Lessening the Blow of Missing SHRM 2011

Every year tens of thousands of HR professionals get left out of the big hoopla that is the Annual SHRM Conference and Exposition – usually because their employers are cheap-ass sons-of-bitches who could really care less about the advancement of their HR team. Some of them ask – maybe even plead; but alas, they are shown the door once again with padded promises of “maybe next year.” To be blunt, my employer is NOT paying for my trip to Vegas this year. Whatever…their call. But I refuse to let their poor judgment get in the way of my career so I hopped a plane and headed west on my own dime.* I realize not everyone is as fortunate, though; so allow me to lessen the blow…

Here are 10 reasons you are in fact lucky to be sitting out the 2011 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition this year.

  1. Vegas, beneath the glit and glam, is really nothing more than a vice ridden dump.
  2. It’s 105°F out here right now; “dry-heat” my ass.
  3. You won’t have to run the gauntlet of vendors with their shiny white smiles, worthless swag, and snake-oiled promises of great things for you and your organization.
  4. You will have prolonged your life by approximately 1.238973 days for having avoiding (at least) three nights of booze and sleep deprivation.
  5. There will be a lot of really smart, talented, and successful HR experts at this conference, but there will unfortunately be quite a number of really stupid, untalented, and unsuccessful ones as well. Whatever idealistic view you still have of our profession will remain quite intact.
  6. Even the slightest temptation to voluntarily hand over your hard-earned cash to a stranger across a felt laden table will not enter your equation this week.
  7. You won’t depart as a bachelor/bachelorette and return as a husband/wife.
  8. You don’t run the risk of discovering you’re actually doing something horribly wrong in your HR practice; yes, ignorance is bliss.
  9. You won’t have to suffer that awkward head-rolling moment when the conference kicks off with whatever terribly cheesy pop hit SHRM’s speakers blare (last year it was “Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night” by the Black Eyed Peas, this year it’s rumored to be some silly little Katy Perry ditty.)
  10. You won’t have to talk incessantly about Human Resources for three straight days. Boooooorrrrriing.

So pull up a chair, follow along at home, and be thankful you aren’t throwing these three days away.

*Note to said employer: since you are NOT funding this particular investment in my professional development, please don’t expect to hear from me until Thursday. Toot-a-loo.

Image Credit: Meredith_Farmer

  • Bob Tarver


    Your Top Ten Reason’s are very compelling…for not attending….yet at the same time I wish I was there…however, I am seriously working on attending HRevolution there in October. That…will be a great HR UNconference to attend…

  • http://www.leute.com/wordpress Tom Bolt

    Sorry Charlie, but you have failed to make me happy that I am not there. I can follow blogs, emails, hashtags and other ways to datamine for info, but nothing beats the face to face value of an enormous conference like this (The words “too big to fail” comes to mind). I could even put up with the shallow rantings of the celebrity HR expert wannabes since it is usually offset by dedicated professionals with a real, current and progressive voice. Have a great time…and please share your experience with us poor stay-at-home types.

  • http://www.rollercoasterhr.com Brad Galin

    This post was obviously not sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau!

    Although I’ve never made it to an annual conference, this is my first since getting into the social media world so I am anxious to “experience” it from afar and see how the distance learning principles apply. Enjoy the show, Vegas, and please continue to share your experiences with those of us propelling the #notatshrm11 hashtag all week.

  • Amy

    Yeah, but I saw on Twitter last night that there were free margaritas & beer in the hall. So I’m still not feeling good about missing out.

    Though, you’re right. Big conferences always give me a serious inferiority complex. My main take away from most conferences is: You’re doing it wrong! (But no one’s ever given me a free margarita after that.)