10 Tips for #SHRM17 Final Prep

It's time to make final plans for #SHRM17 in New Orleans. SHRM has an amazing experience ready for us this year! If you have attended before, then you know that just a little bit of planning on the front end will ensure you capture all of the many benefits of the conference. Follow these ten tips to help you get the most out of your #SHRM17 experience.

1.       Figure out how you’re getting from the airport to your hotel. Many hotels have their own shuttles, but the timing varies, and may not meet your needs. A recent ordinance requiring ride sharing services to adhere to a minimum ride charge from the airport will not take effect for six months, so you may still find that these services have better pricing than taxis-probably around $24-33 one way (depending on distance and demand). A taxi from the airport to the Central Business District or the French Quarter costs $36 for one or two people, or for three or more, it's $15 per person. Share a ride to save money and network at the same time.Or for the ultimate in convenience, book a car service in advance and forget it!

2.       Check out activities to explore New Orleans for downtime. (If you’ve got any!) There are cemetery tours, architecture tours, food tours, ghost and voodoo tours, or all of the above! I am choosing a running tour to get in a workout and some sightseeing. #2Birds1Stone

3.       Download the #SHRM17 App and begin to build out your schedule. I’m glad the app also allows me to add events to my calendar to help me integrate with other work & networking activities during the conference!

4.       Identify not only which sessions are of interest to you, but also which speakers you might want to learn about and network with. Some speakers have books in the SHRM bookstore at the conference, and there will be book signings in the schedule.

5.       Think about food & friends! Plan to check out the “Meet to Eat” reservations as soon as you get to the conference – in Hall F of the convention center, and sign up to connect with other attendees for dinners. This is a terrific way to meet new friends and connect with HR Pros.

6.       Plan for your development activities at the conference: This SHRM article  is a great place to start. You can pick up a copy of the Competency Development Plan in the Certification Lounge or at the SHRM Booth (#1733) at the Expo.

7.       Put together your FMLA, Compensation and other HR questions now so you can bring them to the HR Advisor Central at the Connection Zone at #SHRM17 – it will be open Monday and Tuesday from 7:00 am-5:30 pm, and Wednesday from 9:30 am-1:00 pm. What a fantastic opportunity to consult with HR experts on timely topics that impact your organization!

8.       Follow ALL of the #SHRM17 Bloggers on Twitter (you can find a list here) and get ready to network with them at #Take10 sessions in the Connection Zone in Hall F of the convention center. If you keep an eye on the #Take10 hashtag, you’ll know when these HR pros are leading 10-minute interactive sessions. I’m especially excited for this new addition to the conference!

9.       Join the SHRM Foundation’s #ALLinSTEP challenge now! I have already burned through two Fitbits, but luckily you can get one at a discount now, or use your phone to track your steps. This year, you get to choose your team-get on board and start stepping beginning June 18th!

10.   Make a list of events. Get a handle on the events you know you want to attend. SHRM certified HR pros have their own special event. Regional councils are hosting dinners and parties. And many industries and HR sub-specialties are putting together their own events. Check out the SHRM Annual Conference and Expo Community to find out more.

11.   BONUS! One more step for final #SHRM17 planning – review the list of resource partners who will be at the Expo and choose which ones you would like to make sure to visit. SHRM makes it easy for you to plan, by listing exhibitors by category in the app. You can easily add them to a list of “my exhibitors” and keep track of your list. But don’t forget to wander around the Expo and get to know new potential partners as well.