This is just a quick note from the organizers for the HRev Las Vegas event (Trish, Ben, Steve, and Matt) to say a huge “Thank you!” to our participants, sponsors, and partners for making this event an amazing one.

We appreciate your support and assistance and hope to see you all again very soon! Please stay tuned for the next event announcement by subscribing to the blog, checking out our Facebook page, or following the #HRevolution hashtag on Twitter.

So, you’ve been to dozens of other HR, recruiting, and leadership type events. You have the “conference routine” down. You walk into a session, sit down, and zone out for an hour. When it’s over, you do it all over again until the event is over.

And then there’s HRevolution. You walk into a session and start talking. When the session’s over, it’s merely a pause in the conversation until you can pick up the thread later with some of the other attendees. And that’s just one of the pieces that makes this event different from the others. Check out the video below to learn more about how the event can make an impact on you.

Las Vegas is right around the corner (October 2, 2011), and I hope to see you there. If you’re ready to get your ticket, head over to the Eventbrite page and make it happen!

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Last weekend, I had the chance to shoot as the Official Photographer at HRevolution in Atlanta. I had been to several HR conferences before, but this was my first “unconference.” Watch, through my photo journey, as I try to capture the energy and essence of the two days we spent in Atlanta.

The TweetUp. Fresh off the plane, train, or car ride, HRevolution attendees gathered for the TweetUp. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, came out for this TweetUp. It was scheduled for 2 hours, but lasted well into the night. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves; smiles, conversation, drinks, cowbells, and a little Royal Wedding spirit all in one night.

Upon entering HRevolution bright and early on Saturday morning, attendees could pick up their personalized “Meet Meme” trading cards. These cards, sponsored by Pinstripe, were colorful trading cards with your photo, contact info, and Twitter bio. These were not only super fun, but they took business card exchanging to a whole other level. You’re not only exchanging info for you at your job, rather, you’re exchanging info for your whole self. And at this unconference, being your whole self was what it was all about!

At first glance, the set up of the session rooms seemed like it would be a typical conference setting: one or two presenters at the front of each room, audience sitting classroom style, presentation on the projector screen. Then, the session started. Chairs got moved around, small groups broke out, debates took place; people were actively involved. These photos truly captured the essence of what an unconference meant for me- the audience is talking and discussing with each other, and everyone is engaged.

I wasn’t able to catch the full sessions because I was in and out of each one throughout the day, but these two caught my interest. To give some background, this is my boss on the left (ewmonster) and he is talking about managing virtual teams (my team!). It was great to watch my team showcased as an example for how to work remotely. Being a remote worker myself, I can say firsthand that the activities and methods talked about during this session work very well. I was also lucky enough to hear a few examples of other teams’ work culture and the challenges they face as well (photo on the right). It was very refreshing to focus on work life culture in such a small setting where several people could share their experiences.

The power of bacon. I watched a woman put these cupcakes out during lunchtime and not 2 minutes after she had finished setting up, a crowd formed. I love that everyone whipped their phones out to snap photos, tweet, and share. It really not only shows the power of bacon, but the power of social. The cupcakes were delicious, by the way.

This was a big moment and breakthrough of HRevolution. During the thank you’s and wrap up at the end of the day, Liz Gottung, CHRO at Kimberly Clark and the keynote speaker for the day, summed up her experience at the event: that she had a lot to learn about HR. Her comment prompted a standing ovation from the crowd.

I like this one because it calls out Maren’s photo and video action. She was my dueling photographer friend this weekend, and I want to give her a shoutout. Shooting events is challenging, especially with so much action like at HRevolution, where literally anything can happen. But it was also fun, since there are so many opportunities for dynamic shots. You can see some of her pics here.

This final photo is of the planning team, l-r, Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane, Crystal Peterson, Ben Eubanks. We all know and love them, and appreciate the effort it took to put on such a flawless event. I love this photo because it was taken in the middle of the day, in the middle of the lunch chaos. Dishes were breaking, stuff needed to be set up, the smell of bacon cupcakes were making people go crazy hungry, etc. We literally had 2 minutes to shoot this, and look how calm and happy they all are. Except maybe for Steve because I think he was really hungry. Once again, this event could not have happened with you, so a HUGE THANK YOU!

Alana Lombardi is one of the fantastic professionals from Monster who helped to sponsor HRev. We appreciate them very much!

  • Why did you sign up for HRevolution 2011?

To meet all the peeps. Although writing/ blogging for the last 2 years-ish, work constraints have kept me away from conferences, un-conferences, and all the general HR debauchery, wisdom and insight that follow you all.

  • What do you expect to get out of the event (lessons learned, better connections, etc.)?

I wanna gain more connections outside of my Birmingham home, put more faces with twitter handles, swap more HR tall tales, and gain LOTS o’ material to write about on fistfuloftalent.com, Daxkonation.com and other HR sites.

  • What’s the #1 thing you’re looking forward to (meeting someone, a specific session or two, etc.)?

Sessions:

  1. Any session with the word Slam, Pop, Creepy, or Suck in the title—you had me at hello….
  2. Strategic Sessions always make me a happy pro.
  3. I always need help with HR Tech—so if I am smart I’ll check those out.

People:

Wow—hmmmm so many people I’m looking forward to meeting: China G, Willy Tincup, Laurie Rueittiman, Charlie Judy, Trish McFarlane, Paul Smith….really I could name everyone. There are a lot of FOTers who I haven’t met in person that I am stoked to see. There are too, too many names to mention in one little paragraph. I’m also happy to connect with old pals too—-

  • Any other random comments?

A good time will be had by all…

Connect with Dawn before the event on Twitter @dawnhrrocks

  • Why did you sign up for HRevolution 2011?

I attended the 2010 version of HREvolution as a treat for myself. I had wanted to attend a so-called unconference and see what all the buzz was about. I did so and simply had an amazing time, met some great people, and have built some wonderful friendships from the event. So now going forward the bar has been set. My expectations for this year are exponentially greater than they were for last year.

Since last year, I have met a number of the folks who will be in attendance. I am looking forward to seeing them again, and meeting many folks face to face for the first time.

  • What do you expect to get out of the event (lessons learned, better connections, etc.)?

My expectations are two fold. I always enjoy meeting people and expanding my network. Secondly, I hope to come away from the weekend with new ideas, fresh approaches and innovative ways of attacking matters that are in front of me, or matters that will be put in front of me.

  • What’s the #1 thing you’re looking forward to (meeting someone, a specific session or two, etc.)?

The one thing I am looking forward to from the entire event, is being in the space, where this vibe/energy is being created. When you share space and thoughts with a group of like minded people it creates an atmosphere, a buzz which is palpable. Being there and sharing that experience is invigorating, and I am most excited to share in this.

  • Any other random comments? 🙂

HREvolution 2011 will be a place where old friends meet, new friends are made, and thoughts and ideas are shared, and perhaps someone doing something just a little outrageous, but yet still fun. – Sign me up!

On a personal note I did write a post about attending last year. If you care to look at that you can find it here.

Be sure to connect with Dave before the event on Twitter @davethehrczar.

matthew stollak
(Matt's the one on the left)

Matt Stollak. I still remember meeting him for the first time and wondering what a college professor was doing at an event like HRev. I mean, yeah, my professors were pretty cool, but I wouldn’t expect any of them to challenge traditional thinking or attend a Tweetup. But Matt’s a different kind of professor…

  • Who are you?

I am Matthew Stollak, Ph.D., SPHR

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

I am an Assistant Professor of Business Administration at St. Norbert College, where I teach a variety of HR classes as well as statistics. I also serve on our college’s Benefits Advisory Committee as well as its Harassment Resource Committee. In addition, I serve as the advisor to our student SHRM chapter. I also serve as the Social Media Director for the Wisconsin SHRM State Council. Finally, I write the True Faith HR blog.

  • What is your session title and topic?

Pop Culture, Politics, and HR

  • Who is your co-facilitator and why/how did you choose that person?

Laurie Ruettimann. Steve Boese threw us together so that we can be like George and Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff….” Or, is it more like Parker-Spitzer?

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

Chubby, curly-haired, humorous, insouciant, winning

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

I have no sense of smell

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

As a college prof, I am increasingly finding that my Fletch and Spinal Tap references are rapidly losing their flavor amongst today’s youth. How then can I connect and engage with this next generation? What is the common ground that we share that will help them understand the material I am presenting? Using pop culture is simply one approach that will assist me in providing relevance and credibility.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

What do you want your workplace to be like?

Thanks to Matt for his time! Feel free to connect with him on Twitter before the event @akabruno.

Laurie Ruettimann is one of the most-recognized names in the social media/HR space. From her blogging exploits to the incorrigible attitude she wears like a badge, we’re excited to have her at HRevolution. Look for an interview with her co-facilitator, Matt Stollak, later this week.

  • Who are you?

Laurie Ruettimann, SPHR

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

I am a writer and a speaker. I talk about Human Resources, career advice, and the future of work.

  • What is your session title and topic?

Pop Culture, Politics, and HR

  • (Only for co-facilitators) Who is your co-facilitator and why/how did you choose that person?

Matt Stollak. He was assigned to me because the conference organizers don’t know what to do with us.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

I didn’t initially submit to speak at HRev. I don’t want to hog the limelight. We have many voices in our community. I want to help facilitate conversation and sometimes I do that BEST when I am quiet.

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

Is this Match.com? Passionate, opinionated, affectionate, skeptical, and petite. I like long walks on the beach and strawberry daiquiris.

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

I like gardens & guns.

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

I’m passionate about relevant and evidenced-based HR. What’s more relevant than politics? What’s less evidenced-based than bad political ideas?!

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

Life isn’t worth living without art, music, and a robust discussion of politics. And politics can ruin good music, destroy good art, and wipe out a vibrant economic climate that creates jobs.

Thanks for the input, Laurie! Looking forward to seeing you next week!

If you were around on Twitter last Thursday night, you might have seen several hundred tweets flying about. They all revolved around HRevolution, courtesy of the HR Happy Hour radio show. We appreciate Steve and Shauna for having us on to talk about the event, and we appreciate the speakers who took some time to share about their sessions and what to expect. Missed the show? No worries! You can hear the replay at the link below.

Click here to listen to the HR Happy Hour replay

Tanya is one of our speakers that I’ve never met before. Everything that I’ve seen or heard about her is positive, and after listening to her on the HRevolution HR Happy Hour episode last week, I think her session is going to be fantastic. What session, you ask? Read on…

  • Who are you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] Tanya Barham

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

It’s hard to be humble when you’re bloggin’ straight out of Portland, Oregon (that’s orygun and not or-ee-gone). I’m the founder/CEO of a company where all of our staff work like little elves at Christmastime to transform our client’s workplace into a healthy, happy, productive place akin to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. Seriously. Now we just need Santa to hold up on the cookies and milk and we can declare that wellness program a success. I occasionally guest blog for Fistful of Talent and was a regular blogger on the now deceased Benefits Buzz.

  • What is your session title and topic?

The Fun Factor: Maximize ROI by making effective, science-based programs fun.

Do topics like “Controlling Diabetes Risk” inspire you to think positively about your life and health? No? Recess’ surveys of corporate employees show they want wellness programs that are fun and easy to understand. Meanwhile, employers want to reduce costs associated with poor health. Are the two mutually exclusive? Of course not.

In order for people to adopt lifelong, healthy change they must see that change as rewarding and do-able within the practical constraints of their daily lives. In order for health promotion to see results, an organization must use evidence-based methods, performance metrics, and incentives. Come to this session to learn how to manage wellness programs that effectively create ROI using: metrics, health risk monitoring, benefits analysis, and employee surveys, but that also support organizational strategy by designing, marketing, and implementing programs that participants see as fun.

This is a truer than true interactive session. Instead of big picture theoretical blah blah blah you will get a view from the trenches. Chances are good you won’t understand any of the lessons learned until the session ends.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

Steve Boese harassed me until I said yes. 🙂

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] Energetic, Nonconformist, Laffaminute, Blustery, Smart

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] I once worked at a resort in Mexico where part of my job involved manning roulette tables in sequin hot pants/

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

I think there is plenty of theory about wellness out there, but very few tools to help non experts get their head in the game. 60% of employers “do” wellness but 80% of these employers see fewer than half of their employees participate. That sucks. My guess, based on actual experience, is these programs could be doing a lot better. Since there are so many wellness programs out there and they are nearly universally doing so poorly I hope that anyone who wants to fix a wellness program that sucks or start one that works will walk away with a little more perspective and intelligence around this. I am a hater when it comes to ineffectiveness and I guess my passion about this topic is driven by a feeling that we could be doing a much better job of investing in our most valuable asset – people.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

No bandwidth = no results. Wellness should not begin and end with HR.

See? I told you it sounded interesting! Thanks to Tanya for her help and follow/engage her on Twitter @wellnesssucks as we close in on the event.

Dwane Lay is one of those guys who I’ve heard a lot about but never had the chance to meet. In just a few short weeks, we’re going to remedy that. Let’s hear what he has to say.

  • Who are you?

Dwane Lay, author of LeanHRBlog.com, Lean Six Sigma practitioner in HR, and all around devil-may-care nice guy. I like to list speaker, author and evangelist on my cards, and I think they are all true to varying degrees. I’ve been working lately on helping our teams think strategically about HR, really trying to think outside in, starting with our customer’s needs.

I contend too many people in HR design systems to prove how well educated and how well read we are, rather than striving for a straight line between the need and the solution. But there are also plenty of HR people out there who have never been taught to think differently about their problems. Rather than continue to talk about how they “don’t get it,” I’m interested in sharing what I know and helping them be more effective. Those are the thoughts driving the blog right now.

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

I spend my days working in HR Operational Excellence for Ingersoll Rand, which takes me around the world and down some dark, twisting paths. But the chance to help build our practice from the inside out is a great challenge. Since I’m a recovering IT geek, I’m also deeply involved in system design and implementation for the HR technology arena, working to make us all obsolete. I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.

  • What is your session title and topic?

Connecting in a Non-creepy Way. Ever wanted to join the party, but not sure where to get a lampshade? We’ll get you fitted.

  • (Only for co-facilitators) Who is your co-facilitator and why/how did you choose that person?

I am pleased to get to present with the lovely and talented Shauna Moerke and April Dowling, two of the most connected and least creepy people I know. We met less than a year ago at the HR Technology conference in Chicago, and they have been great companions in the social media world ever since. So we have some experience in getting connected with people without creeping them out.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

I’m excited to be in attendance, but I always struggle to decide which track to attend for each session. I figured presenting during one of the tracks would make my choice a little easier. As it turns out, I was wrong. Now I have to beg the other speakers for private sessions. (I’m looking at you, Winegardner.)

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

Hey look, it’s that dude. (Contractions count as one word, right?)

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

I was, for an incredibly short time, the lead singer for a heavy metal band. I made it through almost an entire rehearsal. Also, I don’t really like heavy metal.

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

Social media is great, but getting into it can be daunting. It’s tragic, because the cost of entry is virtually zero. I’m excited to help some of our peers get started so they can add their voice to the conversation. I think about the people I’ve met online, but not in “real life” yet, and how much they have added to my career and world view. There is so much out there to be gained, I’m happy to do my small part to help move that forward.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

The preliminary agenda includes giving away an Oprah sized prize package. If that somehow falls through, I hope that we will at least help build enough bridges between participants to get everyone comfortable sharing their voice with the community. I want people to spend the next year making so many new connections that next year HRevolution is twice the size, packed with people who we all know, but have never met. That’s a nice thought, don’t you think?

Loving the quirky, fun attitude that Dwane is sharing with us! Make sure you connect with him before the event on Twitter if you haven’t already. He’s a hoot and definitely will be co-leading an interesting session!