Monday, September 21, 2015

ILSHRM in the Books

This year was a bifurcation point for Illinois SHRM. We moved the conference from Oak Brook to Tinley Park.  The reason for the move was two-fold.  The move was supposed to help us reduce the cost of putting on the event, and the board was hopeful that it would result in an increase in attendance.  ILSHRM also made a planned effort to go nearly paperless, opting for all information to be disseminated via our Crowd Compass on line app.

Janine Driver showing Hank Jackson the "power" handshake.
The unofficial total for the event was 553 paid attendees and a guestimate of another 150 folks, including speakers, exhibitors and volunteers. All told we had about 700 folks in the house for the two day event.  Another change was going from three to two keynote speakers.  There is no doubt that both of our keynoters knocked the socks off of everyone.  Janine Driver was our opening speaker, and she was simply amazing.  She even had SHRM CEO Hank Jackson (who was in attendance at ILSHRM) participating in her presentation.

Our closing keynote speaker Bill Rancic is a hometown boy and talked of growing up “right down the street” in Orland Park.  Bill shared some great insight into his success and how he deals with and manages people, a great message for all of the HR folks in attendance. At the close of his presentation he was doing a little Q. & A. with the audience.  When asked about his television mentor Donald Trump, Bill would only say that he liked Mr. Trump and that he was a good man.

From the conversations I had and that were overheard all of our breakout sessions got high marks.  This blogger’s opinion is unscientific, but I am sure will be borne out by the evaluations, which were completed on our conference app.  I can honestly say that all of the sessions I attended were well executed.
We also had a couple social events, both Sunday evening and Monday evening.  While both events were well done, I would have like to have seen more attendees at each.  In fact I would have like to have seen all of the attendees at both events, but that is probably not going to happen.  On Monday we had the pleasure of listening to a folk/rock grunge/blue-grass group called The Way Down Wanders

As was mentioned earlier, we did have a sort-of surprise visit from SHRM CEO Hank Jackson. Hank joined us on Monday morning and spoke to the crowd sharing the direction of the organization and the current hot topics.  ILSHRM is fortunate to have had Hank join us as he only has plans to attend two state conferences this year.

There also were some things we could do better.  This is my list of things I will be recommending to the board.
  • ·         Ensure that the Wi-Fi service meets our needs
  • ·         Speed up the Food service
  • ·         More seating for lunch
  • ·         Better control of room temperatures

I believe that the collective reviews will show that the conference was successful.  Whether or not the location was an improvement remains to be seen.  We will see what our attendees have to say. And once those results are in we will do our best to share that information.

To those who attended and participated in our 2015 ILSHRM Conference, a BIG THANK YOU.  To those who missed the event, we will soon have a date for you to add to your calendar, so check our website for that information.

Dave Ryan ISC SHRM Director Elect