Winning at #HRTechConf

charlie-sheen-winning-tee1So far, we've focused on how to not suck at the HR Technology Conference. Don't come home with an STD or a DUI? Check. Don't bring an extra bag for all that SWAG? Double check (Just. Don't.). I like advice on how not to suck because it shows how low the bar has been set for not making a complete ass of yourself at a conference.

If you want to kick ass and take names at HR Tech, that's going to be a little more difficult than simply not sucking. It's going to take effort and, I'm not kidding, that might be difficult after the first night of partying. Here's your playbook:

  • Go to some non-general sessions - There aren't a ton of concurrent session times, I get it. And you want to network and check out the expo floor, too. While I am a fan of all of that, you need to check out what people in the industry are learning about and what they are interested in. Listen to their questions and ask yourself if you're solving those issues. These are some of the easiest ways to engage with fellow attendees.
  • Take some notes - Personally? My choice is Google Docs (they even have an offline mode for when you aren't connected to that intermittent wi-fi). It syncs up to the cloud (a phrase you'll hear a few thousand times) and it helps me organize my thoughts. But you're not going to remember everything. Your calendar, contact, and email apps on your phone or laptop are good to have at hand as well.
  • Do some selective shopping - You might be looking for some end of the fiscal year bargains to take up some budget or looking ahead to 2014. Make it happen, captain. Take those demos, take those notes, and make sure to follow up afterward.
  • Network like a mofo - I know networking is good for me but I don't particularly like it. That being said, I always meet a handful of interesting people at the show. You know what makes you stand out? Dropping those people a line after the show (wait about a week for the hangover to subside and their voice to come back). Most of the people I regularly see now at the show are because of these connections.
  • Show your work - You learned something at HR Tech. Bring your boss back something tangible (not a squeeze ball, unless your boss is a dog). A quick note about tech recommendations, learnings, trends, and new partners are all appropriate here. If you want to come back, show you got something from it.

Lastly, if you're a vendor, make sure to check out our ebook that will help you win HR Tech. See you at the show!