Expanding your world
Ready for an HR conference that will change your perspective and boost your career? Scheduled for June 17–20, 2018 in Chicago, the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition bills itself as "the largest and best HR conference in the world," and we're inclined to agree. Here are some of our top tips and tricks for getting the most out of your experience.
Budgets are tight everywhere, so for many hopeful attendees, making a business case for the benefits of the conference is the first step. Luckily, SHRM's got your back with a full list of tips on how to convince your boss to allow you to attend. Recommendations include matching available sessions and solution-provider opportunities to specific challenges your organization is facing, as well as stressing the importance of staying abreast of new trends and legislation to maintain compliance. It’s also helpful to commit to a post-conference briefing, where you can share best practices, tactics and insights with colleagues who stayed behind in the office.
Once you've got the green light to go, pack smart: flat shoes or sneakers will ease those miles of walking on the show floor, and layers of clothing will keep you comfortable as you transition between Chicago’s humid outdoor summer temperatures—an average 77 degrees in June—and icy cold conference rooms.
At the Conference
With more than 200 sessions, SHRM aims to provide a complete, customizable education for HR professionals at every stage of their careers. Since you can’t attend every session, it's important to plan your schedule in advance, including both your top picks and back-up options. Always arrive early to be sure you get in, and follow the #SHRM18 hashtag to stay on top of the highlights from sessions you missed.
In addition to its deep roster of educational offerings, SHRM is host to the world's largest HR marketplace, the SHRM Exposition, which boasted nearly 700 booths in 2017. You'll want to visit as many as you can, but be judicious about the amount of swag you collect—stick to what you know you'll keep and what will fit in your suitcase. (Like souvenir photos with special guests and exotic animals at the Nationwide® booth!)
Finally, don't forget that one of the main advantages of an HR conference is the chance to network with your peers. Your fellow attendees will be eager to benefit from the unique value and experience you bring, so be a good listener and focus on how you can help others, and you'll receive plenty of help and advice in return. It's a great opportunity to make connections with other people who share your passion and purpose. Have some fun with it, and after conference hours end, take advantage of Chicago's world-famous pizza, blues music, shopping and sightseeing with your new friends.
See You Soon
While you're at the conference, be sure to stop by and visit Nationwide at booth 2050. Whether you're already offering pet insurance or looking for new ways to boost your benefits package, we have plenty to talk about! To learn more and register, visit https://annual.shrm.org