It’s been a few weeks since the 2013 SHRM Annual conference wrapped. Of course there was a flurry of great posts about the event. Check out a few here:
- Jenny Payne’s “On Becoming More“
- Paul Smith’s “Curiosity Killed the Cat“
- Jon Ingham’s “Why Your Talent aren’t Talent“
- Robin Schooling’s “Missing the Point“
From hearing about the keynotes and other speakers to learning more about vendor progress in the HR space, there is no shortage of take-aways from this year’s event.
Then, there is the ever expanding social presence of SHRM in our industry. Originally championed in 2009 by then COO, China Gorman, SHRM national has embraced making strides in social channels. Current “SHRM Social Media Guy”, Curtis Midkiff, did an outstanding job of pulling together those active socially in the space. From the HIVE where attendees could come to ask all their burning social questions to the hashtag attendees could follow to stay in tune with all that was going on (#SHRM13), there was a larger focus than ever on networking and connectivity.
There were also events such as the SHRM Kickball to raise money for No Kid Hungry. We raised nearly $11,000 so far and if you’d like to contribute or find out more, it’s not too late to help feed kids here in the US that are in need. There were vendor and executive dinners and even a night with DJ Jazzy Jeff hosted by Glassdoor. It was an amazing several days full of learning, challenge and fun.
Regardless if you attend a conference as part of a group or if you’re there on your own, the importance is what you do with the information you learned and how you apply it all when you get back to the day-to-day grind.
7 Key Steps to Take When You Return from a Conference
- Go through all the business cards you collected and send out connection requests via LinkedIn. Networking and making connections is one of the largest benefits of conference attendance.
- Send a thank you note to any speaker you saw that made a difference in the way you think. As a speaker at SHRM Annual and other conferences, I can tell you that people prepare for weeks or months to present. Acknowledging their hard work is a nice way to make them feel appreciated for the time they spent with you.
- Write a summary for your boss on the value of attending. Many employers do not understand the value of learning at a conference. Make sure to spell it out.
- Follow people who tweeted using the #SHRM13 hashtag. Having a list of people in the HR space at your finger tips is invaluable. Be sure to solidify those connections on Twitter.
- Give feedback to SHRM. Hopefully you filled out session surveys or other conference surveys. If not, go to the SHRM site and leave feedback. They work hard each year to pull this togetether so share what really worked well and any suggestions for improvement.
- Send thank you notes to any vendor or HR pro you met that you want to keep in touch with. This is an extra step. A personal note is certainly a way to stand out and make yourself memorable to that person.
- Share pictures. Who know that HR pros could be so fun? Use social networks to share your pictures. Speakers love to have pictures of themselves presenting, share the fun ones from charitable events and of course, the real “social” nightlife.
So there you have it- ways to wrap up an event and continue the value. What do you do when you return home from a conference? Share your story in the comments.
What a terrific and actionable list of suggestions. Thank you for these reminders on how to build my network of valuable connections.
Lou- Thanks for the nice comment. I know how hard it is personally to find time to really make good use of my new connections. Glad it was helpful.
#8 – Look regrettably at the pile of SWAG that you enthusiastically picked up, stuffed in your suitcase, carried back and realized a week later that you will never use, and remind yourself not to take so much next year.
Great list, Trish, and I support the addition of #8 “SWAG Overload” because we as always that Mardi Gras beads cherished on Fat Tuesday are worthless on Ash Wednesday.