Just back from speaking at the SHRM Annual Conference in Orlando, which is essentially SHRM’s big international conference. Catherine Mattice of Civility Partners and I presented on “Harassment Versus Bullying and How to Prevent Both.” Catherine is a workplace bullying expert, whereas my expertise is in harassment prevention training.
This was my first time attending the SHRM Annual Conference, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The SHRM speaker support team made sure everything was nice and smooth, from registration to in-room volunteers.
I must admit that when they put us in a room that held 500 people, I was a bit nervous. Would we have 25 people and lots of echoes? Then people started filtering in an hour before. Forty-five minutes before, the room started to fill up. Before the talk was due to start, they had to close the room and start an overflow area, where attendees could hear us and see our slides. I guess our topic ended up striking a cord with HR professionals – over 550 attended in all. Even more thrillingly, it looked like virtually all in the room stayed throughout the session and participated.
The SHRM speaking experience was incredibly rewarding. And so far, we’ve gotten excellent feedback via social media. (One unsolicited post on my company’s Facebook page was that our session “is so far the best and most valuable concurrent session.”)
While speaking was definitely a highlight, there were many others as well. Meeting HR professionals from all over the country; attending presentations full of valuable information; and walking around a huge room of resources (and swag!) are just a few that come to mind. I even stretched myself by live-tweeting a session for the first time.
If you’ve never been to the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition and you have any connection to HR, I’d highly recommend going. And if you have content you think would be helpful to share with HR professionals, definitely consider applying to be a SHRM speaker. See you next year in Las Vegas?