It’s conference season. Can you feel it? I know my inbox, mailbox and social media stream are full of invites and updates on the many conference happenings across the state and the country. Ah, the smell of freshly printed bag stuffers and programs makes this HR girl giddy.
Today, you can attend a conference for just about any Human Resource competency you can think of and some you have yet to consider. The beauty of this industry is the many solution providers, keynote speakers and events at conference provide a meaningful learning experience and exposure to processes and tools that address the needs of your HR department. The conference is designed to help all of us to become more efficient with our work and become better business partners.
With the many options out there regarding conferences and events, you do need to do your homework and make the right decision based on your criteria in bettering your department. There is always a good deal, a discount or otherwise free event to attend, but use caution and ensure that your conference budget dollars are used wisely.
I recently attended two conferences that were very specific to my area of expertise, talent acquisition. What I liked about these specialty conferences was the ability to network with my peers and being able to discuss possible solutions with the providers who really understood my business, my challenges, and honestly, spoke the same talent acquisition language as I did. I found the exchange of information refreshing and found the results brought value back to my organization. There is tremendous worth in hearing about trends in HR from those who are out in front testing, researching and developing solutions that are going to meet the needs in the future. This is important if you are involved in developing a strategic plan for your organization and aligning your budget forecasting and planning to address those needs. Frankly, that is the value my executive leadership is looking to me to bring to the conversation. That, to me is the value and validation of the cost to attend.
So how do you select your conference and continuing education events? Are you looking at just the cost or the actual content? Do you split up your spending based on who attended last year? Are you attending the same conference year after year because that is what you have always done? Have you looked at other specialty conferences that provide their attendees more meat and less fluff?
With so many options out there, organizations can be selective about what makes the most sense budget wise and provides your teams with the rich content, relevant topics and exposure to trends that impact the business. Those of us who attend need to ensure we are gaining not just recertification credits but new insight so we can return prepared to impact the organizations’ strategic planning.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the HR Florida State Conference, August 29th through the 31st, in one of the most visited cities across the US, Orlando, Florida! The HR Florida State Conference provides attendees the rich content, exposure to trends, and ensures the human resources professional— from any size organization—is well equipped to be that valuable business partner.
Conference season is open. Be prepared to suit up, step out and brave the chilly session rooms, the expos halls and keynote sessions. Be a warrior for your company and learn all you can, get smart on the latest employment law changes, trends in the HR business and bring the value, education and learning back to your organizations.
I will see you out there!
HR Florida State Council President
Carol McDaniel is the Director of Talent Acquisition at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Carol’s extensive background make her a subject matter expert in employer marketing and branding and she frequently speaks throughout the nation on talent acquisition and communications.