… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

On Conferences

Last year through a strange combination of luck/unemployment/Press (Blogger) Passes/Location I was able to attend quite a few HR conferences. It was great to meet/hang with so many people in person, geek out about HR topics, and have quite a bit of fun too. I’m all about the shenanigans.

This year though, I might only get to attend 3 (A surprise ADP User conference, HREvolution 3 and the upcoming HR Florida) Ha! Only 3. A lot of HR pros never even make it to 1 in a year. It’s funny how spoiled you can get and how quickly too.

Right now, The SHRM 2011 National Conference is happening in Las Vegas and I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to break away from work to go. A lot of great peeps are there and I hate missing an opportunity to hang out with this funny little HR online community that has become like another family to me. (Hugs to everyone)

Now, I think that every HR pro needs to try attending conferences in order to network, learn about new ideas in their field or to stay current, and if they are already online making connections, then using conferences as a chance to take those online connections offline. But I also know that company budgets get slashed and that conferences are expensive to attend if you have to pay your own way. Not only that, but there are so many conferences out there, it can sometimes be risky to take a chance and spend your money on a conference only to have it turn out to be a flop and a waste of time.

But thanks to social media there are many great ways to not only experience some of the excitement of conferences, you can also learn a lot about them before deciding if you want to go. Bloggers attending conferences go crazy with blog posts both before, during, and after the events. Sessions and key notes are live tweeted. Videos and interviews are conducted and posted online. And if you are researching a conference in an attempt to decide if you want to go, just look at all the information that can now be found online about last year’s event!

No, it’s not the same as being there, but the amount of access social media gives us to the world is still quite amazing and if you aren’t already, you really should be taking advantage of it. Personally, I’m following the #SHRM11 hashtag on twitter for live updates and looking forward to all the great blog posts from some of my favorite people. You should be too.

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