4 Tips for #SHRM15 No One Is Mentioning

My apologies to regular readers who haven’t seen me blog in a year. The last quarter of 2014 and the first of 2015 was full of personal problems that killed my desire to blog about workplace issues. Or about anything.  But SHRM15 is here, and it is time to take back the night! Or something like that.


If you are following the #SHRM15 Twitter stream, or reading a few blogs for tips, you have probably read that you should wear comfortable shoes and bring a sweater for blasting air conditioners, despite the outdoor Las Vegas heat. Good tips, BUT – no one is telling you to mind your own business when it comes to other attendees clothing choices. Until now. So quit dissing women for wearing capris or yoga pants, or carrying Coach bags. Quit snickering about men who wear cargo shorts and polo shirts. WHO CARES? Wear what you like and can learn best in – and let others do the same. I like to wear dresses and sneakers. If you have a problem with that, it will interfere with your state of mind, not mine. Let it go.


I am addressing this mostly to those attendees whose employer is paying some or all of the substantial cost of attending #SHRM15: work hard and bring value back to your benefactor. Some employers need information from sessions, some will benefit most from you networking with others, and some need the scoop on vendors and products. You decide. But it is almost a certainty that laying by the pool, getting drunk at the bar, or visiting Hoover Dam isn’t helping your employer at all. It’s great to have a little fun, but be mindful of how lucky you are to have an employer who is willing to spend some money for you to be at the conference, and bring back as much real value as you can. And value is NOT cheap freebies from the exhibition floor. Trust me on this.


Hey, I’m an SPHR (although I skipped the SHRM certification for reasons not relevant to this post), so I am mindful of credits and wanting to keep the cert you have up to date. But for this conference, forget your certification and just find sessions and experiences that you will learn from and delight you. After SHRM14, I wrote about how SHRM was really trying to expand their offerings a bit to include topics and speakers that were a little new and different. Don’t choose sessions based on how many credits you think you can earn. You can do better.


Do you ever approach active military personnel and say “thank you for your service”? Do the same thing at SHRM15. This conference doesn’t run without all kinds of volunteers, and they don’t even get to attend the Tuesday night entertainment unless someone donates their ticket. Show them some appreciation, because they deserve it.