I suppose “early” is a bit of a misnomer for the start of day two (three, if you count the pre-conference goodness of HRevolution), but we still have two full days to go. So much more to see, but here’s a few thoughts from inside the bubble.
The Power of Vegas
Much as the island was more than just a location in Lost, Las Vegas has served to set the pace on the conference. Late nights coupled with early mornings have meant more time overall with friends, vendors and customers. In most settings, being out late means you show up late. Las Vegas isn’t geared that way, and if you don’t roll in as breakfast is being served, it will indeed look at you disapprovingly over its coffee. Couple that with the grand plan of keeping you inside the building at all times while never wanting for anything, and you have a supercharged environment for sharing and collaboration. I suspect the planes home will be filled with tired bodies and full minds. Sounds nice, right?
The Power of the Hall
Once again, the Expo Hall is the highlight of the show for me. Don’t get me wrong, the sessions are ridiculously good, as always. But there is no doubt that if you put a booth up for HR Tech, you either bring your best or you get ignored. There are so many creative, engaging booths in the hall that a table with a fishbowl for drawing just doesn’t attract the eye. The newly re-branded Starr Conspiracy brought the heat in the form of a pristine Airstream trailer in their own private national park. Sonar6, who received a hypo full of love for their giant cardboard box went even further with their giant cardboard box and modeling clay, setting out 400 pounds of creativity and asking everyone to play. Games, interactive sessions, photo opportunities and more fill the hall. And those that don’t step up are forced to step aside.
The Power of the People
There are no better opportunities to mix with the best and brightest in our profession. What’s great about this particular event is the cross section of areas that are pulled in. Sure, you can go to SHRM and see some great HR leaders, but you don’t always see the technology leaders at the same time, and certainly not in large doses. And when they are together, you don’t usually get the additional components of marketing and social media savvy with it. With HR Tech, you get all of them. It’s a bit of a tragedy I think, since we really need to keep these functional leaders and tool designers in lockstep. Having this type of interaction every quarter would shake the world, but isn’t a realistic dream. So we settle for the annual mind meld, and then hopefully take what we learn and go shake our own trees.
There’s more, don’t worry. Lots more. If you aren’t here to see it, you’ll just have to take my word for it.