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Making the Most of SHRM19 – our top tips and picks from the conference

shutterstock 243798976THOUSANDS of HR professionals will gather next month to attend the annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference: it’s a pretty epic event.

If you’re lucky enough to be attending – it’s taking place in none other than Vegas – we’ve put together a guide to making the most of your time there. Winging it could be pretty overwhelming and lead to missed opportunities.

We’re not saying you need to plan every single second of your time, but you should definitely have a rough idea of what you want to do in advance so that you don’t miss anything that’s of interest to you. It’s a huge opportunity to help you build upon your HR strategy and to network with thought leaders of the industry.

Keep some space free for ad hoc meetings but know in advance who and what you’d like to listen to. Download the SHRM conference app as it will keep you updated on everything you need to know about talks, speakers and where you’d like to be on any given day.

Here, we’ve looked at the schedule and chosen our must-sees:


  1. Richard Ramsey, former Vice President of HR for Walt Disney International is hosting a Mega Session on Monday 06/24, entitled It’s Not Magic: You Too Can Create a Culture of Futures Thinkers, aimed at senior-level professionals. Ramsey talks about his experience at Disney and discusses how “future thinking” can identify gaps in talent and skills and inspire businesses to work towards filling these gaps. He’ll also discuss the importance of creating a global standardized training program.
  2. Blake Mycoskie, the inspirational founder of shoe brand TOMS, is one of the keynote speakers at this year’s SHRM conference. We’re definitely going to try and catch him talk about the humble beginnings of the company that is now not only hugely successful, but that has provided more than 60 million pairs of shoes to children, restored eyesight to more than 400,000 people, provided clean water and birthing kits to thousands more. The power of giving in business really is something and hearing about it from someone who has been so successful is sure to be inspirational.
  3. Another talk worth going to is with Airbnb’s Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership, Chip Conley, who’s going to be a part of the Change Makers Series with his talk, entitled, Wisdom @ Work: The Making of a Modern Elder. When he joined Airbnb, he was surrounded by 20-somethings and quickly came to realize the value of the knowledge and wisdom he had acquired during his career. Insight, emotional intelligence and leadership skills are often shutterstock 443081269traits that come with time and experience, so he was able to advise and mentor. And, of course, learning isn’t a one-way street – there’s a wealth of knowledge that baby boomers can learn from millennials too.
  4. It’s Not About the Coffee: Leadership and Culture Lessons from the Ups and Downs at Starbucks takes place Monday 06/24 at 7.15am and is another one we’re keen to sit in on. This session, by former Starbucks President, Howard Behar and renowned author and keynote speaker, Jason Barger, promises to teach attendees how to proactively develop leaders and culture in times of rapid change. Behar will share his top three lessons of leadership from his term at Starbucks.

The above talks and sessions are just the tip of the iceberg on what’s sure to be an awesome opportunity of networking and learning. Click here for your session planner and to choose what you’d like to put on your list of must-sees.

Global Shares will also be at SHRM19 – we’re exhibiting at booth 1010. Come find us. We’re an employee equity management company and our team has grown by more than 300 per cent over the past three years, to more than 250 staff in 11 offices across the globe. We specialize in helping companies attract, retain and engage top talent. Talk to us today about setting up a simple way to manage your employee stock plans. We’d love to help you grow alongside us. Click here for more information on how we can help.

Aisling Riordan
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