Chairman’s tips: Things to do before, during and after HR Tech
The HR Technology Conference is next week! If you are planning to attend the world’s largest event focused on Human Resources technology, I have three things to recommend you do before the event begins, three things to do while you are at the conference, and three things to do after the conference ends—all intended to help you make the most of your HR Tech experience.
Before the Conference
1. Download the conference’s mobile app. It’s available for iOS and Android, just search your app store for “HR Technology 2019” to find and download the app or visit hrtechconference.com/app. Once downloaded, search for HR Technology 2019 and login to the app with your HR Tech badge number (check your email for a message with the subject “HR Technology 2019 – Badge Pickup Information and more” to get that number). On the mobile app, you can browse the agenda, create a schedule, learn about speakers, find a map of the Expo and much more. The mobile app is the best way to prep for and navigate and manage your conference experience.
2. Review the agenda. Before you arrive in Las Vegas, you will want to study the largest-ever HR Tech agenda to identify the “can’t-miss” sessions based on your area of interest, industry, job role, etc. At the event, it can be difficult to make choices because so many great sessions are happening simultaneously throughout the show. Taking time before the show to plan your schedule is a must. The agenda is on the mobile app and online on the conference website here. You can also visit the HR Tech Conference News page on HRExecutive.com to find dozens of stories about the content we’ve lined up for you.
3. Pack accordingly. Las Vegas in the fall usually has just about perfect weather, that is, if you love abundant sunshine and high temperatures in the 80s! But since it will be the first week of October, nighttime temps can dip into the 50s, so make sure you have options for the many nighttime and social events that happen around the conference. And of course, we all know that often the A/C is cranked up in the session rooms so you may want to be prepared for that too. And wear sensible shoes!
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During the conference
1. Allocate your time and energy. You made sure to review the agenda beforehand, right? Good. During the conference, it is important you focus on achieving your most important objectives. It could be to take in as many educational sessions as possible, it could be to meet with and see demos from a short list of HR tech providers, it could be to meet and network with colleagues and peers in your industry—whatever you want to achieve, make sure you intentionally allocate your time and energy in those areas. And make sure, if you can, to leave some unstructured time for things you find or stumble upon that pique your interest. There is so much to do and see at HR Tech that having a plan is essential to get the most out of your experience. You also can follow along with complete conference coverage here on HRExecutive.com.
2. Connect and network actively. It can be easy at a large conference like HR Tech to feel a bit lost in the crowd—either in the keynote sessions, at breaks and meal times, in the Expo—heck, even on the walk from the hotel to the conference center. My advice is to be more open and social than you might normally be. Take time to chat up the people you see, the vendor reps in the Expo (they are harmless, I promise!), the speakers that you always wanted to meet, (another tip, speakers love it when a line of attendees forms to meet them after their session), and of course the other attendees in sessions. We are introducing some new, fun tools to help facilitate your networking at the conference, make sure you take advantage of those as well.
3. Have fun! There are plenty of reasons to attend HR Tech. To learn about the latest and most innovative HR solutions, to actively demo and shop for new technology for your organization, to learn from some of the greatest speakers in HR and HR tech, and to network with the HR tech community. But you also should make sure to have fun! After a long day of sessions, demos in the Expo, a lot of time on your feet walking the conference center, you need to take some time for you too! Your emails can wait! One specific tip is to come by the special, live HR Happy Hour Show that Trish McFarlane and myself will be doing in the Pitchfest Theater in the Expo at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. It’s the best kind of Happy Hour, as we will mix beverages, with fun conversation on all things HR tech with a great group of special guests.
After the Conference
1. Solidify the connections you made. Make sure to lock-in all those great contacts you made at the conference. Follow up with vendors, peers, industry experts—really, anyone you met at the event with whom it would be valuable to have an ongoing interaction. Whether it is on LinkedIn, through email, even dare I say—in real live conversations, the ongoing value you get from HR Tech is at least partly driven by the strength of the ongoing relationships that you first form at the conference.
2. Evaluate what you learned. Take some time to think carefully about what you saw and heard, both from the sessions and speakers as well as from what you saw in the Expo Hall. Did you learn something at HR Tech that has challenged some assumptions you had or plans you had made? Do you need to think differently about what, how, where and when your organization is implementing new HR tech? Did you see some new, exciting HR tech innovation that you just have to have? Make sure that your time spent at HR Tech converts into real, lasting value for you and your organization.
3. Mark your calendars. Finally, it’s never too early to make plans to attend HR Tech in 2020. Mark your calendar for Oct. 13-16, 2020, when the conference will once again be held at the Venetian in Las Vegas. We’d love to welcome you back to HR Tech again next year.
I hope everyone coming to HR Tech has a wonderful experience and I look forward to welcoming you all to Las Vegas next week.