By Lorianne Lee
I don’t know about you, but after attending a conference, it takes me awhile before my brain has the bandwidth to adequately process the experience. This year, NCHRA expanded its annual HR West Conference event and session schedule to three full days, so there was even more to process!
Now that you’ve had time to decompress and catch up on work, have you taken a moment to reflect on #HRWest17? Whether this was your first or thirty-first time attending, did you get the most out of the experience? Listening to the keynote speakers, attending concurrent sessions, and playing vendor BINGO are all good things, but if that was the extent of your participation, you missed out.
This year, social media played a bigger role than ever before at the conference. Before, during, and after HR West 2017, people used social media to promote, connect, and engage with other HR professionals to maximize their ROI. Did you do as much as you could to network at the conference? I don’t mean just tossing your business card in for those awesome vendor drawings. If you utilized social media, you increased your actual engagement.
Speaking of engaging on social media, did you participate in the social media contest? Anyone related to the HR industry was eligible to participate, including conference attendees, vendors, and speakers. For a month and a half before the conference, HR professionals showed their love and excitement for HR West by using the hashtags #HRWest17 and #HRInnovators on Facebook, Twitter, and new for this year, Instagram.
NCHRA made it easy for us to engage on social media by providing multiple channels and access points to dive in. Even if you only followed NCHRA (@NCHRAConnect) and HR West (@hrwestconf) on Twitter and Facebook, your social media feeds had a steady stream of posts letting you know about various speakers, topics, and sponsors long before the conference began on March 6, 2017.
The social media committee enlisted support from student volunteers from CSUEB’s Student Society for HR Management (@csuebsshrm) to help build some social media buzz. It was fun checking the real-time Twitter Feed Wall to see all of the #HRWest17 Tweets throughout the conference.
One of the most exciting things for me was seeing #HRWest17 trending on Twitter. Did you catch that? Trending. On. Twitter. That’s huge! On Monday, March 6th 2017 at 3:17 p.m., #HRWest17 was the fourth most talked about topic in the world (or at least in the Twitterverse)!
Prizes, including valet parking at the conference, a $250 Visa gift card, and a 2-free night stay at the Oakland Marriott City Center, were awarded to the people who had the most engagement on social media. This year’s winners were Janice Litvin (@jlitvin), Jocelyn Thompson (@JocelynErin), and ahem, I’m in the middle, Lorianne Lee (@loriannelee67).
Emcee Ann Tardy (@LifeMoxie) and keynotes Jacob Morgan (@jacobm), Leila Janah (@leila_c), and Poornima Vijayashanker (@poornima) liked, shared, responded to, and retweeted Tweets throughout the conference. If you care about topics they are passionate about, social media gives you the opportunity to engage and connect. Combined, they have over 90k followers! Perhaps mentoring, employee engagement, global poverty, and entrepreneurship aren’t topics you’re passionate about. Fair enough.
What about the breakout topics? Granted, looking up over 80 concurrent speakers on social media may seem daunting, but you could easily narrow that number down to nine, right? You chose the nine topics that seemed the most relevant and helpful to you. Finding nine people on Twitter is easy, especially when most of their online bios include their social media handles. Speakers want to be seen too. If you mention them, they’re likely to engage with you as well. Remember, being social is a reciprocal interaction.
Did you utilize the HR West app by Crowd Compass? HR West launched this new version of the app in 2016. It has since become a great tool to help conference attendees get the most out of their experience at HR West. In addition to being able access the concurrent session handouts and evaluations, you could easily set up your personalized itinerary with times and room numbers. No more wandering around wasting time trying to find speakers, vendor information, and connect with other attendees.One of the fun features of the app is the Click Game, where you take pictures and engage with people in a scavenger-hunt type of challenge.
During the conference, 202 people engaged in HR West Voice of the Workplace Waggl Pulse on Diversity. They shared their thoughts, voted on the biggest advantages of building a diverse workforce, and did so in real-time. Waggl put together an infographic sharing the results at HR West 2017. Read all about it here.
There are various schools of thought about whether LinkedIn is a form of social media or not. Without getting into a debate, I’d say LinkedIn definitely has the capability for social interaction if you join a group and participate in message boards. Did you know there is a LinkedIn Group called HR West? It’s filled with people from NCHRA and others who are passionate about Human Resources. Can you say networking? Members can post and comment on various threads, and you can even post jobs for other members to see.
NCHRA recently launched a private networking community called NCHRA Connect. The format is similar to LinkedIn, but NCHRA Connect is exclusively for HR professionals, so you’re only connecting with people who have similar interests, expertise, and deal with the same issues you do. With your annual membership to NCHRA, you already have a free, all-access pass to NCHRA Connect, which has over 9,000 members. You can connect, share ideas, and participate in groups that focus on topics you are interested in, including the HR West conference.
Don’t worry! Even if you didn’t take advantage of social media at this year’s conference, there’s always next year. You can get started by following NCHRA and #HRWest18 here:
You’ve got 10 months to up your social media game! Ready? Go!
About the Author
Lorianne Lee is an HR project manager and recruiter for Cityteam, a non-profit serving those who struggle with poverty, homelessness and addiction. Cityteam touches the lives of over half million people in San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Portland and 47 international countries. After devoting nineteen-years as a classroom teacher and professional educator, Lorianne is currently applying her enthusiasm and energy to the non-profit world with a focus on HR and recruiting. Her passion for organization and attention to details enables her to bring efficiency and increase productivity to every project she manages. A seasoned professional, Lorianne offers a strong judgment and professional etiquette, working with people from different cultures, levels of education, experience, and authority.
HR West blog editor’s note: Over the last several years, HR West has been fortunate to have Lorianne support, and truly lead, our NCHRA member social media engagement initiative! HR West launched first social media contest in 2015, Lorianne took first place in 2016 and 2017.