With the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. just behind us and the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas only a few short days away, I can’t help but feel that, in some ways, we are at a new beginning in the world of work. After the disruptions of the pandemic, and the “great reopening” enduring many fits and starts in 2021, it finally seems like much of the business world is ready to return to “normal”—or at least something approaching what work and life were all the way back in 2019.
So, if you are planning to come out to HR Tech in person, it very well may be that it will be your first in-person conference in three years or so—and my guess is that you are jazzed to be attending. I can tell from the messages I have received and the discussions I’ve observed online that the interest and excitement for this year’s HR Tech is incredibly high.
This year’s event will surely be different and even better than those held pre-pandemic, largely because we’ve all stopped taking for granted the ability to bring the HR technology community together, en masse, for several days of learning, exploring innovative HR software, deal-making and fun. For sure, I think the event will have a celebratory feel, and if you are like me, we will all feel a little bit more grateful for the opportunity to be present at HR Tech once again.
But, besides the personal enjoyment we all get from events like HR Tech, I do want to remind everyone that HR still means business and HR technology is more critical than ever for organizations. The combination of a persistently challenging labor market, the ongoing “Great Resignation,” the intense debate over remote and hybrid work—not to mention the pre-pandemic priorities of upskilling, reskilling, diversity and inclusion, automation and more—all work together to create the most challenging environment for HR and talent leaders that we’ve ever seen in our careers.
The good news is that the HR Technology Conference has always been about business—helping organizations discover the technology solutions that drive successful business and people outcomes. It’s fortunate for us, who spend all year planning and then executing the conference, that our purpose and mission have never been more important. It’s a responsibility we take seriously, as I can tell you from years of working on this event; we know just how important it is to our HR technology community.
While the business importance of the event has always been clear, it might be a little bit novel that—at least for this year—there is also a powerful emotional element we will see at HR Tech. Finally, after almost three years, the entire community will once again be together—in one place, at the same time and in person.
There are plenty of commentary pieces that offer “advice” for attending conferences, so I didn’t want to try and do another one here. But I will drop one bit in closing: Make sure to take advantage of all HR Tech has to offer for your organization and business, while also taking some time to appreciate that we can be together again and all be a part of this fantastic HR technology community. I can’t wait to see you there!