Must-See Speakers at #SHRM17 in New Orleans


Get pumped! The 2017 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference & Exposition is only a few days away. This will be my third time attending the annual conference and I have yet to be disappointed by all of the options for speakers, concurrent sessions and networking opportunities. But, without a little guidance, having all these options can also be a bit overwhelming. Here’s my take on the must-see speakers for #SHRM17:

  • Kat Cole: Kat is a food service leader – but she’s also a lot more. Cole is active in providing advice to and investing in start-ups, and she also gives back her time and resources as a humanitarian. Her story is often shared as inspiration: She moved up from working as a hostess at the age of 17, to restaurant and corporate jobs, and eventually became Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc. She is now Group President at FOCUS Brands Inc. (parent company to Cinnabon, Inc.).
    Session: “Be a Leader of Innovation and Progress: How to Iterate, Adapt and Succeed Faster” on Sunday at 2:30pm
  • Steve Browne: Steve, Steve, Steve. He won’t be hard to find, that’s for sure. Steve helps define what it means to be an “extrovert” and can typically be seen wearing a tie-dye t-shirt. He will strike up a conversation, give advice and hug just about every conference attendee. His session will focus on the brand of HR and how to improve it, apply relevant skills and integrate it into your company brand. Should be a great one!
    Session: “Brand Name HR: Giving Your Function Life and Purpose!” on Tuesday at 2:15pm and a Smart Stage Session, “Connecting on Purpose: How to Make Your Conference Experience Last” on Sunday at 12:50pm
  • Laszlo Bock: The former head of HR/People at Google is an inspiring advisor and best-selling author. If you’re interested in data and analytics related to the HR industry, make sure you catch Laszlo’s session. He is often referred to as a key figure in the creation of the “people analytics” field. In 2010 he was named “Human Resources Executive of the Year” and in 2015 the “HR Professional of the Decade.” If that impressive resume doesn’t draw you in, Laszlo also reveals more than a few fun facts: He held a world record for Greek Syrtaki dance and was, at one time, ranked as the best player in the world for the video game, Assassin’s Creed.
    Session: “Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google and Elsewhere to Transform How You Live and Lead” on Monday at 8:30am
  • Heather Kinzie: As the workforce becomes increasingly connected through technology and the desire for improved work-life balance grows, remote workers will be on the rise. Heather will highlight the critical elements to address in order to maximize the individual and team performance management of remote workers in your organization. Heather is also a member of the #SHRM17 Bloggers and Social Media team so be sure to follow her for awesome connections and hilarious insights.
    Session: “Out of Office Rise of the Remote Worker” on Wednesday at 11:30am and a Smart Stage Session, “STRIVE! Endeavor to Discover, Innovate, and Grow! on Monday at 3:20pm.
  • Patrick Lencioni: Patrick’s illustrious career has focused on a variety of leadership models and how to build high-performing teams. In his general session, he will share the three indispensable virtues that make some people better team players than others. This approach has served as the basis for hiring and evaluation at his own firm (The Table Group) for the past two decades, and now offers an effective method for leaders to identify, cultivate and recruit true team players in any organization.
    Session: “The Ideal Team Player” on Tuesday at 8:30am
  • Dan Schawbel: Dan is a best-selling author and researcher who will be discussing some of the key workplace trends impacting HR practitioners today and tomorrow. If you can’t catch him live or just want to know more, check out one of his books, Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success or Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.
    Session: “The Top 10 Workplace Trends of 2017” on Tuesday at 2:15pm
    Laila Ali: Wrapping up the conference in the closing general session, Laila will share how she has reinvented herself from world champion athlete to TV personality/author to entrepreneur. One thing we know: She will inspire the audience to “fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee” borrowing a quote from her father, Muhammad Ali, legendary boxer and activist.
    Session: “Reinventing Yourself” on Wednesday at 8:30am

Between these awesome speakers, make sure you visit the TicketsatWork Booth #3047, in partnership with Universal Orlando Resort™, and learn how we help employees save big on thousands of travel and entertainment experiences as they plan for their next vacation. The team from Project: Time Off will join TicketsAtWork at the booth to connect and answer questions about their recently released State of the American Vacation report. Project: Time Off is a nonprofit initiative that was born out of the U.S. Travel Association aimed at transforming America’s thinking and behavior about vacation time. Be sure to follow EBG and TicketsatWork to stay up to date on all the great happenings, giveaways and grand prize sweepstakes.

[Photo: Laila Ali is a featured speaker at SHRM 2017 in New Orleans (Getty Images)]

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