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SHRM11 - Working the National Show, Amy Dillman

    SHRM’s “Innovative Solution for What’s Next”

    SHRM2011, held the last week of June in Las Vegas, was a jackpot of a conference. OK, pardon, the Vegas reference, but it really was a great event this year and I wish all my CiHRG members have an opportunity to go to this event sometime.

    “Sessions were exactly what I needed.”  The 2011 National SHRM conference focused on really finding answers to today’s complex HR situations. From talent management to employment law, from total rewards to strategic business, this year’s conference offered countless ways to network with other HR peeps, develop ideas and motivate you and your staff.  And did I mention, it’s a sure win for getting more recertification credits?

    “What’s your Twitter handle?” Always entertaining and insightful, SHRM2011 was also the year for social media and apps. SHRM introduced its first smart phone app specifically designed for the conference. It covered everything from the printed conference program and more, including an agenda where you could develop your own agenda. Who’s needs paper? Smart move, SHRM. Also, social media and Twitter is ever-present at SHRM conferences, and SHRM 2011 was no exception. Using the Twitter hashtag #SHRM11, tweets were flying during keynote speaker and concurrent sessions. What to know what happened at #SHRM11, search for the hashtag and catch up.  It’s the closest thing to actually being there. Oh, and I had a great opportunity to meet Twitter followers at the SHRM sponsored Tweet Up at the wax museum on the strip.

    “Heck yeah, I’m going to the keynote.” Let’s admit it, the keynotes are often skipped at conferences, but I have to say I attended each one and was blown away. They were funny, motivating and a couple even knew a lot about HR. Sir Richard Branson opened and let’s just say the guy has big dreams and would never have HR peeps on him team that would say ‘can’t do that.’ Arianna Huffington was a hoot, a savvy business woman and really knew her HR speak. She was funny, a great storyteller, and had an amazing Greek/English accent. Michael J. Fox was an inspiration, hands down. His motto was never play out the result. As an actor, if you know the scene calls for a pie in the face, don’t flinch ahead of it. You’ll blow the scene. As in life, don’t think you know what lies ahead, don’t overreact and don’t play the cards before they are dealt. Even after diagnosed from that first tremble in his pinkie, he never imagined how his life would be today. And then there was Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. I’d move to work at Zappos in a heartbeat for this guy. I can’t do his speech or his business philosophy justice, so I’ll just say, pick up a copy of his book, Delivering Happiness. Better yet, give it to your CEO.

    Did I mention the Tuesday night entertainment was Keith Urban? Or that Monster Inc. had an amazing party featuring Natasha Bedingfield?  Or that CareerBuilder kicked off the event Sunday with a mixer at Lavo nightclub? Yeas, plenty of fun to go around, but in the end your most valuable takeaway is fresh HR innovations and information, new ‘made-by-networking’ colleagues and a renewed outlook of the HR profession. I can’t wait for “What’s Next.” 

    Sidebar: Missed out on SHRM11? Come see some of the best from the national concurrent sessions at Illinois SHRM State Conference in August: Jessica Miller-Merrell, Ryan Estis, Joe Gerstandt and Jason Laurtisen and China Gorman will be at Illinois SHRM.

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