I’m glad SHRM is an all-day conference. The problem with that is it really is an all day conference, so you have to wake up very early in the morning. It truly takes a commitment, especially in HR to do that. That being said…
Speed Networking Event
A speed networking event is what it is…a speed networking event. In this event, there were tons of first-time attendees who want to network and experience the conference itself. You will mostly hear people attend the event for sessions, parties, or the city itself. These people want to network for their company and/or collecting a list of names. The most interesting person I met was Wesley Forest who is job hunting in Atlanta. This triggers something SHRM might do: Have 50 (or 100 or whatever the number) HR job seekers and bring them over to the conference to network and attend sessions. That will be some goodwill.
Malcolm Gladwell was Monday’s keynote and just to me, it isn’t new. He discuss how different generations function. The older generation believe in hierarchy while the younger generation believes in networks and run it their own way. This seems old bat to me because of the controversy Gladwell stated that the Arab Spring was not a “mobile” revolution. All of social media went up in arms. That controversy alone proves the point Gladwell was making. It wasn’t about how you get your network, it’s how to establish a network and by that, get a network that has some structure and hierarchy. Gladwell mention the Civil Rights movement as an example of a network that is organize and finish the job because of Martin Luther King. I have been joking about tweet-jihad Gladwell’s comments a few months ago, but he’s right that it’s important to build the network, which Gen Y does well, it’s how you finish and from Occupy Wall Street, my generation has a long ways to go.
Of note: to read in detail why Occupy Wall Street failed, read Michael Kazin’s article here. This is what exactly Gladwell was talking about.
I would normally get one bad session a day when attending these conferences that long. I really can’t say the sessions I went to weren’t bad…they’re great. I attended three sessions: HR Innovation from Sue Meisinger, who was a former President of SHRM, Beyond Behavioral Interviewing from Nancy Newell, and Creative Destruction from Angela Hills. All three had expertise, wisdom and captured the audience; ingredients of a great session.
Exhibit Hall Challenge
I was at Exhibit Hall for probably an hour. Some of the time was sitting at a presentation where China Gorman was discussing employee engagement. The other time was standing in line for some thing. I thought it was for the $5000 cash prize/ Free Conference pass to Chicago next year. When I spoke to someone at the line realizing I might be at the wrong line, the person said this is for the line to win a free Kindle…and a second chance to win a Kindle. This bother me so much because aren’t there other vendors, er… I mean all vendors are giving away Kindles, Kindle Fires, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Blackber…oh, right? Today, it is my journalistic duty to enter every giveaway the vendors have because of the sheer ridiculousness that nearly everyone is giving away a tablet of some sort. Sadly, my odds of getting another tablet is greater than someone dating me.
SHRM12 and Glassdoor Party
I won’t get into too much detail, but when HR are “off the clock”, they do let themselves go. There was one HR person (or a co-worker at the bar, I don’t know) showing off her midriff and tattoos and dancing like her Spring Break years in Daytona, FL. You can imagine the party for yourselves.
The keynote speaker is Jim Collins, author of Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck, more concurrent sessions (although tough to beat yesterday), the Exhibit Hall challenge, the Dice Blogger pre-party, entertainment from Jerry Seinfeld and a likely surprise in the morning. Hint: he’s 25 miles from my house…and he has a big house.