It’s been a while since I was able to attend the HR Florida Conference at the end of August. I wanted to give you all the insights of what happened while I was down in the HOT state of Florida!
Sunday was the pre-conference day, this was the first conference I attended as a blogger that was allowing me the option to attend a pre-conference session for free! I was super excited about it, but my flight got in later than I thought and by the time I made it to the hotel and conference area, all I wanted was food and my bed! I would definitely recommend more conference organizers also go this route, just let the blogger know ahead of time so flights can be booked appropriately. At least having the option was very nice and I would have really enjoyed attending the course I had picked if I was able to make it.
Another note, the hotel and conference area were in the SAME location!! This was a huge win/win for me. While I completely understand this isn’t possible for every conference, this had to be one of my favorite parts of the conference. Being able to sneak back up to the room when I needed a break away from everyone was GOLDEN!
The conference was at The Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, it was a beautiful place. I honestly didn’t need to leave the hotel until I went out to dinner with others on Tuesday night.
So, I know you want to know about the most important part … the actual conference sessions!
I attended a few sessions and I came out with at least 4 favorites. As you may know, I started my new job a few weeks before attending this conference. Because of this, I was really able to pick sessions that work well with my new company and new position. I’m also taking on a new role on the North Alabama HR Board and that means I need to fine some speakers for 2020 [side note, if you’re interested, please apply at nashrm.org/speakers – I’ll get back to everyone who applies by the end of this month].
I’m always interested in a session on ADA and FMLA, I don’t think you can ever stop trying to understand every detail about the laws and policies in your workplace. Marina Galatro, SHRM-CP gave a great session on the topic. I wasn’t able to get in the actual session room, but instead had to sit in the overflow room. I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to really get everything I needed from the session, but that wasn’t the case. Being able to see the slides and hear her speak I still came away with a few pages of notes and a better understanding.
Packed session rooms happened often to me at this conference, but it actually led me to a session I’m very thankful I got to experience. ‘The Case for Financial Wellness’ given by Brent Hines was definitely in my top 4 sessions of HRFL19. It was the session I needed personally and professionally. It wasn’t a selling of services, it was the act of showing us how important it is to help our employees with their financial freedom as well. I highly suggest that you reach out to Brent and get him to your company.
Another top session for me was ‘Succession Planning’ given by Lisa Perez. With my new company, we are trying to put a succession plan in place early and for multiple positions. When I read over the information on this session, I knew it was one I needed to attend, plus, I was able to get into the session room and meet Lisa after her presentation. Lisa took time breaking down each step to creating a succession plan, providing us with resources for continued training, giving us tips from beginning to end. Lisa is a speaker I’m definitely hoping to get to Alabama in 2020, it seems that a lot of us are focused on the right now, contributing to more burnout, because we are so worried that allowing others to help us with our position might mean they are going to push us out of that position. Succession planning should happen in a company, especially if you’d like for it and your people to be successful.
The BEST speaker came on Tuesday morning during the Keynote of Dr. Derreck Kayongo. Addressing many cultural differences in a room full of people and, I’m sure, making most of them uncomfortable was a great highlight. Discussing the importance of passion for our jobs and who we are as people. He gave lesson after lesson, while keeping it honest, keeping it funny. His presentation was around a bar of soap, but he turned it into so much more. Telling the leaders in that room that leadership starts with service. A simply message that I believe a lot of us have forgotten. And, of course he was DRESSED! This session was the one that honestly had me pumped about my passion for what I do and wondering if I’m truly doing everything I love (that answer was no, but that’s another post for another time) and the pride we should have in our career.
Overall I really enjoyed my time at #HRFL19. I was able to meet up with a few of the other HR Bloggers and meet new HR Pros I’ve met via Twitter! It’s definitely a conference I’d attend again and think it’s one you should try out at least once.
Plus, thanks to Dr. Derreck Kayongo, I left with a few new thoughts
Until Next Time …