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Fri, Jun 24, 2011

News & Events

Not Another SHRM 11 Post: What To Do Besides Sitting In Sessions

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If you have been following the Twitter stream, you already know that the excitement for SHRM National 2011 has been building for weeks.  For me, it’s been building since the close of SHRM 2010 in San Diego. This is the Super Bowl of HR Conferences, and against the backdrop of glitz and glamour that is the Vegas Strip, it has the potential to be an epic event.

If you’ve never been before you’re probably thinking, “Hold on a second, this is a Human Resources conference, not Lollapalooza.”   To the outsider this may sound as exciting as an antique book collector’s convention.  But for HR Professionals who seldom get to see the world from outside the conference room, this is a chance to learn, share, and let your hair down a little.

SHRM11 will likely draw 15,000+ attendees for this year’s event, and with it comes the rare opportunity to connect with people who are all passionate about the world of work, who all speak the same language, and who likely share the same goals and pain points.  So, if you haven’t done so already, pack plenty of business cards.  Casual conversations can turn into solid professional connections, job opportunities, or even new found friendships.

Concurrent sessions are a given and chock full of valuable information.  If you type faster than you can write, feel free to bring your tablet or notebook PC to take copious notes.  The SHRM mobile will help you select your sessions and map out your trek through the LVCC.  After the requisite learning, there is much to do.

So, for first timers or even event veterans, here are my top five things you must do outside of sessions at SHRM11:

  1. The Exhibit Hall – The exhibit hall will be packed with over 650 vendors showcasing their wares like a modern street bazaar.  Even if you aren’t looking to buy, you have to see it.   There will be food, drink, entertainment and of course, CHOTHCKIES!  The best free stuff you never knew you absolutely must have.  Word of caution, you can’t see the entire hall in one day and do it justice, so visit each day to take in a little bit more each time.  Oh, and pace yourself on the goodies.  You could be loaded to the hilt with stuff to carry before you make it down the first aisle!
  2. Keynote Speakers – Every SHRM event showcases an amazing list of keynote speakers and this year is no exception.  This year features Sir Richard Branson President and Founder Virgin Group, Tony Hsieh CEO of Zappos.com, Arianna Huffington President and Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post Media, and Emmy Award winning actor Michael J. Fox.  Try to make them all if you can.
  3. Zappos Headquarters Tour – Space is very limited, and may already be full, but this an awesome opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at a booming business and an insider’s perspective on their storied corporate culture.  The event details also mention a special surprise.
  4. Vegas – If you have never been before, you owe it to yourself to spend some time on the Las Vegas strip.  Even if you’re not a gambler, there is still a broad spectrum of entertainment and fine dining to be enjoyed.  If you’re not sure where to start, visit the Networking Sessions of the SHRM11 mobile app or program guide. You’ll find activities like dinner and a show, CSI: The Experience, and “Meet the Mob” at the famous Tropicana.
  5. Keith Urban – This Country music superstar and Grammy award winner will be performing Tuesday night!  You’re friends and co-workers will be rotten with jealousy.

While you are in the Exhibit Hall, be sure to stop by #Booth866.  I will be there with the rest of the Monster.com crew, and rest assured, we are going all out.  Amazing products to talk about, great stuff to give away, and an unrivaled booth experience.

See you in Vegas!

About the Author

Nathan Gildow is a Human Resources professional with over 10 years of experience. He serves as recruitment Strategy Consultant at Monster.com and develops online recruiting strategies for Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 clients. Nathan also represents Monster at major HR conferences like Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), where he provides Monster product demos to current and future customers. Prior to working for Monster, Nathan held several roles at Great American Insurance, including HR Project Manager, HR Relationship Manager, and Business Operations Specialist. Nathan holds a BA in Communication from University of Cincinnati and resides in Cincinnati, OH.

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