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SHRM 2013 By the Numbers: A Recap

CBSHRM2013Coming back from the 2013 Annual SHRM Conference & Exposition is kind of like coming home from summer camp: you’re probably feeling a little disoriented, a little sleep deprived, and a little woozy from eating more processed food than the medical industry typically advises; however, you’ve also probably had a good time, met some cool people and learned a lot (such as how to spread your wings and learn how to fly, thanks to SHRM 2013 performer Kelly Clarkson).

In effort to help you process everything that’s happened over the past few days, here’s a quick recap of all the happenings at SHRM, by the numbers:

Two: Number of dogs in attendance, courtesy of VPI Pet Insurance.

127: Approximate number of minutes spent collectively waiting in line at Starbucks over the course of the conference.

Three: Number of times a session host has asked that people turn their pagers off.

Seven: Number of people in the world who still own pagers.

Four: Times a speaker said something along the lines of, “Those of you younger folks won’t understand this reference…” when making a reference to anything that existed before the iPad.

3,200: Approximate calories burned walking through McCormick Place to go from one session to the next/find caffeine/find a charger/track down a lost phone.

6,700: Approximate empty calories consumed via free cheese crackers, Hershey kisses, mini candy bars, orange cotton candy, popcorn, Cracker Jacks, breath mints, questionable-looking veggie wraps, etc…

Not one: Number of enemies I’d force to eat a SHRM boxed lunch.

70,000: Number of State Department employees opening keynote speaker Hilary Clinton manages as Secretary of State, an experience that has taught her that leadership is about being willing to take risks, and accepting that they don’t always work out. After all, she said, “you can’t win if you don’t show up.”

Seemingly infinite: Number of puns you can create using the word “SHRM” (e.g. “I SHRM glad I found a charger!” or “It sure is a SHRM there aren’t more places to get coffee in this place!”)

Surprisingly few: Number of people who don’t appreciate a good SHRM pun.

2 million: Pairs of new shoes TOMS has donated to children in need since 2006, according to TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, who gave Monday’s keynote. Mycoskie’s success with TOMS is a testament to the idea that not only does giving feel “amazing…but it’s also a good business strategy.”

41: Percent of time people say they spend “convincing people to give up something for something you have to offer,” according to bestselling author Daniel Pink, Tuesday’s keynote speaker. For this reason, Pink says, everyone is essentially a salesperson. Effective recruiting, therefore, requires sales skills in general and attunement, buoyancy and clarity in particular.

At least three: Ways presenters found a way to say “seat at the table” without actually saying “seat at the table”. Take, for example, the following session titles: ‘The Hunger Games: May the C-Suite Be Ever in HR’s Favor’; ‘Now THAT’S What I call Strategic HR’; and ‘Making the C-Suite Your Sweet Spot’.

None: Number of excuses anyone has for not effectively communicating with the people we work with, according to Captain Mark Kelly, who spoke along with wife Gabby Giffords on the final day of SHRM. Kelly discussed how his experience at NASA, where they stood by the saying, ‘None of us is as dumb as all of us,’ as a way to encourage people to speak up and offer differing opinions and solutions in order to come up with the best possible resolution.

Hundreds: General sessions offered during the course of the three-day conference.

One: Shockingly low number of general sessions dedicated to mobile recruitment, especially at a conference that prides itself on being (and usually is) ahead of HR trends. I was shocked to find such little content surrounding the mobile recruitment, especially considering how fast the mobile job search is rising.

95: Percentage of revenue the tchotchke industry would lose if SHRM didn’t happen.

Zero: Amount of street cred you can expect to earn walking around Chicago wearing said tchotchkes.

Countless: Opportunities SHRM is missing out on by not creating a “Sounds of SHRM” compilation CD of tunes played between sessions to sell in the SHRM store (think about it: a compilation CD with Bon Jovi, U2, Kelly Clarkson, K$sha, Avril Lavigne, Miranda Lambert…that right there would be good conference swag.)

10,000: Dollars SHRM-goers raised toward i.c.stars, a Chicago-based organization that helps low-income adults acquire needed job skills, using #SHRM13 #EmpoweringEmployment (Thanks to everyone who participated!)

Infinite: Amount of gratitude the SHRM workers and volunteers deserve for working so hard throughout the conference.

How was your SHRM experience this year? Anything that stands out for you?

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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