If you’re heading to HR Tech in Chicago this year and you’ve never attended before, let me throw a few numbers at you:
- 4 days of networking and non-stop knowledge-gathering
- 400 companies exhibiting
- 60 can’t-miss sessions
- 14+ acres to walk inside the North Building at McCormick Place
As exciting and worthwhile as the world’s largest conference and expo on HR technology is, its sheer size and pace can be overwhelming. You also don’t want to look like an HR Tech rookie, especially if you are your company’s only representative. Here are a few strategies to consider before, during and after the conference that will help you get the most out of your experience.
Before You Go
As with any conference you attend, there are a few housekeeping tasks, such as packing a water bottle and comfortable walking shoes, and making sure you have plenty of business cards and your phone charger. You’ll also want to download the conference app which helps you build your personal daily agenda and tracks any meetings you set up with exhibitors or other attendees. The app has a lot of other useful features too, including the all-important map.
With your choice of mega-sessions, bonus sessions, the Start-Up Pavilion, the Expo floor and much more to see and do, spend some time selecting and prioritizing your activities in advance. If you are attending with a co-worker, you may want to split the list so you can cover more ground. Too, even if you choose to focus on a specific track such as Talent Management or Workforce Analytics, be sure to check out the other tracks as you make your selections. HR Tech is known as a great place to discover innovation. You may just find your next Big Idea or a solution to a tough challenge that way. In fact, many of our own clients first hear about video interviewing when they attend one of our client panel discussions at HR Tech. This year our panel features four senior TA practitioners who’ve found diverse ways to use Montage’s video and voice interviewing software across the enterprise.
During the Conference
HR Tech attracts a wide range of leaders, innovators and professionals from just about every aspect of HR, so it’s a four-day opportunity for making new contacts and growing key relationships. Here are a few ideas for maximizing your networking opportunities:
- Sit down with people you don’t know at lunch
- Attend the after-parties
- Chat with your neighbors before and after sessions
- Make appointments to talk one-on-one with exhibitors during sessions, when the Expo Hall isn’t quite as busy
Once you’re back in the office but before you get too bogged down, make time for a few post-conference tasks. Follow up with everyone you’ve met and make sure you have their info in your contacts list. Access and download any of the slide decks you may have missed during a session. Finally, condense your learning into a summary you can share with your co-workers or department – it’s one of the best ways to ensure you’re on the list to attend HR Tech again next year.
One Last Tip
If you’re planning to explore video interviewing technology in Chicago this year, download Montage’s Guide to Selecting a Video Interviewing Partner. You’ll know which questions to ask as you evaluate different options in purpose-built video interviewing technology.
PS—Attending HR Tech? Don't miss our reception on Wednesday, October 5! Request an invite here.
As Montage’s VP of Product, Tom Boyle is responsible for product marketing and strategy, enhancing the product vision and driving the road map forward. Tom has consulted with hundreds of enterprise organizations about their unique Talent Management strategies. He is a regular contributor to industry magazines and blogs, including HR Bartender, the Ladders, ERE and Forbes. Reach Tom at email@example.com.