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GMA SHRM 2018 Human Capital Conference – Through the Eyes of an Attendee

I’ve been attending the Greater Madison Area SHRM Human Capital Conference (HCC) for 5 years – the HCC is GMA SHRM’s biggest & most sought out professional development event.  Each year tops the one before, and this year was no different.  The day was jam-packed with informative, insightful, & relevant speakers that held my attention right through to happy hour (that’s right – they have an HR Happy Hour!)

The morning started with coffee (readily available all day – they know their audience), light breakfast, & networking.  It’s such a pleasure to catch up with familiar faces from past GMA SHRM events, and welcome those ‘first time attendees’ who are new to the chapter.  Folks that join GMA SHRM consistently site ‘networking’ as their top reason for joining – and there was plenty of that, with 240 attendees!

After morning announcements acknowledging GMA SHRM’s amazing volunteers, Pinnacle award, & other achievements (we’re the largest local SHRM chapter in WI!), our keynote speaker began.  I could go on for days, so I’ll just say this: Google David Horsager.  Read his books.  Listen to his speeches.  He talked about the importance of trust in teams.  As he began to discuss his 8 Pillars of Trust, you could feel the ‘aha’ moments happening.  Attendees telling themselves “this is why I came here today.”

Break time:  More networking, & chatting with GMA SHRM’s outstanding sponsors.  The sponsors were SO great, they even went above & beyond with their give-away-swag: attendees got Wisconsin shaped cookie cutters, a lion stuffed animal wearing a “Wild About HR” t-shirt, & designer chocolate, to name a few.  This isn’t your standard ‘free pen & note pad’ kind of event.

Breakout Session 1 – while there were numerous options, I choose the ‘Say Hello to Exit Interviews’, and learned invaluable information about the right timing, length, and content of exit interviews.  Attendees at this session listened to exit interview best practices from companies of various sizes and focuses – coming from a small, family-owned organization, this was invaluable information for me.

Lunch – everyone’s favorite!  Followed by the 2nd half of Mr. Horsager’s keynote speech.  Queue the ‘aha’ moments.

Breakout Session 2 –I choose to attend ‘Controlling Anger Before it Controls the Team’.  Not sure if that says anything about me but…it was an impactful presentation!   There were laughs as the group discussed adding games or fun to brighten things up at work (try speaking in a British accent, it’ll diffuse a tense situation immediately!).

Breakout Session 3 – the Future of HR.  Another stellar choice, as SHRM Field Services Rep Callie Zipple discussed the new realities of the workplace.  Anyone in attendance was given the info necessary to be ahead of the curve on innovative workplace technology affecting HR.  Think intelligent apps, new twists to paid leave (paternity leave anyone?), and more.

Just when you think the day is over – HR Happy Hour begins!  Drinks, apps, more networking – at this point in the day, everyone knows someone new & networking comes with ease.  Attendees received a raffle ticket, & GMA SHRM reps raffled off  top-notch prizes, donated by the generous event sponsors (a pair of Badger basketball tickets!?  Yes please!).  GMA SHRM also raised $425 for the SHRM Foundation through their silent auction.

I walked away feeling great, with a surplus of tactics & info to take directly to my team, and a few new ‘HR friends’ to boot.  Can’t wait until next year’s GMA SHRM Human Capital Conference!

Click here for a full breakdown of the successful 2018 GMA SHRM Human Capital Conference – http://www.gmashrm.org/2018-HumanCapitalConference

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