HR conferences might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but they’re totally worth attending. Despite the pricey cost of attendance, these are invaluable platforms for networking, career development, and stocking up on re-certification credit. Plus, you’ll pick up tons of new strategies and pointers that will let you up your HR game. But we get it—your time is valuable, and with new events coming out every day, how will you know which ones are really worth attending? We’ve put together a list of can’t-miss conferences to help.
This year’s HR West event is perfect for HR professionals interested in networking or anyone who wants to partner with an HR solutions provider. It’s been called the “un-conference” of HR conferences due to its attendee-focused format – no big expo halls here, just a collaborative environment that’s small enough to establish meaningful relationships yet large enough to attract leaders in the industry.
Over the course of 80 concurrent sessions, you’ll get to attend presentations on everything from law and talent management to leadership and recruiting. This conference will be held in San Francisco between March 11 and 13. The prices range from $888 to $1,333 for NCHRA Members and $1,073 to $1553 for non-members.
The i4cp conference is consistently ranked among the best HR conferences in the world. It’s basically a big, four-day networking event that’s filled with great presentations about innovations in the industry. This one is aimed at senior-level HR, talent, learning, and other business leaders who are interested in networking. To this end, i4cp doesn’t allow vendors or consultants – the only people you’ll speak to are your peers!
This is all going down in Scottsdale, Arizona between March 11 and 14. The price of attendance ranges between $2,495 to $3,495.
The SHRM Talent Conference and Exposition is a great event for recruiters, HR managers, and talent managers who want to improve their strategies. This one is going to be pretty big – expect upwards of 1,400 people to be there. You’ll also be able to attend over 80 sessions that will get you up to date on the newest industry trends like data-driven action, behavioral interviewing, implementing artificial intelligence, and much more. This HR conference will take place between April 8 and 10 in Nashville, Tennessee. The price of attendance ranges from $1,130 to $1,890. Make sure you get your ticket while the early bird sale is still going!
The ATD International Conference and Exposition is one of the largest HR conferences in the world. This four-day event will have over 10,000 attendees and 400 speakers. This year’s motto is “help others reach their full potential by reaching yours”, a theme they’ll explore with presentations and workshops on career development, learning technologies, and tips for improving your HR strategies. Oh, and the opening keynote is Oprah Winfrey.
This conference will take place in Washington D.C. between May 19 and 22. It’s one of the more affordable conferences if you’re a student, ATD member, or if you buy the ticket during the “early bird” sale. The price currently ranges from $800 to $2,500.
The California HR Conference is perfect if you’re an HR professional who wants to learn more about legislation, networking, and the laws that will affect the future of the industry. Expect plenty of great presentations and opportunities to make career-changing connections.
All of this is happening in Long Beach, California between August 25 and 28. The prices currently range from $375 to $949.
The Strategic HR Forum is a can’t-miss event for senior-level HR professionals, especially those with more than fifteen years of experience in the industry. This conference is known for its unparalleled networking opportunities and top-of-the-line presentations. So if you’ve been meaning to work on that personal brand of yours, this is the place to do it!
This year the topic is “leading through disruption”, so many of the presentations will revolve around how HR leaders turn the disruption of innovation into a competitive edge for their organizations. The event will be held in Boston, Massachusetts from October 27 to 29. The price ranges from $2,095 to $3,790.
There’s a reason these events are always flooded with attendees: they’re really, really useful! Industry leaders gravitate toward these conferences and often give information-packed presentations regarding the newest strategies and methods in HR. Better yet, the room will be filled with other HR professionals who are just as interested as you in developing their careers, learning new skills, and meeting new people.
Do your research ahead of time! It’d be really helpful to know a bit about the speakers, any notable people who will be there, and which sessions are most relevant to you. Jotting down a quick schedule of the start and end times of these sessions will help you get the most bang for your buck. Also, remember that a major component of these events is networking – come prepared to share your insights and bring enough business cards to get you through the whole event. On that note, don’t be afraid to ask for business cards either. This is a great way to bolster your LinkedIn profile and your personal connections.
It’s tough to approach new people, but the relationships you can form at HR conferences can give you and your company some great advantages. Just keep your business cards handy, keep your phone in your pocket, and get in there and mingle! If you find moments to chat with presenters, take them. If everyone seems busy or if they’ve already formed into groups, walk over and join one of them. Throughout the day, make sure you keep a list of names and contact information on some of the more interesting people that you meet. Once you get home, you can start following up with them. You never know when you’ll be back in town or when a new job might open up that they think you’re perfect for!