Making the Most of a Professional Conference

Published by Jessica Clark

Conferences for professional development can be fun and exciting. They offer an opportunity to get out of the day-to-day bubble, learn new things, meet new people, and shift one’s mindset. Ideally, the excitement from a conference translates back to the office routine. I recently attended the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) annual conference in Las Vegas with over 20,000 in attendance! It was magnificent to be in person with HR peers learning how to better support the vision of our company to attract and retain talent. Here are two ways I made the most of the conference:

  • I decided my desired outcomes for the conference beforehand. I wrote down two things I wanted to achieve while there: to learn about multiple generations in the workplace and to build a small network of professionals in my same industry from across the nation. To that end, I selected sessions in advance, which also made it easier for me to connect with others who shared my interest.
  • I had a plan to share what I learned upon return. Nothing cements learning more than explaining new information to others. I presented to our team my lessons learned about generations in the workplace and how those lessons tied to their daily work. I reviewed my notes, recordings, and slides from the sessions. Most importantly, I adapted the content to be meaningful to my colleagues as well as my own day-to-day operational activities.

By planning ahead and sharing my lessons learned, I know the investment in money, time, and energy at this conference will pay dividends to Highlands – well into the future!