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On my list of unique experiences, SHRM’s 2011 National Conference is way up there.  It was my first SHRM conference.  And to say I was made to feel welcome is a huge understatement. 
As a member of the social recruiting community, I have, at times, been led to believe that SHRM actually stood for “So Hate Recruiters Majority”, or something like that.  But it wasn’t like that at all.  Granted, my official capacity at this conference was as “press”, more specifically “blogger”.  And my current main gig is more on the vendor side of things.  But as a long-time 3rd party recruiter, my role has always been on the vendor side.

One advantage of hosting your conference in Las Vegas is that you might get Zappos CEO, Tony Hseih to speak at your event.  And so he did on Tuesday morning.  Tony and Zappos are all about “wow culture” and “wow customer service” from the inside out.  His presentation was by far the best at the conference.  It resonated with an HR crowd that, more and more, considers culture a prime factor in corporate success.
I was fortunate to see that “wow culture”  first hand when I took the previous afternoon off from the conference to go and train the awesome Zappos recruiting team on some advanced Linkedin recruiting techniques and profile optimization.  Even as a vendor, from the moment I walked in the Zappos front door, I was made to feel not only welcome, but part of the family.
After Tony’s speech at the SHRM conference, I went to check out his book signing.  There was a crowd gathered around the Zappos team (most of them my new recruiting buddies from the previous day’s training, all of them wearing distinctive Zappos t-shirts) taking pictures and asking questions.  When I walked up I was greeted with shouts of “Craaaaiiiiiggggg!!!”  It was truly a WOW moment.  Hugs, more pictures.  Wow. 
A SHRM camera crew saw this and came over to get my opinions about the conference on video.  I ended up on the big screen (looking like I needed some sleep, ugh) in front of 13,000+ attendees, on the final day of the conference, right before Michael J. Fox closed things out with his ending keynote speech.  More wow. 
The Zappos experience for me was really cool.  It was made even cooler by the “wow culture” that SHRM exhibited through everyone I met, and the hospitality I felt during the whole conference.  Combine that with the huge vendor floor and great content, and you get a conference experience like no other in HR.  I will definitely be back for more.  See you in Atlanta in 2012.
Original source article: Fishdogs