The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 62nd Annual Conference & Exposition is offering a virtual component.
Virtual access to segments of the conference is available as a premium upgrade to people who attend the conference in San Diego in June 2010. The idea is to allow attendees to maximize their onsite networking time and expand their opportunities to gain the benefits of the concurrent sessions after the conference closes, according to Steve Williams, director of e-media innovations and business development for SHRM.
The Annual Conference is June 27-30; the 150 concurrent sessions will focus on five tracks: employment law and legislation, strategic management, talent management, international HR, and total rewards. The recently enacted U.S. health care reform law will be the topic of several sessions.
“You may end up seeing only 10 sessions the whole time you’re there,” Williams pointed out. With the premium package, “you really maximize your conference experience” by being able to access additional sessions virtually at your leisure, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More than 200 attendees had jumped on board in the first few weeks after the March 2010 launch of the offering.
In addition to allowing attendees to view and listen to nearly all of the concurrent sessions, the premium option will include video of opening keynote speaker Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine.
SHRM has incorporated its formerly separate Global Conference into its Annual Conference, which is the world’s largest HR gathering. The expanded focus on global HR gives attendees an opportunity to earn Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) recertification credit.
Attending more sessions virtually expands attendees’ opportunities to gain GPRH, PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) recertification credit, Williams said. In addition, it lets each conference attendee decide when and how to view a session.
Virtual attendees won’t have avatars; however, “In the future it’s going to feel very virtual. In the future we are looking to becoming a lot more [multi-dimensionally] oriented,” Williams said.
Future virtual conferences likely will include virtual lounges for networking and an events auditorium.
Other perks of the premium package to the 2010 Annual Conference, he said, include continued learning through the selection of a free book from selected titles—which range up to $235 in value—at the SHRMStore on a first-come, first-served basis. The book must be picked up at the conference.
Beginning June 9, 2010, the premium upgrade is scheduled to provide a personal conference consultant for advice on how each attendee can maximize his or her visit to the conference and San Diego, Williams added.
The conference’s premium package is available for $295 in addition to the regular registration fee for SHRM members; for nonmembers the fee is $540. The premium package can be selected in advance or during on-site registration, Williams said.
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