SHRM 12 ANTI-SWAG

I was truly amazed at the size of the bags being carried off the vendor expo floor at SHRM 12. I was even more amazed at how much stuff attendees had managed to cram into those bags. I am not exaggerating when I say that some of the bags I saw would not come close to fitting into the suitcase I brought, even without anything else in the suitcase. What do attendees really do with all of that stuff?

But I was not so smug as to come home from SHRM empty-handed. Most of what I brought home wasn’t truly swag, though, because the items I stuffed into my already-full suitcase were not Something We All Get. With a couple of exceptions, they were gifts. Many were gifts I got because I was part of a blogger team, and some gifts came from connections I made.

Here’s what was important enough to me to make suitcase space for:

 

1. T-shirts – One is pictured above and was received from Dice.com for being an official SHRM blogger. There is a Twitter bird logo on the back comprised of all of the bloggers Twitter names, which makes it a keeper. The rubber “Connect Rockstar” bracelet came from Dice.com as well. I also got a t-shirt from The Starr Conspiracy, but I wore it as a bathing suit cover-up in Atlanta and it was already in the dirty clothes when I took the picture.

2. Meet-Meme Cards – SHRM was nice enough to provide these for the blog team and I had some left over. I am a huge fan of Meet-Meme cards and I use them as my personal business card, so the extras from SHRM were a nice bonus.

3. Rubber Stamp – Also a gift from The Starr Conspiracy to their bloggers. I can’t tell you what it says because it is a super-secret conspiracy, and it is personal and mysterious. I am going to use it on my Freak Flag, though (see #6).

4. Tiny Tote Bag – This actually is swag. I got it from Baudville because I needed a small tote that fit inside the large tote I had been carrying around. I put it to use immediately, taking just my wallet and phone on multiple runs to Starbucks for tea. I also took – and ate – a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting from their booth, which is really my idea of great swag.

5. Social NOTworking – This book was given to me by author Jody Katz Pritikin, who I interviewed for a future blog about employment lawyers at SHRM 12. I missed her session due to a conflict so she gave me her book to read. It has lots of cool pictures, and she likes social media,  so I will definitely read it.

6. CD – This CD of country music was given to me by another attendee, Carol Ann Timmel. She was not a speaker, sponsor, or vendor. We got into a conversation at the Skillsoft  party, and she brought the CD by the blogger lounge the next day.

7. Freak Flag – Most of this flag is white, with just the Talent Anarchy logo in the corner. I missed the Talent Anarchy presentation due to a conflict, but I am thankful that I have seen them present before because they are amazing. They want people to decorate the flag in their own way and then post pictures. I will definitely do that but I need to go to the store for some colored Sharpies to accent my rubber stamp.

The moral of this story is that attendees should choose wisely when deciding what is really important for them to take and keep. Think about how many natural resources and fossil fuels were used making and transporting things that are probably going to end up in your kitchen junk drawer and just. say. no.

What did you take home from your last conference?

HRevolution 2011 – Rants and Raves

I like to post a blog after attending a conference called Rants and Raves. Here’s an example, in case you didn’t know,or, more likely, you have forgotten because I haven’t posted in so long.

RANTS

HRevolution Polo Shirts – Sure, it was nice of the organizers to give everyone who has been at all three events a white polo shirt with the neat HRevolution logo on the chest. But, folks – come ON! You have known me for over two years now and I am pretty sure you can figure out my proper size.

Stuffed Monsters – Yeah, Eric Weingardner and his Monster.com team had those big stuffed monsters laying all over the place. They didn’t have ONE little one, though. The last time I took home a big stuffed monster I thought someone from the TSA was going to shoot me in the Louisville airport. Besides, my dogs like the little monsters better.

Meet-Meme Trading Cards – Okay, the people at Pinstripe had a great giveaway in those cards, so email or message Sue Marks and thank her, as I did.  BUT – 50 cards for 130 people? Sheesh. We don’t have to remind the world that HR people can’t count.

If you haven’t figured it out, I’ll spell it out – these are ridiculous rants and I was planting my tongue firmly in my cheek while writing them. Truth is, I could not find one legitimate thing to rant about, and I didn’t want to give up my post title.

RAVES

Trish McFarlane – The Queen of HRevolution, Trish acts as the true ringleader of the HRevolution planning crew. She is also directly responsible for getting sponsorships that help this event come to life.  Her work in attracting Monster.com, Pinstripe, Ceridian, Aquire, Inc., SHRM, and PeopleMatter creates a big value for the attendee buck.

Steve Boese – Most people had difficulty deciding which concurrent session to attend, and I was no different. They all sounded wonderful, and they were. Steve was responsible for assembling facilitators and sessions, and he deserves a huge round of applause for making this a learning and giving event like no other.

Crystal Peterson – Great space, nice traffic flow, good food, plentiful snacks and drinks. Crystal deserves the nod for making attendees so comfortable that all of that heavy duty brain power could focus on the discussion and not on discomfort.

Ben Eubanks – Ben kept all of the HRevolution information in your face and up-to-date, so you knew where to discuss an issue on Linkedin, or send your Meet-Meme information. Oh, and he brought his beautiful family with him to HRevolution, so the attendees got to meet Melanie, Bella, and Bree. That’s rave-able by itself.

Special Sponsors – All sponsors are special, really, but I have to single out Eric Weingardner of Monster.com and Lois Melbourne of Aquire.  Eric and Lois have both attended all three HRevolution events, adding their considerable smarts to the discussion. Both represent a corporation that sells product to HR folks, but they have been there to participate and learn, not to sell and shill. They epitomize the best of HRevolution.

Attendees – Caring, warm, intelligent, thoughtful, insightful, enthusiastic, and a little bit naughty. It was my pleasure to spend a couple of days with you.

 

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