I got back home yesterday afternoon from a 5 day assignment as one of the 5 Blog Squad members for SHRM’s annual conference (see our posts here). This is an event which takes no less than six years to plan….so next year’s in Las Vegas (with Sir Richard Branson and Michael J Fox) has already been in planning stages for 5 years. The scope of this thing is amazing: 11,000 attendees this year (up from 7,000 last year in the depths of the recession); 4 keynote speakers including Al Gore, Steve Forbes and Marcus Buckingham, and no less than 800 volunteers. Hundreds of sessions, usually 20 at any time period from which to choose, but none which conflict within the major topic areas like Talent, HR Law, etc. They pull it all off with such ease, it seems to fly along.
I’ll be honest and say that I never had been a SHRM member till this year. I had been too busy as a consultant and too wary of anything which smacked of bureaucracy of any kind. Consultants are Lone Rangers in the best of times and that certainly described me. But now that I know what SHRM is and what it can do I have become an enthusiastic convert. SHRM ROCKS!! Yes they literally rock, we were dancing before the first keynote to the Black Eyed Peas, and by “we” I mean a massive room with at least 8,000 people in it. A/V was fantastic, giant screens and super audio. I could go on and on but I want to say, that from the top of SHRM to the volunteers to the Book Store people to the Social Media people to the state organizers to …everyone I met….I cannot think of a friendlier, more competent or more hard-working organization. They treasure their members and it shows. The networking possibilities are great, as is the chance to learn new things and hear people like Buckingham, who hit the ball so far out of the park yesterday morning, it went into the next zip code.
I’ll write more because I learned things which are relevant to this blog but first I wanted to say, thank you SHRM, you gave me an opportunity and experience which was simply…unforgettable…and for that I am so grateful.
Can you tell I fell in love with SHRM at this Conference? I admit it……