HR Tech Conference 2015: Your Complete Guide

The HR Tech Conference is THE conference to go to if you’re in the HR industry.

The conference takes place October 18-21 at the Mandalay Bay in beautiful Las Vegas.

The best of the best will be there (including Officevibe), and we’ve got you covered with a complete guide to making sure you have a successful time.

There will be thousands of attendees there, most of them senior executives, meaning this is the place to be if you want to meet decision makers.

What’s important to understand about the HR Tech conference is that it’s not a software show. It’s not only meant for technology vendors. Everyone can learn something from the conference, even people not in HR.

Thinking of registering for the conference? Use promo code OV15 when registering to save $150!

There are sessions about rewards, recruiting, talent management, workforce analytics, and a bunch more.

Even better, there are real case studies from real companies, explaining their challenges and how they addressed them.

Companies like Unilever, Marriott, and Cisco are a few of the companies sharing their stories.

Another cool thing to look out for this year is their first-ever HR Tech Hackathon, where top engineers from HR firms will have 48-hours to code up something cool, with the attendees choosing the winner.

Going to this conference isn’t cheap, so it’s best to be prepared and have a solid game plan to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Tips To Get The Most Out Of The Conference

It doesn’t matter if you’re going for free because your company paid for you because your time spent at the event is worth money.

If you want to get your money’s worth, here are a few suggestions:

Have Great Business Cards

Recently, it has become somewhat trendy not to have business cards, just connect on Linkedin, right? Wrong.

You want to make it as simple as possible for people to contact you. More importantly, you want to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Make your business cards memorable.

jacob shriar business card

I’m confident that these will stand out and make people remember me.

Don’t Eat Lunch With People You Know

Use this opportunity to network and meet new people. Don’t go out for lunch, eat with all the other attendees, and sit with people you don’t know.

It’s tempting to hang out with the other people you might have come to the event with, but that’s a big mistake. You already know these people.

At the HR Tech conference, there are just over 11 hours of solid networking time if you include the lunches and “refreshment breaks.”

Attend The After-Party

You know what they say – what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas ;)

This is where the real networking happens. When people loosen up a bit (after a few drinks) they’ll end up connecting with you on a deeper level.

While at the after-party, stay away from the dancefloor and the speakers, you want to be able to have a conversation.

Also, don’t leave the party early even if you’re tired. You’ll benefit more from staying than leaving.

Follow Up With Everyone

This is an important rule for any conference – but especially important for the HR Tech conference.

When you get home after the conference, do a personal follow-up with every single person that you met. It might take you an hour or two, but it’s well-worth it.

Six Sessions You Can’t Afford To Miss

There are so many amazing sessions at the conference this year, but here are six to watch out for.

  1. Unleashing The Power Of Openness

    The closing day keynote, delivered by Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat is going to be an amazing talk for everyone.

    I talk a lot about transparency and how important it is for creating a world-class company culture, but Jim will probably explain it better than I ever could.

    Red Hat is an open-source tech company. I remember when I first discovered the concept of open-source, it made no sense to me. Why would anyone give away anything for free?

    Open source software is when the source code (the underlying code that powers everything) is given away for free to let other people build on top of it and make it better.

    The concept might seem insane to any business leader that runs a software company, but it’s a very popular concept with software developers.

    The benefit of having a completely open organization and being fully transparent with your employees is something that Jim is sure to explain.

  2. CHRO Perspectives On HR Technology

    This panel, led by Josh Bersin and Erica Volini from Deloitte, will help everyone understand how to successfully request, purchase, implement, and track the success of HR technology.

    Speaking directly with senior executives from big companies like Macy’s, United, and Delta Air Lines, you’ll learn all about how to deal with IT and other business leaders when trying to implement new software.

  3. Employee Engagement: What’s It Really Worth?

    This talk, by Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Chief Economist at Glassdoor will help explain the ROI of employee engagement.

    At Officevibe, we often try to explain how employee engagement affects a company’s bottom line, but I’m confident that Dr. Chamberlain will do a better job than we ever could.

    He’ll also explain the top drivers of employee engagement based on Glassdoor’s research. This talk will help HR leaders get other leaders of the company to buy-in on employee engagement.

  4. How IBM Does Agile Recruiting At Massive Scale

    IBM employs over 300,000 people in 170 countries, saying their recruiting efforts are massive is an understatement.

    This talk, given by Jennifer O’Brien, Head of Talent at IBM will be amazing for anyone involved in recruiting.

    She’ll share the secrets of how IBM stays agile and give tips for how you can become more agile with your recruiting.

  5. Moving HR Completely To The Cloud At Colorado Permanente Medical Group

    This talk will be incredibly exciting because of how forward-thinking they seem to be.

    Jessica March, HRIS Manager at Colorado Permanente Medical Group will explain how they focused on reducing their reliance on IT support to have a more modern approach.

    The focus was on empowering employees more through self-service and remote access.

    Another cool thing they did was implement predictive analytics to make sure they continue to hire and retain the best talent.

    It will be interesting to hear how they did it and what the results have been so far.

  6. Preparing the Organization and Managing Change: Strategies for Success

    Madeline Laurano, VP and Principal Analyst at Brandon Hall Group and Andy Rice, Principal and Lead Strategist at Black Box Consulting will walk you through how to implement effective change management.

    Many HR projects fail because companies underestimate how much organizational change is involved and how the way employees work will change.

    This is an incredibly important talk for everyone if they want whatever software they implement to be successful.

Helpful Resources For HR Tech

Here are a few helpful resources to make the HR Tech conference even better.

  1. Evernote

    At any conference, you’re going to need to be writing things down. Whether it’s taking notes about a presentation or jotting down a new idea that comes to mind, use Evernote to keep all your notes organized.

  2. CamCard

    After a conference as big as HR Tech, you’ll be sure to have a huge pile of business cards. You can use CamCard to easily snap a photo of them with your phone to store their contact information.

  3. ShoeBoxed

    It’s possible that if your company sent you there, you’d still need to use some cash out of pocket for dinners and drinks. Using ShoeBoxed, you can easily snap a photo of the receipt with your mobile phone and register the expense for your company to pay you back later. This is a must-have app for any conference.

  4. Twitter

    Especially valuable for people that can’t attend, you can follow along as if you’re there. Everyone will be posting live updates and providing insights into the lessons learned.
    For the HR Tech Conference, they’ll be using the hashtag #HRTechConf, so be sure to keep up with the conference in real-time.

Exclusive Bonus: The Ultimate HR Conference Survival Guide. Everything You Need To Be Successful At A Conference.

Come Say Hello!

If you’re planning on being there, a few of the Officevibe team members will be at booth 2521 so come say hello! We’d love to connect.

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