IHRIM Annual Conference Heads to Toronto

By Aliah D. Wright Mar 20, 2017

​Canada. O Canada!

That's where the International Association for Human Resource Information Management (IHRIM) will hold its first conference in nearly two years, March 26-29 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

It's also the first time the 37-year-old association is having its conference outside the United States, IHRIM Board Chair Jan Fretwell told SHRM Online in an interview.

Attendees can "anticipate four days of real-world case studies, expert-led interactive sessions and one-to-one conversations with [their] peers as well as access to the latest in technology through our vendor showcase," said Fretwell, who is also founder of Beachside Consulting Group in San Diego.

Why Canada and why has IHRIM not hosted the conference in nearly two years?

"IHRIM has a number of members in Canada and since it is an international association, it was decided it would be in Toronto in 2017," Fretwell said.

She added that "in 2015 IHRIM scheduled a conference in the fall, rather than the normal spring event." That conference was held in Atlanta. "The board of directors then decided to return to the spring schedule. It didn't make sense to meet in September 2015 and again in the spring of 2016, so they decided to skip a year."

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Designing and Managing a Human Resource Information System]

Changes in HR technology are "happening at a pace never before seen," she added. "The vendors exhibiting at IHRIM will focus on improving the tools—SAAS systems, niche applications and core HR systems—HR can utilize to be more effective."

Fretwell added that "the conference is designed to deliver the perfect blend of networking, education and technology solutions for the dynamic community of practitioners, vendors, consultants, students and faculty members to share best practices and the latest technology trends."

What Can Attendees Expect? 

Sessions this year are divided into four tracks:

  • New technologies.
  • Metrics and analytics.
  • Knowledge and insights.
  • The changing employee-employer relationship.

    Pre-conference educational sessions offer a deeper dive into tech topics. An exposition hall will feature technology vendors and startups.

    Incubators, which help startups grow by providing support services such as office space and management training, will also be in the spotlight and staff from them will have an opportunity to talk to attendees about their companies and products, Fretwell said.

    Louis Richardson, chief storyteller, IBM Watson Work & Watson Talent, from San Antonio, is the keynote speaker.

    Fretwell added that the Human Resource Information Management (HRIM) Foundation "will once again host the foundation's Party for a Purpose fundraiser.

    "The foundation funds programs that support IHRIM's purpose, vision and commitment to advancing the profession," she said. "This fundraiser is an opportunity to attend a casual event to interact with the HRIM board and meet other conference attendees who are interested in supporting IHRIM."

    SHRM Online staff will be covering the conference.

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