How to make the most of SHRM’s annual conference 2018

Carol Foote
Published on 29th May 2018
3 min read

The organizers of SHRM’s annual conference in Chicago this year have all the arguments you need when it comes to selling the business case for a ticket.

‘Solidify your reputation as an HR rockstar’ is their parting shot on the convince your boss’ page – a very handy five-point guide that makes it easy to explain why SHRM 2018, billed as ‘the largest and best HR conference in the world’, is a valuable use of four days between June 17-20.

Whether you style yourself as an HR rockstar or prefer a less conspicuous approach, the advice is good for this and any conference in terms of getting the most from your time.

Choose sessions in context of your organization’s top HR and People challenges; consider your own self-development; and take the opportunity to keep abreast of fast-changing thinking, new legislation and innovative tech that could deliver competitive edge.

As the organizers put it, ‘it’s time to expand your world’.

A comprehensive agenda

There are over 200 sessions, organized into six tracks, for easier review and selection:

  • Business and HR strategy
  • HR compliance
  • Global HR
  • Professional development
  • Talent management
  • Total rewards

Big names upfront

The headline speakers are pretty high profile and the promise that their stories will ‘energise and motivate’ delegates seems pretty convincing.

We’re guessing that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s session will be standing room only. For many delegates the chance to hear her speak will be worth the registration fee all by itself.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant has a big TED talk following and is widely known as an author.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz is the leader of one of America’s most established, high profile and influential businesses, so his insights should be pretty handy – we can’t wait to hear what he says.

Influence and insight into policy-making

SHRM is currently very active in the policy area – both in raising awareness, building engagement and influencing policy-making.

With the coming mid-term election in November 2018, the Trump administration and Congress face many HR-related public policy issues which will affect workplaces throughout the country.

That’s probably why former Florida State Governor Jeb Bush is also on the list of headliners. Now working in the private sector, he will undoubtedly bring some interesting policy-making tales to the stage, with his past experience in healthcare, environmental protection, civil service, tax reform and education.

One of the most intriguing sessions for HR leaders? ‘Tsunami or wave: the Washington outlook for HR public policy.’ It’s a practically focused session, promising to inform delegates about current congressional activity as well as federal regulatory and judicial activity, in context of how their organizations could be impacted and how to help the leadership team understand and prepare for them.

These policy hot topics include paid leave and workplace flexibility, immigration and worksite enforcement and combatting sexual harassment.

SHRM’s VP of government affairs Michael P. Aitken will make sure delegates know how to make their views count with Congress on these key issues for employers.

Come and say hello to the Sage team

We’ll be right there at the heart of the expo action on stand 245, so say hello to the team. We’ll be sharing insights from our latest research from 3,500 workers on what really engages them in the workplace, and giving demos of our global cloud HR and People system which transforms the way organizations engage with their workforces.

Our session on people analytics in action – five data points every manager needs (and how to get them) – is also worth making time for, with best practice tips you can take straight back to the office.

Account executive Dan Mayer will be spilling the beans on how equipping managers with actionable insight about their teams means better business performance, and increased engagement across your organization.

Join him to discover the five essential people analytics every successful manager needs to know – and how a cloud HR system can automatically provide this at the touch of a single button. You can catch him Monday 18 June at 12.15pm in the Exhibitor Solutions Theatre.

Don’t miss out

The annual conference has an exceptional keynote line-up, the opportunity to earn certification and recertification credits, more than 200 concurrent sessions, and countless networking opportunities.

We’ve partnered with SHRM to offer our customers a special discount for a limited time, save $200 on a full conference registration when you register with code E586. Visit the registration site here to obtain your discounted pass.

We’re also giving away 50 free passes to the exhibition too – visit the registration page and use code E586 to claim your free pass.

There’s also an app to help you find your way around and plan every minute of your visit. Visit the event website for all the details and to book.

We say: try and squeeze into the headline sessions, and seize the opportunity to get your head around political decision-making and how it will affect your organization in the coming year.

Heading to SHRM’s annual conference and exhibition? Let us know you’ll be there by tweeting us @SagePeople.


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