Sunday, November 20, 2011

SHRM Leadership Wrap-Up and Overview

The SHRM leadership conference is now over for another year. It was my fifth time to attend. I am fortunate to be that lucky.  The event is truly marvelous because the SHRM staff all go way out of their way to make the attendees/volunteers feel like royalty. It is the. volunteer leaders that do a huge amount of work to help keep SHRM moving forward, but for me I know that I  always get back more than I give.  And I like that.

If you haven't been as lucky as me amd have never attended, here is what you need to do.  Get yourself involved in a leadership role in a local chapter or state council.  Not all members "get" to go,  but if you work hard ad s volunteer in your organization you may get an opportunity to attend.

Do you want to know what the conference is all about?  Well I can't divulge certain information about the secret handshake or the funny hats (see below), but I  can go over the format and the usual things I have seen go on.
Melissa Flores SHRM Staff (Notice Funny/Secret Hat)

The conference officially starts on Thursday, although often times the higher ups or some special committees may have some Wednesday meetings. Thursday morning has usually included prep for, and a trip to Capitol Hill, where SHRM members actually lobby Congressmen/Congresswomen and Senators.  There are also pre-conference meetings, which take place. The meetings end, the Lobbyists return and the conference kicks off with a General Session (all attendees).  The top people from SHRM always address the troops. sharing  information on the direction of the organization. There are several speech and then the attendees are invited to SHRM Headquarters. If you ever attend, I implore you to go to Headquarters.  If you were  not before you went there you will be SHRMalized when you leave!

After headquarters you are on your own to ride the motor coaches or the Metra back to your Hotel. Then you are free to do what you want, in my years of attending this usually involves drinking somewhere till a nearly unreasonable hour.

Friday there is a breakfast (served) General Session with a notable speaker. Later there are smaller breakout sessions (usually by chapter size).  There is a General Session Lunch, with a keynote speaker.  This year's speaker was Ryan Estis, and he killed it! I might also mention that  Ryan was our opening keynote speaker at our 2011 State Conference, where again he rocked the house with a fabulous presentation.

Friday after lunch there are usually a two more breakout sessions.  And again I saw one session that was great.  I saw Chester Elton speak on teams.  He was great.  Chester writes along with Adrian Gosttick and together they are the Carrot Culture and Think Orange,  So two sessions end and then it is the HRCI Silent Auction.  This is also a social hour(drinks).

Left to Right - Jenny Hughes - SHRM, Dave Ryan,
Kathy Plouzak and Donna Rogers - From the Tweet Up
The auction goes until 6:30 and then it is the Friday Night Dinner. Sometime there is entertainment,  this year the Pinnacle Awards were moved to this slot.  I particularly enjoyed them this year as three good friend of mine all were involved with teams that won awards.  Those fine SHRM folks were Cathy Plouzak, incoming ILSHRM State Director, but her Peoria Chapter is who won.  Also winning we're Tara Mauk Arthur for her work with the West Central Arkansas Chapter.  And Nancy Slotnick for her work with the WSC (Washington). Kudos folks!

This year just like last year, there was a Tweet-Up Hosted by The SHRM Social Media Guy Curtis Midkiff!  Drinks, great music, tweeting, funny pictures with old friends and new friends makes for a great event -Thanks Curtis!

Saturday is often housekeeping stuff and the go home day.  This year however there was a lot going on.  Speakers, and a visit from Hank and Jose.  We will look to another ILSHRM blogger to fill in the Saturday portion.

If you do get a chance to go book yourself a couple extra days in Washington,  There is a ton of stuff to  do and see.     Hope to see all of you SHRM volunteers there next year!

-Dave Ryan Director of Social Media ISC SHRM