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

LA SHRM: A Non Stop Good Time

Whew, it’s been about a week since I attended the LA State SHRM Conference and I am just about recovered from the experience. I’m not going to lie to you, it was a really fun time and I left with some great take aways, and I don’t mean swag.

I know what you are thinking, you mean I went to a conference and got more out of it than just shenanigans? Crazy I know, but true. And don’t worry, there were still plenty of shenanigans. PLENTY of them.

Here’s my breakdown:
– Dudes, New Orleans is crazy. Like certifiable. There are people everywhere, they pop out from behind cars to cross the street (almost giving me several heart attacks while driving), and the cab drivers drive like they are on a timed obstacle course. All I can say is if it was that crazy just for Jazz Fest (which happened to be the same weekend as the conference) I do not want to know what it is like during Mardi Gras. I think my brain would explode.

– As I was at this conference “Officially” as part of the Social Media Team I had to be responsible. Basically, that means I did what I normally do at conferences which is run around hugging people, live tweeting sessions, and generally get under foot of the people doing real work. But in addition to that I got to help during a couple keynotes and even assisted some attendees figure out Twitter so I guess I was useful too.

-Oh, and did I mention I got to hang with my fellow social media team members Chris Ponder and Robin Schooling? That’s the kind of “work” I’d sign up for any day.

– Speaking of Keynotes, without a doubt each Keynote session was well done and informative. Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritsen of Talent Anarchy started the whole conference off with laughter, a free copy of their book, and a flash mob. The CEO panel with Rose Hudson of the LA Lottery and Hugh Weber of the New Orleans Hornets and moderated by the always amazing Mary Ellen Slater was both insightful and thought provoking. Finally, the closing keynote by Scott Eblin had the right energizing tone to help wrap things up and encourage you to go out there and do something that scares you.

– Did I mention that they trusted me with a microphone during the CEO panel? I don’t know what they were thinking either. But I was a good girl and just helped out during the Q&A like I was supposed to. I still managed to slip some fun questions from twitter into the mix…

– Have I mentioned yet how awesome Dwane Lay was as the Master of Ceremonies? Cause damn, he hit this one out of the park! If you think he is a good speaker, which duh, of course he is, then imagine that plus the requirement to warm up the crowd. Yeah, he had them eating out of his hand right from the start.

– And speaking of Dwane, if you haven’t seen his latest swag video from LA SHRM you HAVE TO go check it out right now. So funny and I even get to make a cameo appearance.

– I got to meet Buzz Rooney in like, her first IRL event. Wow, I remember that feeling. Just so you know, she is an absolute dear and lots of fun to hang with so if you get a chance to meet her, do it.

– On to the concurrent sessions. Like any conference, some are hits, some are misses, and most you aren’t able to attend. It’s called concurrent for a reason people. Which is a shame because I missed several awesome sessions I wanted to attend too. Luckily, you and I could follow the #LASHRM12 hashtag on twitter and stay on top of all the sessions. Isn’t the future awesome?

– Of the sessions I attended, Cathy Missildine’s session on Talent management metrics was my favorite because I could take the stuff I learned and use it the next day at work. Very insightful. Right behind her session in terms of awesomeness was Dr. Daniel Crosby with his session on leading people, not change and Jason Lauritsen’s session on Power and politics in organizations. Both were well done and personally helpful to me. You know, it’s like I went to sessions related to information I needed to apply to my own job. Crazy how that works out, right?

– A few sessions also fell flat for me, such as a session on employee engagement that started well but went bad once social media was brought up, a session on Cajun style leadership that was more about the DISC personality assessment and Gumbo (Seriously, too much gumbo), and an Entrepreneurial HR session that had potential, but didn’t give me anything useful to take away.

Wow, that was a long wrap up. Needless to say, I had a really good time, got to do this social media thing that I love, and learned a lot at the same time. Did I also mention the food in New Orleans is pretty damn good? Yeah, I know I’m a lucky girl. Not so lucky as to have won at the casino, but very lucky to get to hang with fun people in a crazy city.

Thanks LA SHRM for the great memories, especially the ones I can’t blog about. Remember people, the badges come OFF when you hit the town…

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