#SHRM22 Annual Conference & Expo: The Introvert’s Guide to #Conferencing

#Conferencing is a term that has been coined by the #SHRM19Blogger contingent that took on Las Vegas.  The annual conference is an EVENT, and it can be overwhelming for those that are first-timers or even recurring attendees.  There are a LOT of blog posts by my fellow #SHRM22Influencers that will help you every step of the way for first-time attendees.  We are HR people, People people, and we are here to help!

This guide is a little bit different.  I’m a card-carrying Introvert, INTJ, and I’m here to help.

#Conferencing is not a spectator sport as I’ve shared before.  Conferences are designed for a few purposes:

Connect in person. I hear you, you’re an introvert, and you’re happy with the people you’re already connected with — or you don’t know where to start.  Lucky for you, I have some card-carrying extroverts that would LOVE to help you.  It’s a little-known fact that extroverts love helping out their introvert friends.  Allow me to introduce you to a few of the #HRCommunity’s pals:

My friend and unofficial mentor, Steve Browne.  Steve not only wants to connect with you, he wants to help you!  Find Steve, and tell him Nicole sent you!  Also check out Steve’s sessions!

In the event you don’t know him, this is Steve.

One of my favorite humans ever and wine buddy, Kyra Matkovich. Kyra is the keeper of the #HRShenanigans and held down the fort with the virtual conference last year.  She will be in NOLA with us this summer, and she’d love to meet you!

Speaking of making life-long friends, this is Josh Rock and Kyra — in Kyra’s hometown.

Attend the events!  There is Tuesday night entertainment, Sunday reception in the Exhibitor Hall, and plenty of other events provided throughout the conference.  Attend the events and don’t just go back to your room at the end of the day!  Sign up for Jess Miller-Merrill’s VIP Text Alerts from Workology’s Party People.  Text ‘SHRM’ to 512-548-3005 and get live updates on where all the activities are taking place!

Pre-Conference Meet-Up at SHRM21!

Connect virtually. As mentioned, Kyra held down the fort for the virtual conference last year, and SHRM is offering a virtual option for those unable to join in person in New Orleans this year as well!  Follow the following hashtags: #SHRM22, #SHRM22Influencer, #CauseTheEffect (our 2022 theme). I can’t tell you the number of genuine connections I’ve formed with my virtual #HRCommunity that have become real-life friends that I’m sure I’ll have for a lifetime.

Learn New Things and SHARE IT: There are 11 content tracks with 200+ expert-led sessions in store for you at SHRM22 this year.  Check out the full conference schedule and PLAN your experience.  The app will be coming out shortly.  Pay attention to where sessions are located and when you arrive, don’t barricade yourself with your bags at the end of the row and check your e-mail until the session starts.  Get comfortable and be open to meeting others around you.  Chances are if you’re in the same session, you share interests in the subject matter. Take a chance and introduce yourself, and if you don’t take the first step, at least be open to those sitting around you.  Be present and ask questions/participate. Share your key learnings on social media — and don’t forget the hashtags!

Hope this helps!  Remember to make the most of your time while also still being true to yourself and your boundaries.  These are suggestions from one introvert to another.  Enjoy and please connect with me if I can help in any way.  See you there!

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