The SHRM Annual Conference (#SHRM15) starts in just 2 weeks. As such, I’m adding my voice to the chorus of perennial attendees who offer up advice on how to survive and/or make the most of their conference experience.
Here we go…
Bring Your Own Phone Charging Device
Avoid the tired, huddled masses that swarm every available outlet and charging station at the convention center by bringing your own charger. They’re cheap, and you’ll use the heck out of it at the conference and every time you travel thereafter. I use this one on my trips and I’m never worried about running out of power (and can even help my friends when they need it), but you can find one that meets your needs for roughly $10-$20 almost anywhere.
Wear a Backpack
Matthew Stollack has written extensively about not bringing a rolling bag to the conference. It’s a trip hazard because you can’t see where you’re dragging that thing through a crowd and inevitably it will get in someone’s way. Wear a backpack instead, or something you can carry that you have more visual control over, because if tripping over your rolling bag keeps me from making fun of Dr. Oz’ keynote I’m going to be plenty bummed.
Take Notes on Paper
What year is it, 1993? I can hear you now. “Why on earth would we, the technologically savvy SHRM15 conference attendees stoop so low as to take notes on paper?” Well, because you’ll retain more of the conference if you do. Transfer it to an iPad or laptop later, if you need to, but first, take your notes on paper. Read this if you don’t believe me.
It will be hot in Las Vegas, and most likely cold in the convention center. This conference is not the time to show off your most precious business professional duds. Misery will ensue if you do. Think about the things you will be doing (WALKING), when you will be doing it (WALKING mid-day), and how long you will be doing it (WALKING from sun up to sun down and beyond), and dress appropriately. I assure you, someone will be dressed much more casual than you in every session you attend – so don’t overthink this. Dress for job to be done.
Bring Your Own Snacks
I’ve been burned by this in the past. I land, I get caught up in the moment and get swooped up in one event after another and my diet completely falls apart. I’m not talking about the diet that helps me lose weight, I’m talking about eating at relatively normal times with relatively normal portions and helpings. Avoid early onset conference fatigue by having a plan that anticipates that it will be hard to get coffee at the convention center, it will be hard to find the snacks that normally help you feel like yourself at the office, and finding water (or whatever you drink all day) under $8 will be a job all on its own.
Get the Blogging4Jobs Guide to Las Vegas and #SHRM15
In Las Vegas, there will be no shortage of things to do and see. If you want to be where the #SHRM15 action is however, you need to download the Blogging4Jobs “Guide to Las Vegas and #SHRM15” and RSVP for events ASAP. Most are mixers and dinners with key vendors, but the networking at each of these events is epic and you will most likely make friends and connections that make a big difference down the line. Don’t skip this! Do it! Do it now!
Follow the #SHRM15 Bloggers!
The people on the #SHRM15 Blogger team are the eyes and ears of the conference, and they will be posting consistently throughout the conference on their blogs and twitter. These folks are some of the best bloggers in the HR space, and have tons of SHRM Annual Conference experience. You will want their insight, their opinions and their recommendations, trust me on this one! Being in the know will help you have a truly great conference experience. Click here to learn more about, and follow the team.
That’s it from me. Before you go be sure to check out the advice and recommendations of people who are leaders on this subject. You can’t go wrong with this stuff!
- Eleven Things Not to Do at #SHRM15 – Matthew Stollack
- An Introverts Guide to #SHRM15 – We Know Next
- 2015 Guide to Conquering SHRM Annual – Las Vegas – Trish McFarlane
- Sackett’s Guide to SHRM 2015 – Tim Sackett
Image credit: By EconomicOldenburger - Alles über den Las Vegas Strip (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons