LASHRM is in the bag for another year. I was pleased to be a part of this year’s event. This conference will be remembered as the planes, trains, buses, and $220 cab rides conference for all of the difficulty many folks had in getting to Baton Rouge. The other thing that will be remembered about this event is, the fact that this is going to be Robin Schooling’s Swan song with the event, or at least that is what she is putting out for public consumption.
Although I have attended more than my share of State SHRM conferences, this was my first trip to Louisiana. It was well done. The sessions were spot on with relevant and current content. Outwardly there were no major flaws, so kudos to the LASHRM board. The event was run like a well-oiled machine.
Upon reflection , there is one thing that I keep coming back to about the event. I have watched the event unfold on line in years gone by, just as it did this year. LASHRM has a nice social media presence for the event. So much so that it makes the event appear larger than it really is. My understanding was that there was around 300 attendees and 65 vendors. I have also been told in the years that the event is held in New Orleans, the numbers are between 500 and 600 attendees. However, by SHRM State Conference standards still a mid-sized event.
So my point to all of this, is this. Through some very adroit selection of speakers, special invitations to social media team members and participation by LASHRM board members, they have created somewhat of an illusion. This is a GOOD THING! They make the event appear like it is the place to be, people come from all over the country to attend this event, so if you are in the Louisiana area, how could you even think of passing it up because it is so freakin’ great.
Having spent several years working on the same concept in Illinois, I am genuinely impressed with the work LASHRM has done. Please give them a round of applause!
However, LASHRM board, you have set the bar high. If Ms. Schooling takes more of a back seat or God forbid gets out of the picture all together, I ask, will this event have the same look, the same feel, the same social media cache? This remains to be seen. My hope is that LASHRM will honor Robin’s work and continue to press the envelope, and be one of the leading SHRM State Conference. The torch has been passed.