In 33 short days, thousands of HR professionals will converge on the city of Chicago for #SHRM18. It's an opportunity not to be missed. For me, this will be my 7th conference, but my first as a member of the SHRM Blog Squad. I'm beyond excited for the conference this year, looking forward to meet some old friends and make some new ones.
For those of us who may be attending their first SHRM conference, I'd like to pass on a few pointers to help you make the most of your experience.
#1, plan ahead. SHRM conferences are huge. Massively huge. You have dozens of available sessions in every time slot, the Smart Stage presentations going on at the same time as concurrent sessions, book signings, the Expo. There is so much going on, that it's a bit like being on a roller coaster the first time you see it. Download the SHRM app. It's your one-stop-shop for everything SHRM18. You can review sessions, make notes right in the app, view convention center and expo maps. You can even add sessions right to your iPhone or Android calendar right from the app. It's pretty slick.
#2, wear comfortable shoes. I'm speaking from experience here. This is no joke. You're going to walk a lot. And you're usually hustling to get to where you want to be next. Nothing will sour your experience more than having your dogs start barking half way through the conference.
#3, put your phone away. Yes, I realize I just told you to download the app, and now I'm telling you to put down your phone. What I mean is, don't sit in sessions and browse Facebook. Lift your head up, say hello to people, connect. You'll be surprised at who you're going to meet. Odds are, you're going to leave Chicago with a few new friends.
#4, explore Chicago. Don't go rushing back to your hotel to order room service and binge-watch some crappy TV. Ask someone to grab a drink or a bite afterwards. It's an awesome city, take advantage of your time there.
#5, if you're not able to be with us in Chicago, follow the #SHRM18 and #NotAtSHRM18 hashtags. The SHRM Blog Squad, and many of the attendees are active on social media. We'll be blasting out knowledge all week long from all the amazing sessions.
Let's get ready to Expand Our World. It's the Final Countdown...