Chicago is a little over a week away, and this is my 3rd SHRM conference. My first was in 2014 & I was excited but nervous about being around 13,000+ people. I’ve talked about it before, but I really don’t enjoy traditional networking. I don’t mind being friendly to folks who are sitting near me, but when you sit down in a learning session, you never quite know if that person really wants to chat or just focus on this session.
As a self-proclaimed introvert, I want to give you my tips on how to meet people & make a connection at a conference with so many people that you sometimes just want to/need to escape the bathroom for some peace.
First & foremost, don’t wait until you arrive in Chicago. It is going to be overwhelming to figure out where to even start. So start rplanning now. Here’s a few options to get you started:
- Follow the #SHRM18 hashtag on ALL social media (even LinkedIn). You will find someone who is already posting — trust me, there are lots of #SHRM18Bloggers putting out great content to help you prep for the conference.
- Visit the SHRM conference community. Search for your state, city, company type to see who is already there & looking to connect. [And really, search first!! Your topic is probably already there.]
- Join the unofficial Facebook networking group. There are SO many great events and what better way to meet people than with great food & drinks? I know I am looking forward to the Tuesday evening Lake Michigan cruise! I’ll be the one with the SHRM sign so if you go, grab me & let’s get a selfie!
- At the conference, You can sign up for Meet & Eats — again, great food with others who like that same food! Go to the link & sign up today!
- Are you a SHRM certified professional? Join us in the certification lounge for coffee, water, snacks and meet other certified professionals.
And if you aren’t able to go (sad face), be sure to join the Not at SHRM group on Facebook and use #NotatSHRM18 on Twitter. Jon & I were members last year and, well, here we are now hosting the #HRSocialHour. The group is a great way to get and stay connected with other great professionals & even feel like you are a part of it all.
Be sure to look for me there & let’s connect!