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SHRM 2013 Do’s and Don’ts (as Told by GIFs)

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been busy preparing for the Annual SHRM Conference and Exposition, which kicks off today in CareerBuilder’s hometown of Chicago. While there’s been plenty of advice going around regarding what to do, where to go and who to see during SHRM 2013, we at CareerBuilder decided we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer a few tips ourselves.

And so (building off of the great advice from fellow HR bloggers, recruiting experts and SHRM afficionados Matt Stollack, Trish McFarlane and China Gorman), CareerBuilder brings you a few more do’s and don’ts to make your conference experience a little more fun and a little less stressful… as illustrated by some of our favorite GIFs.

DON’T say “Seat at the Table”: Or do, but this is what could happen:


DON’T hog the swag: There’s a certain kind of high that comes from getting free stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s just stuff. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t pick up a few stress balls, lip balms and novelty candy items – just remember to leave some for the rest of us. And in case you’re tempted to overdo it, keep in mind what you’re going to look like carrying it on the plane back home:


DON’T forget your ibuprofen: SHRM is rife with parties. Remember to pace yourself.


DO have a game plan: There is a LOT to see and do at SHRM, which can make for a relatively overwhelming conference experience. Check the SHRM agenda and session descriptions beforehand and come up with at least a loose plan for what you want to do. Otherwise, you might end up like this:


DO network: As far as conferences go, SHRM is among the best in terms of quality and variety, but what also makes SHRM stand out is the networking opportunities it affords. Even if you’re shy, try to break out of your shell and introduce yourself to one or two other people. You might be surprised by the result.


DO grab coffee before you get to McCormick Place. If there’s one thing HR professionals need and love, it’s coffee. If you’re planning to grab coffee at the conference, however, prepare to wait in a long line (and possibly miss your first session). Stop at the cafe near your hotel first or make it in your room if you can. Especially if missing your cuppa joe has this effect on you:


DO pay attention to where you’re going: There will be an estimated 13,000 or so people running around McCormick Place, and ain’t nobody got the time or patience to get stuck behind someone who can’t decide where they’re going. My best advice? Stay out of the way, lest you end up like this…(I’ve seen it happen).


DO take your conference badge off when you leave McCormick Place. Unless you want to stand out as a tourist. (Not all of us have someone like Ross there to keep us in check:)


DO take photos: Especially if you get a chance to do some sightseeing. And remember to tag your photos with #EmpoweringEmployment and #shrm13 in order to donate $5 to i.c.stars and enter to win a prize. It’s a win-win situation.


SHRM veterans, what tips would you offer first time conference-goers? Newbies, any questions?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


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