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HR Tech Conference 2021: My view on an important HR Tech announcement

Steve Boese, HR Tech Conference chair
Steve Boese
Steve Boese is HRE's Inside HR Tech columnist and chair of HRE’s HR Technology Conference®. He also writes a blog and hosts the HR Happy Hour Show, a radio program and podcast.

Last week I took a much-needed break from the office and spent some time at one of my favorite spots on the East Coast—Holden Beach, North Carolina. But since I was away, and trying very hard to disconnect for the week, I did not comment publicly about some important HR Tech Conference news that was announced recently. As you can read about in detail on the conference website’s health and safety information page here, the HR Tech Conference has decided to require that all HR Tech 2021 participants show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

Related: HR Tech Conference to require COVID vaccines this year

This decision was a result of careful consideration and discussion, and the determination to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is what we believe is in the best way to help everyone feel more comfortable as well as to provide a further wellness safeguard for all in our HR Tech Conference community.

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I’m certain you have noticed that many events, concerts and festivals have made similar decisions in recent weeks, as we all try to balance the need and desire to return to “normal” activities and functions with the need to ensure as safe and comfortable an environment as possible. And many HR and business leaders have made the same determination for their own workplaces—linking the return to the physical workplace with proof of COVID-19 vaccination or, lacking that, regular negative test results for the virus.

Related: Why Fauci predicts a boost in vaccine mandates

So, in this current environment, requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a compulsory element of professional conference attendance is, we think, the right decision for our community. And the feedback I have received and seen since this decision was announced has been 100% positive, which is an encouraging sign.

In the first post in this weekly series of HR Technology Conference previews in mid-June, I observed that I had conducted more than 100 video calls during the planning process for HR Tech and that the number one sentiment I heard was that people just can’t wait to be at HR Tech again in-person to see and meet and talk and have a drink with friends new and old. In the two months or so since then, many things have changed and for some attending a conference has become less sure.

That is why the decision to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for HR Tech participants is so important. Because despite all that has transpired this summer, the desire to connect our HR tech community once again at HR Tech remains as strong and powerful as ever. I hope that you agree and that you can join me, and our community, at HR Tech in September.

Click here to register for the HR Tech Conference, Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Las Vegas.