In between talks of hurricanes (both the drink and the looming storm) the 2017 SHRM annual conference was roaring. With more than 15,400 attendees from around the world and 600 exhibitors it was incredibly easy to miss something. So here we are with the top ten must sees from the expo floor and beyond.
10. The baby otters at the Nationwide Pet booth. Again, Jack Hanna was there for photo ops. I don’t know what baby otters have to do with pets or insurance, but they were adorable.
8. If you were counting steps, you definitely got them in just at the convention center. SHRM even let you know how many steps you had to take until entering the expo hall. And SHRM even holds its own step challenge called the SHRM Foundation Step Challenge, where you can give back to the HR profession at the same time.
7. Performers and entertainment in booths were popular this year (Nexxt is guilty of it too). Many brands embraced the NOLA vibe by packing their space with magicians, fortune tellers, and mimes. The one bonus—you didn’t have to go out into the heat to see these street performers, you could walk the “streets” of the expo floor, complete with pigeons and be entertained. Our booth was apparently so much fun that when a family who was tagging along with their mom to the conference had a flight delay, their little boy wanted to hightail it back to our booth until they had to head back to the airport.
Congrats to Demetria & her son KJ on winning our Nexxt $100. They are such a sweet family and we're glad they won. pic.twitter.com/fIiYX1e9cL— Nexxt (@NexxtHR) June 19, 2017
6. Nights spent in the French Quarter didn’t disappoint. From happy hours, to dinners, to haunted ghost tours SHRM attendees took over the town.
5. The HR industry is clearly about rules, but with Disrupt HRs popping up all over the country, clearly it is time to make people uncomfortable and break those rules. We love this idea and have been really excited about all of the new vendors that came to exhibit at SHRM who are going to shake things up in this space. And if you’re not uncomfortable enough, here’s a picture of Nexxt’s SVP of Marketing in a coffin.
4. SHRM is and always has been about the tchotchkes (and the sessions, but we’ll let someone else recap those (check out #NextChat)). Vendors gave away shoes (mentioned above), coozies, T-shirts, blinky wine glasses, spinners (hot item this year), Apple TVs, Amazon Echos, and then there are the vendors that give away bags to put ALL the stuff in. At our booth we gave away more than 3,500 pieces of swag from T-shirts, spinners, juggling balls, and beads (of course…it’s New Orleans).
3. SHRM attendees went All In. This year an emphasis was made on what we think is important and what we are “All In” for. What drives and motivates us. The #AllIn was inspiring and fun to use throughout the show. For example, our team showed up to SHRM as the Beyond Team and went #AllIn on Sunday night and came out as Nexxt. But in all seriousness, we value the SHRM Annual Conference as the most significant event we attend each year and that’s why we decided to launch our new brand there. We had a blast saying goodbye to our old brand, Beyond with a New Orleans tradition—a funeral band and celebrating our new brand, Nexxt with another New Orleans tradition—a party.
2. Connecting with new and old friends. After attending SHRM for more than a decade you tend to see the same folks year in and year out. It’s nice to know that when June rolls around, there’s the opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones. We have always especially had fun connecting with the SHRM Bloggers to share what’s new with us, see what’s new with them, and maybe even see if there’s an opportunity to work together. Thanks to Jessica Miller-Merrell, Maren Hogan, John Nykolaisyn, Matthew Stollak, Andrea Devers, and Mike Vandervort for stopping by to say hi! And to those who joined us for our funeral, parade, and the big reveal, thank you and we hope you didn’t get pummeled with a Hacky sack. And if we forgot to mention anyone who joined us for our big announcement, you know who you are and we thank you most of all. If you missed it or weren’t able to attend, you can catch it here:
We're live at #SHRM17 making a big announcement here in New Orleans! What's Beyond Beyond??Posted by Nexxt - Previously Beyond.com on Sunday, June 18, 2017
- Job boards are dead. Yes, I said it. All the big job boards have stopped calling themselves a job board over the years. Career Builder is now a software solution, Monster wasn’t at SHRM, and Beyond is now Nexxt, a recruitment media company.
There you have it, an expo recap of SHRM 2017. We had a great time in New Orleans launching our new brand and we can't wait to see you all next (spelled the traditional way) year in Chicago!
Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.