I must admit, I went into SHRM11 feelings a little apprehensive. The expectation of programming that might let attendees down, the prospect of standing on my feet for 3 days straight, and the pre-formed guilt of the swag footprint always makes me painfully self-aware. As usual, I was wrong to go in feeling uninspired! I saw so many of my virtual friends in the Social Media lounge, was totally blown away by the keynotes, had great conversations with HR Pros from all over the world, and discovered some really great new companies.
In all, it was a marvelous time in Las Vegas. Our company was smart enough to put us up at the Green Valley Ranch; far enough from the strip to avoid creating the concept for Hangover 3. We behaved well at night and we're charged up to make the most of swagville by day.
* Tony Hsieh - I have always enjoyed Tony's fun loving approach to doing business. I have seen him present before and have read his book. It is awesome that he was willing to promote his vision to the world of HR. John Hollon wrote a great piece on Tony's Keynote - check it out!
*The SHRM HR Blogging Community - It is no secret that I Love Laurie Ruettimann - she is like the little sister I never had. Totally upbeat but perfectly realistic. The Great Robin Schooling dropped by our booth to discuss wine, the lottery and the Saints. She honors the namesake of her favorite football team. Paul Smith dropped in during down time for a meaningful conversation about influencing managers to help employees make good decisions. Paul is one of my favorite writers and even more engaging in person. I also waived at China Gorman, gave Charlie Judy a high five, and exchanged salutations with my friend Trish McFarlane. The degree of influence that social media has gained @ SHRM over just the last 3 years because of the aforementioned people is simply remarkable! Keep fighting the good fight!
* Bright - My favorite new company....They have a super cool platform, totally engaged employees, and a feeling of purpose in their booth that radiates hope.
* Dice - This vendor hired Laurie Reuttimann, Steve Boese, and China Gorman to speak as HR Experts in their booth - a inventive and profitable decision.
*TLNT - I thought it was just a blog...apparently it's an actual company. Amazingly cool people and great writers who are kind enough to throw us all the part. The troops are throwing an event in Austin this is a can't miss.
* The only complaint I have about SHRM11 is the immaturity of vendors. Several times members of competitive organizations came to our booth in request for information. Some sent their loved ones, others dressed in costume, and there were those who were bold enough to show up and take our collateral (readily available on our website). While their methods were varied they have one thing in common: They think we're stupid! I know who you work for and I don't care what you know about my company. I never worried about competition. I concern myself with forging great relationships, finding customer's who mirror our company philosophy, and developing ways to make companies better.
"Don't Chase the Paper, Chase the Dream" - P Diddy
Thanks to Fabulous Las Vegas and all the people that made SHRM11 a massive success!
See you in Atlanta in 2012!
Don't Forget to Remember!