SHRM’s 2009 Annual Conference Retools for Recession

May 4, 2009
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SHRM updates content & offers career transition center in response to recession

Alexandria, Va. – The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today announced updated education sessions and a career transition center to its 61st Annual Conference and Exposition, designed to address the most pressing needs of HR and business professionals during the recession.

SHRM’s Annual Conference and Exposition, theworld’s largest HR conference, will take place June 28 to July 1 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana

The updated education sessions underscore a theme to help HR professionals manage their departments and businesses in turbulent times. Sessions will focus on developing the necessary HR skills to steer businesses through the recession while retaining engaged employees. Content will also help HR professionals to prepare their organizations for functioning at full speed once the economy improves.

The Lee Hecht Harrison Career Transition Center will offer conference attendees the opportunity to get career advice and answers to questions surrounding staffing issues and managing a downsizing.

“The ongoing recession demanded SHRM revise its annual conference lineup to provide more networking opportunities and focus content on HR skills critical to operating during a weak economy,” said SHRM President and CEO Laurence G. O’Neil. “The updated agenda and weight of the economic crisis make this the ‘must attend’ event of the year for HR professionals.”

Four keynote speakers include: (1) Jack Welch– thebestselling author, BusinessWeek columnist, and former General Electric chairman & CEO; (2) Earl G. Graves Sr.founder and publisher of Black Enterprise magazine; (3) John Kotter – Harvard Business School professor and the world’s foremost authority on leadership and change; and (4) Lee Woodruff – bestselling author and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury.

More than 10,000 attendees are expected to attend SHRM’s Annual Conference. Highlights include:

  • More than 150 educational sessions from renowned speakers and HR experts, such as Dave Ramsey, Steve Robbins, Ph.D., Barbara Glanz, Scott Christopher, and a newly added session Leading Your Organization through Downsizing” moderated by SHRM’s COO China Gorman.

  • “HR Bloggers: Who are these people and why should I care?” ─ A new session on social media in the HR arena moderated by China Gorman and featuring a panel of popular HR bloggers.

  • An expanded employment law and legislation track covering critical legal and compliance issues as well as California-specific sessions, addedfor those who missed the sold-out SHRM legislative conference.

  • Concurrent sessions featuring SHRM staff – Michael P. Aitken, the director of government affairs; Shirley A. Davis, Ph.D. and director of diversity and inclusion initiatives; Steve Williams, Ph.D., SPHR, and director of research; and Grey Scott, SPHR, and the HR content manager for the Human Resource Certification Institute.

  • The conference Exposition housing more than 1000 booths is the largest array of innovative HR services and products found in one location.

  • The presentation of the 2009 “Best Small & Medium Companies to Work for in America,” sponsored jointly by SHRM and the Great Place to Work® Institute Inc.

In mid-April, SHRM launched a blog to help HR professionals learn about and prepare for the 2009 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition. The blog can be accessed by visiting

Media credentials are required: Complimentary media registration is restricted to journalists (news editors, reporters, and magazine writers). News cameras are not permitted onsite but in-studio interviews may be arranged. Radio broadcasts and recordings of the conference are not permitted.

For complimentary press registration, journalists should contact: Julie Malveaux –; and Jennifer Hughes –

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at

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