|SHRM Leadership Conference 2010|
The conference season is upon us. With the SHRM BIG SHOW coming up at the end of June, and many of State conferences (like ours on August 22 & 23) on the horizon, this got me to thinking about conferences the other day. I have been fortunate to get to attend a number of events. I was recounting these in my mind and trying to think what was the most memorable conference/event that I have attended. Of course, many people would think the best stories from an HR conference might be those of drunken debauchery – in the vein of Hangover or Cedar Rapids. And I could go that way but it would embarrass good friends, and me as well, so I will take my post another direction.
I attended a SHRM Leadership Conference last year in the D.C. area. I had planned to go for a while and my travel and accommodations were being funded through my SHRM affiliation and position. I was staying at the conference hotel and planning on having a good time, meeting up with some old friends and making some new ones.
After signing up for the conference, it had come to my attention that a younger colleague of mine was interested in attending but his chapter could not finance the entire trip. Well, since I already had a room – paid for- with the caveat that “I snore” I offered up a bed and shared shower and toilet. So to make a long story short here – if you have complimentary accommodations (especially the $200+ a night rooms) and are attending a conference, it might be a most enjoyable experience to offer up free room to a younger HR pro who might not otherwise be afforded the opportunity to attend.) It was in fact for me, one of the most enjoyable conferences I attended.
And if you are in the giving mode too – you might want to buy them a meal or two or a drink – depending upon their fancy. Keep in mind that if you got there for free, and staying for free; doubling up on a couple meals won’t break you.
At many conferences, hotel rooms are usually nothing more than a bed and a shower, so for $200 a night you are getting double the value if you use two beds and take two showers. You might also make a new friend for life, while you enjoy some communal living and share stories of the other conference happenings.
For the record I made the same offer to another colleague to attend HREvolution with me as I had committed to going and paying for a hotel room. Sadly he declined.
Moving forward, as these events continue to cost more and more to attend – it is a way more of us can enjoy and share the experience. I hope others can at least think about this and maybe put it into action a time or two in the upcoming conference season.