2013 Alabama SHRM State Conference

One of the greatest ways to get some great content at an affordable price (with regard to both travel and registration fees) is at a state-level HR conference. I’m attending the 2013 Alabama SHRM State Conference, and I can’t wait to see some phenomenal speakers, meet some fantastic people, and take copious notes on ways to improve the HR function for my employer.

2013 alabama shrm state conferenceIf you’re looking for me on Wednesday, May 15th, I’ll be busy! This will be my 3rd state conference to attend in Alabama, and I am looking forward to yet another well-run event that hums with excitement.

What I’m looking forward to at the 2013 Alabama SHRM State Conference

I’m still in the early stages of evaluating what sessions I’m planning to attend, but here are a few that look appealing to me:

  • Changing People Who Don’t Want to Change-Who in the HR industry couldn’t use some tips in this area? Looking for some tips to respond to a few challenges I’m currently facing.
  • Creating a Healthy Employee Marriage by Developing an Engagement Culture-I know the presenter and think this will be an intriguing session. I already work for a phenomenal company with a great culture, but maybe I can pick up some ideas that have worked for other companies as well.
  • The 9 Faces of HR-This sounds like a very interesting session, and I know the speaker here as well. I’m excited to see the illustrious Kris Dunn on stage, no matter what the topic!

I’m also working with our great state council and providing a Twitter 101 session in order to help everyone understand the tool better and how they can use it to spread the word about events, news, and other valuable information.

Anyone else planning to attend the 2013 Alabama SHRM State Conference? It should be fun!

 

SHRM 2013 Conference in Chicago, IL

So the SHRM 2013 Conference is in Chicago. I’ll be there, will you?

shrm 2013 conference chicagoThis will be my third SHRM conference to attend, and my hope is that it will be the best one yet. 60+ other HR and recruiting bloggers will be there.

Who else is going? What sessions are you looking forward to?

I know it’s a few months away, but is anyone interested in a quick, informal meetup? Maybe for breakfast or something? I’d love to have the opportunity to chat with some of the smart people that follow the blog.

Hashtag #shrm13 for those following on Twitter.

Tips for SHRM 2013 conference first timers

Here’s a short video where I talk about my tips for the first-time attendees for the SHRM 2013 conference. Subscribers click here to view. The video notes are below if you don’t have time or can’t watch it now.

Video notes

Here’s what I wish I had known ahead of time for my first SHRM conference events.

  • Plan to talk with 2-3 vendors who might be valuable partners for your company. Maybe not today, but six months or a year from now you might be looking for an applicant tracking system, a rewards supplier, etc. Take this time to talk with them face to face in the expo.
  • Look for the “parties” or after-hours events. I’m not a party kind of guy, but those events are great in that you can develop friendships and lasting connections. Bottom line: leave some space open for unscheduled networking and learning. Some of the best experiences you’ll ever have!
  • Start connecting with people before the event. That way you’ll have connections there on site that you can meet with and those connections can greatly enhance your enjoyment of the event.
  • Definitely plan to learn, take notes, and take things back with you. But those three areas are some that I wish I’d known about when I attended my first SHRM conference.

So, anyone else planning to attend? Do you have any tips for the first-timers out there? 

UAB Innovations in Wellness Conference

innovations wellness conferenceRecently the organizers for the inaugural UAB Innovations in Wellness Conference reached out to me to see if I would be interested in attending. It sounds like a unique event with some great insights, and I am excited about the opportunity to check out this new conference.

Even better, I can take you with me.

Yes, you heard me correctly.

If you’re local to the Huntsville/Birmingham area (or within a reasonable drive and you want to get a hotel in Birmingham) and you are interested in attending, please send me an email by Thursday, November 8th. Continue reading

Conference Booths, The Hard Sell, and What We Want

A few weeks back I attended the first day of the HR Technology Conference in Chicago. I had an expo only pass to go in and see the vendors, and I was reminded yet again of the awkwardness of the current setup. At one point my friend and I were walking down the aisle and someone asked us a question, my friend answered, and the person started trying to steer him over to their booth. It was very strange and uncomfortable, and I am not a fan of that approach.

I completely understand that it’s their job to hit up prospects and get people into the marketing funnel, but we both walked away with a bad taste in our mouths due to that person’s “hard sell” mentality.

If I have no experience with your company, there’s a low likelihood that I will just randomly decide to stop at your booth. That’s why many vendors bring swag, but then they get annoyed if you stop and take some just to walk away again. There needs to be a time of building a relationship before the sales pitch, and that’s where some of these suggestions come in.

Who I visited Continue reading

HR Florida-What I learned

Last week I attended a great event called HR Florida down near Orlando. I sat in on some fantastic sessions, and I really enjoyed the experience. Here are my notes from a few of the sessions:

Why it pays to lighten up

During this session, one of the authors of The Levity Effect shared research and case studies that encouraged having fun at work. If your workplace has a terminal case of seriousness, then you need to check this out. Click the link to learn more about The Levity Effect.

Recognition: it works

Another session I attended was called Developing an effective, no cost recognition program. The speaker gave us ideas to help our managers recognize employees for a job well done and to avoid the fake-sounding praise that is commonplace. Click the link to learn more about developing a recognition program.

Questions you (and your managers) should know

One speaker casually tossed out a question during his session, and it stuck in my head for the duration of the event. Which of your supervisors holds the best meetings? What makes them great? Knowing these answers helps you to better support your managers and employees, and encouraging managers to know them about their own people helps to establish stronger communication in the workplace. Click the link to learn more about questions you should ask at work.

All in all it was an amazing event. I hope to attend again next year!

HRM Conference in Tuscaloosa-My Experience

hr management conference university alabama

Lots of conference talk recently, but there have been some great things going on and I’d hate for someone to miss out on the good stuff if you don’t have to! I spent last Thursday and Friday at the Human Resources Management Conference in Tuscaloosa, and I really enjoyed the experience. I thought I’d share a few quick takeaways from the event.

  • Learned some really interesting stuff on employee engagement and managing people (but haven’t had the change to write on it yet). The title I have in mind for that one is called “the proper care and feeding of employees.”
  • It was entertaining to watch as the speaker discussed high level engagement concepts while the audience was asking about more mundane employee issues like using too much time on the phone and not coming to work on time.
  • Running an HR department with only one person is incredibly difficult, but it can be done.
  • Watching a panel discussion is more fun than listening to a traditional lecture, because the interactivity is higher and asking questions is encouraged. The moderator was worried before a session began that we would have extra time, but the audience asked so many questions that we had to cut some people off due to time constraints!
  • I confirmed my dislike for legal updates, although the lawyer that talked about the marijuana growers unionizing was pretty hilarious. :-)
  • Using social media as an HR tool has its challenges, but the payoff can be more than worth the effort.
  • I’m seeing more and more people who are interested in trying their hand at social recruiting, but for one reason or another, they don’t ever give it a shot. I encourage you to learn what you can and try it out. Some of the success stories I’ve heard have been astounding.
  • Definitely encourage you to check it out next year!

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the event.

Attend RecruitFest free!

RecruitFestOkay, really short post today. I just saw that the RecruitFest videos are now live on their website and I highly encourage you to go check them out. RecruitFest is a HR/recruiting event that happened recently in Massachusetts. Each session was captured and archived in video, and you can see each of those sessions for free. I watched live as the event played out, and I really think you could get a lot of value from spending some time watching the videos and considering your own HR/recruiting strategies.

Here’s the main video link. The individual video pages are linked below if you want to see if something appeals to you.

Like I said, it’s not every day that you get to see this high quality stuff for free, so check it out!