travel distance) just to expand my network of amazing people.

For those of you who plan to attend SHRM 2010 in San Diego, I hope you have a good time. As for me? I’m planning the next HRevolution and looking at ways to make these sorts of things more accessible to the general public. Are you planning to attend? What do you expect to get out of the $1500 ($1100 for members) price tag?

27 thoughts on “SHRM 2010 in San Diego, California

  1. ooh I like the new look! I’m the same as you. As much as I wanted to attend SHRM, it’s TOO expensive! But I am looking forward to the next HR Revolution! Shauna told me that it might be in Chicago?? If so, I will definitely go!

  2. Okay, Ben. You are a really bright guy with more energy and enthusiasm than should belong to one person. Your passion for the HR industry is refreshing and reinforces my belief that you millenials will rescue us and lead our transformation. As a peer, I have some advice.

    You need to attend SHRM 2010 in San Diego. I believe that so much- I am going to make it happen.
    Here’s what we’re gonna do:
    1. China Gorman is going to get you a Press Pass and you are going to blog. Why, because I guarantee you you\’ll learn things! And you will want to share them. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on what you are learning and what you WISHED you were learning. In fact, I like this so much that I challenge SHRM to create a panel discussion entitled, The Dreams for HR Future from Today\’s Front Lines” and you could have seat #1. I would be front and center for that concurrent session! Wait…perhaps it is a general session!

    2. I will cover your hotel expenses at a perfectly fabulous hotel…cuz that is where I will be staying. And promise that between all of your twitter friends there is no way possible you will spend a dime in San Diego.

    3. You will create a road-trip to end all road trips and drive yourself to San Diego. Wait, that is such a bad idea- We\’ll find someone to offer up their private jet. Okay, we\’re HR people…that may be a stretch. We\’ll get you a seat by the lavatory on a commercial plane.

    4. You are going to go into the office tomorrow and request vacation/PTO or give them notice that you are feeling an illness coming on in about five months. I sure hope that doesn\’t require a form!

    You see, the older I get the more I appreciate that true transformation requires passionate people with both a foot in the past and the future. You have the future under control…but I need you to know more about the past. Not to imply that SHRM is the past (because I do NOT believe that!)…but it certainly is a great way of understanding our history and discovering our current plans for the future. There are BRILLIANT people that speak at these events—and even MORE brilliant people that are present and networking. MANY of these people have not joined the dialogue in our beloved Social Media—but that means NOTHING about the level of knowledge and expertise they have to offer. It is important that guys like me tell you that.

    You have much to learn…and SHRM could be a one-stop shop that could overwhelm you! Conferences are what you make them.

    Of course you STILL must produce HRevolution!!! And you can count on Monster\’s sponsorship again…along with my attendance.

    My hope is that Ben Eubanks sees a way to impact the path of HR. I need you to grow into a leadership force that one day attempts to explain what Chief People Officer means to his kids’ class on Career Day…not be sucked into the world of Social Media consultancy and pop-Icon status. There’s no altruistic fulfillment there! File under #justsayin

    What do you say? You in?

    • Eric, huge response. You are truly an amazing guy, and I greatly appreciate the vote of confidence.
      1) I’m dying to hear what China says now. How in the world am I supposed to sleep tonight?!? As for blogging, you know I’m good for it. I’d post 10 times before I left CA.
      2) Holy. Freaking. Crap.
      3) Negotiable. Survival tactic: Breathe through the vomit bag to protect from lavatory flatulence overflow.
      4) My boss is amazing. She’d probably pack my bags for me.

      I understand and agree about knowing the past and the future. I’ve met some of the people who are brilliant (social media fetish or not), and I’m always in the mood to meet more. Conferences ARE what you make them. I am trying to wrap my head around getting $1000+ in value from that kind of event, though. If China makes it happen, then I might be able to prove it.

      HRev wouldn’t be the same w/o you or Monster. I truly mean it when I say that your presence was one of my favorite things about the event.

      I am still trying to see exactly how I will affect HR on a larger scale. I know that I have the energy and the desire, and I don’t want either of those to peter out before I get a chance to really accomplish something amazing.

      If I’ve got the support of you, the community, and SHRM’s global membership thingy, then I say we go for it and make this the best annual conference ever.

  3. I am going to #SHRM2010, and I tend to go most every year. I do appreciate the ability to get a batch of strategic recert credits at one fell swoop (at a pretty decent cost per credit) and enjoy the time connecting with past and present colleagues and friends. And yes, I’m a big SHRM advocate and use the time to connect with other SHRM volunteer leaders and SHRM staffers; again, all in one place makes for good connection time. What I don’t like – the swag-emphasis and endless hours with nothing to do BUT wander through the exhibit hall (although I do enjoy the opening of the exhibit hall for the, um, cocktail hour). I get restless in the general sessions (TOO BIG) but do sit through them to hear the “state of SHRM” messages more so than the speakers. I’m also getting a tad tired of seeing the exact-same-concurrent-session speakers listed in the borchure year after year after year. All that being said, having been a volunteer committee chair for #SHRM09, I can attest to the incredible, hard-work that goes on behind the scenes. It IS truly incredible how SHRM puts this on each year.

    I TRULY, however, hope to make it to the next HRevolution – please please please – just NOT in April ! :)

    • Robin, it seems like it’s just a big chance for people to put their butt in a seat and snag some recert credits. There’s no way in the world I’d pay big $ for that. But the connections would be invaluable. Maybe we could do like the 2009 conference and make things happen during the “off hours.” It could be a draw for the newbies to social media and/or a way to spread some HRev cheer. :-)

  4. I echo Robin’s comments, and simply add that one thing that it offers that HREVolution does not is a student/advvisor track. On Saturday, prior to the annual conference beginning, they hold the SHRM student conference. As a student chapter advisor, it gives me an opportunity to talk with other student chapter advisors as well as bring students to the conference (which I have since 2001).

    • That would actually be pretty cool to see, Matt. Mingling with the next generation of HR pros would be a great reason to attend.

      BTW, once HRev grows some, I bet we could pull in the students, too. :-)

  5. Ben- as your HRevolution cohort, I have to say I LOVE that you are SO dedicated to HRevolution 2. AND it will definitely be bigger and better than the first. That said, I think you would be missing out if you don’t take Eric up on his offer. SHRM is a great organization with so many resources that you will need as you progress in your career. This will also give you the opportunity to network with many “mainstream” HR people who are not involved in social media. You’ll have such great networking opportunities. HRevolution has a different role than the SHRM conference. The way I see it, HRevolution compliments the SHRM conference. We structure ours differently and that is ok. You shouldn’t have to choose between the two. You know that when you and I both started talking about planning an un-conference last year, we BOTH really wanted to be at SHRM. Here’s your chance my friend….take it!

    • Trish, I’m really considering it. SHRM has a lot of resources that need to be tapped, and the mainstream integration would be good for me… I’m leaning hard!

  6. I totally appreciate the money problem, Ben. Being unemployed tends to put a crimp into my budget. :) That said, I think I am going because, as Robin mentioned, it’s a chance to get recert credits, do some serious networking, and meet more wicked smart people. In fact, I am skipping TruLondon to make SHRM 2010 because I just can’t afford both.

    I hope Eric can convince China to get that panel discussion going – but HE needs to be in a panel seat, too, because you both have so much to offer.

    Think about it.

  7. Ben – your post echos the thoughts and feelings of many HR pros across the country – and not just the entry level folks. Even as a VP in the past, I wasn’t able to get the cost approved (and I controlled the budget!).

    That said, you have been offered the Super Duper Most Awesomemest Ever Offer by Eric. TAKE IT! Not only will you be able to attend the conference to learn and share your perspective with your readers, you’ll be able to meet so many people that will be helpful to you in your career. And let me assure you, being a part of the @ewmonster entourage would be the best deal ever. (Cause he has “people”.) :)

    Your writing and consistent advocacy of the profession is what makes your peers want you to be able to attend. Congratulations on being offered the Golden Ticket. I hope to see you there!

    • Jennifer, I think Eric’s entourage would probably be loaded with people as amazing as himself. I don’t know how all of that would fit in one building. :-) Thank you for the kind words, and I really hope to see you again.

  8. I do believe the last line of your 8:04pm response means we have a deal!
    I am quite confident that China Gorman will come back with both a complimentary pass and a long list of ideas of how we could take advantage of this opportunity to further engage currently un-engaged passionate young HR professionals. My take is she is all about the future.

    In the event that she does not, we are still on! I’ll cover your conference pass and we will create our own Social Media “un-session” tweetup-style!

    I am recruiter by DNA. I know talent when I see it. You my friend, are RAW TALENT. Period.

  9. Ben, I am thrilled and happy with you, as well as filled with profound envy. In my 15 years of nonprofit social services HR work, I’ve never been able to afford a SHRM event. The registration alone is several times my annual personal development budget–not to mention travel and lodging. A couple years ago, SHRM was in DC, where I live, and I thought, “Finally! I’ll get to go!” I called up SHRM and asked if I could volunteer at the event for a reduced rate. They declined.

    So this is really cool and amazing development for Ben Eubanks and I know you’ll make the most of it. But I am wondering: what about all that other aspiring Bens and Kristsa out there? Passionate, creative, nonprofit folks whose agencies can’t afford to send them, and whose under-market salaries make it next to impossible to pay out-of-pocket? SHRM, what are you doing to include these HR pros who do manage to scrape up their dues every year but can’t afford to go your conferences and seminars? I challenge you to think about that and look for ways to creatively and innovatively include us. Maybe it’s time for SHRM to have an unconference?

    Have fun, Ben, you deserve it!

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