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May 31, 2012

Destination HR: Making #SHRM12 a Social Experience

Filed under: General HR Buzz,HRN News — Tags: 1:38 pm

Yesterday, my conference badge arrived in the mail.  It was nondescript in its plain blue envelope.  For me, it was a lot like opening the mailbox to find the big Sears catalog had arrived.  The arrival of that catalog meant Christmas was around the corner.  Yes, I really am that excited about going to Atlanta for the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference.  Tomorrow, we’ll flip our calendar to June, and my kids will help me count down the days until my big trip.  In the meantime, I’ll share my thoughts and bring you some insight from a first-time attendee’s view.

As I mentioned in my first post about the SHRM conference, listening to Drive Thru HR each day has quickly become a habit.  Each week leading up to the conference, they’re doing a special preview show on Wednesdays immediately after the regular show.  If you missed them, you can listen by going to the link above.   This week, special guests included SHRM’s Director of Social Engagement Curtis Midkiff (@shrmsocmedguy on Twitter).

While it seemed I blinked and the thirty minute show was over, I did pick up a plethora of ways to make the conference experience more personal.

  • #SHRM12 Hashtag – If you’re on Twitter, search for the #SHRM12 hashtag to connect with SHRM staff, exhibitors, and other attendees.  You’ll see what everyone is talking about, and don’t be afraid to join in on the conversation!  Don’t wait for the conference: do it now.
  • Buzz – You can find it here.  Advice is plentiful and runs the gamut from session suggestions, to how many pairs of shoes you should bring (comfortable is key), to what type of weather you can expect (H O T).  There are going to be about 13,000 people attending.  It can’t be overstated that this is a huge conference.  The Buzz site is a way to help you get connected and not feel “lost in a sea of people.”  Check it out now, and keep it on your radar during the conference for videos, Twitter updates, and pictures.  Even if you can’t attend, you can see what’s happening.
  • The Hive – This is the social media hub at the conference.  SHRM has recruited 75 bloggers who will be engaging throughout the conference.  These “Blog Stars” rival the U.S. Olympic Basketball team that took the gold 20 years ago, as Curtis says.
  • SHRM 2012 Conference App – The app is the companion for every attendee.  Filter sessions by type and synchronize sessions across multiple devices.  My favorite feature?  Let the app locate you within the conference center and point you to sessions close by.  The app also includes links to Facebook, Twitter, and the Buzz from within the app.
  • Conference Daily – In a world of digital communication, I still have a special place in my heart for the printed word.  Attendees look forward to it every year – so I’ve been told.  In fact, every time I tell someone I’m attending for the first time (and it’s pretty much the first thing I tell anyone), if they’ve attended the Conference Daily is one of the first things they list as must-have.
  • Social events – I won’t be in sessions the whole time.  I’m going to check out the Meet to Connect and Meet to Move programs.  Meet to Connect is on the Buzz, and is a way for attendees to connect with each other.  Meet to Move will feature yoga and Zumba.  I also found this blog from Jessica Miller-Merrell that promises the “unofficial” party guide to SHRM12.  (She’s also one of the “Blog Stars”)

Destination HR Part 1 and Part 2

Come back next week for more on the SHRM Conference…  It’s only three weeks away!  HRN is ready to go to Atlanta – we’ll be at Booth 1345.  Find us on Twitter: @HRNPerformance or connect to me @JustSayLiv.

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