SHRM On the Go in Dubai

By Brad Boyson Oct 11, 2013

The Soc​iety for Human Resource Management (SHRM) was well represented Oct. 7-9, 2013, at the IIR HR Summit & Expo, the largest gathering of HR professionals in the Middle East.

The Society participated in all three days of the conference and expo, including presenting at six concurrent sessions, giving out two SHRM recognition awards, and leading two SHRM master classes before the event held in Dubai officially came to a close. And if there was one common statement heard throughout this year’s event it was: “why is the SHRM booth so busy?”

It was for good reason: never before have so many SHRM representatives and so much SHRM content been presented at one event in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.

The SHRM team was led by Brian Dickson, senior vice president for professional development and strategic partnerships, Dr. Alexander Alonso, vice president of research and Howard Wallack, vice president of global business development. The U.S. team joined with the United Arab Emirates SHRM team consisting of Brad Boyson, executive director, SHRM MEA and Dipti Rane, global business development manager, together with our strategic partners Morgan International and Fragomen. All together the team delivered what was branded as the “SHRM Experience.”

The SHRM booth profiled over 40 HR Certification Institute certified pros who work in the MENA region, offered a gamification console to test HR knowledge and displayed a video showing SHRM’s expanding global portfolio of activities. Concurrent SHRM sessions included Brian Dickson speaking about HR in 2020; Brad Boyson presenting on HR business partners; Howard Wallack outlining the top 10 global HR trends; Bill Robinson updating the value-add of e-learning; Stephen Green of Fragomen talking about global migration trends and finally, Dr. Mark Van Dongen discussing leadership. These concurrent sessions were prefaced by a master class by Dr. Alonso on HR competencies and another by Howard Wallack on HR strategy given on the final day.

Two regional recognition awards were also presented by SHRM during the conference. The first went to Al Ain Women’s College for being the first Student Forum in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the second went to Aramex Deliveries for being the first Middle Eastern organization to be profiled by the SHRM Foundation’s Global Best Practices Series. Prior to the conference starting there was an energetic meet and greet with the SHRM U.S. delegation for SHRM members attending the conference.

Overall, the event was a resounding success and both the hosts—IIR and SHRM—look forward to making the conference even more eventful in October 2014.

Brad Boyson is executive director, SHRM Middle East North Africa.

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