Learning & Development

10 Tips to Survive and Thrive at HR Tech 2015

The HR Technology Conference & Expo is literally one week away and that means it is time to start planning. Whether it is your first (or tenth… sigh) HR Tech, it can be an overwhelming experience which is why I came up with the Top 10 Insider HR Tech Tips and Tricks.

  1. COMFORT IS KEY – The show is spread out in Mandalay Bay Conference Center in Vegas, so you know there is going to be a lot of walking back and forth to sessions so do it in comfort. No joke. My first year I wore cute heels, but now I am that person in the borderline ugly, kind of cute comfortable shoes. Seriously it sounds like basic common sense, but you wouldn’t believe how many people rather look cute than be able to walk at the end of the show. Your tootsies will thank you!
  1. GET A GAME PLAN– Outline the major things that you want to get done while at HR Tech. This could be attending specific sessions, meeting friends or going to see a Cirque show. Get these items prioritized so that when it comes time to build your agenda, scheduling won’t be too difficult. Try downloading the HR Tech Conference app – it lets you know where and what time everything is happening.
  1. WORK YOUR WAY IN– The expo hall is huge and definitely overwhelming. Most attendees start exploring the show floor in the middle, which is where the large vendors and flashy booths are located. Instead, my advice is to start from the outside and work your way in. This is where the gems are. These smaller booths don’t have booth babes, but will gladly show you a quick demo without being too heavy on the sales pitch. There’s also an area designated to HR technology startupsDon’t forget to stop by booth #2614 to check out Meridian Knowledge Solutions (yes, I know it is a shameless plug)


  1. CHARGE IT– You will be at a show for 2-3 days and you will forget your power cords. It’s bound to happen, so external charges are a great way to move about the event while getting a charge on your mobile device. Being relatively inexpensive, you won’t regret getting one. I’d be willing to bet several vendors will be giving theses out at their booths!
  1. DON’T BE A HOG – As we all know, outlets are hard to come by – especially in the sessions or on the expo floor. If you are planning on using one, plan ahead and pack a power strip. You’ll make lots of friends and won’t feel guilty about hogging the only outlet in the room.
  1. A PICTURE CAN TELL A STORY – With so much to do and see at HR Tech, the best way to document your experience is to snap a few pics. Take photos of session title – it’s a great reference to speaker names and Twitter handles and allows you to easily find the recording or specific group post-event. So click away!
  1. BE AN EARLY BIRD – Once you arrive in Vegas, try to get checked-in as early as possible – like Sunday morning when lines tend to be short and the process easy. Monday morning will be crazy busy and chaotic. Registration is where you’ll get your badge, HR Tech bag and some free goodies. And remember, to gain admittance to any part of HR Tech, you need your badge. It will get you into every session, keynote presentation and the expo hall.
  1. DON’T FORGET BUSINESS CARDS – Every year I bring a small stack of business cards and never seem to pack enough. When meeting new people, it is great to be able to get their card, write down a note on how and where you met and what you talked about on the back. Then, when you need to make contact, it’s easy recall when, where and how you met.
  1. GET OUT – Conferences are fun but you can’t visit Las Vegas and not do a little sightseeing. Take some time and explore the city! Check out the incredible hotels, see an amazing show or enjoy a world-class restaurant. Check out things to do in Las Vegas for more information.
  1. BREATHE – Let’s face it, trade shows are long! There is a lot happening at HR Tech but that doesn’t mean that you need to see or do it all, it’s easy to stop and rest. Take some time to sit with new or old friends, enjoy a conversation and recharge. Remember the show is 3 days long!

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