We’re just a few short days away from HRevolution 2012 in beautiful Chicago, and we have a few announcements to make as we gear up for yet another fabulous event.

Best. Sponsors. Ever.

First off, thank you to our awesome sponsors. We truly appreciate each of you helping to make this event a success. Please check out our sponsors page and see if one of the sponsors offers something that is right for your business. They are the reason we are able to put this event on at such a low cost, and without them HRevolution just wouldn’t be the same.

To our supporters and friends at Aquire, Ceridian, Pinstripe, and SilkRoad, we are all grateful for your support!

The pre-show show

Secondly, this Thursday night (10/4) the HR Happy Hour radio show will be on the air live at 7:00pm Central. You can dial in and listen to the show on your phone, or you can visit the link and listen to the live stream of the show as we chat with the sponsors and planners to get some insights into what to expect at HRevolution.


  • Want to know what’s going on at the event? Here’s our agenda.
  • What’s the dress code? Oooh! It’s not HR without a dress code, right? Honestly, we are very relaxed, and many attendees will be in jeans. Trust me, you’ll be focused on the content, not what you’re wearing.
  • What’s the event like? If this is your first HRevolution, you are in for SUCH a treat! Here’s a video shot a few months back that gives some idea of how HRevolution is both better and different from other events in the HR space.
  • If you’re on Twitter, you need to check out the #HRevolution hashtag for the “back channel” chatter on the event. You’ll find some new people to follow and have the chance to interact with the best and brightest HR pros around.

Have another question that you’d like answered? We are more than happy to help! You can reach Ben at ben@upstarthr.com or Trish at trisham89@gmail.com. We are looking forward to seeing old friends, making new ones, and having a great time at Chicago. See you there!

Our new agenda is live! Check out what you can expect at the event here. So what can you do with it?

Print it.

Share it.

Take it to your manager and tell them you want to attend.


Because we have some of the most widely recognized experts in the HR and recruiting industry leading sessions on more than a dozen topics. These sessions will be interactive and challenging, and you won’t find a planning team that is more dedicated to your experience being a great one.

Haven’t gotten your ticket yet? Click here and join us!

Like a proud parent seeing his or her child climb the stairs of the school bus to head off to their first day of kindergarten as a ‘big kid’, out into the world to seek their destiny, I think of HRevolution as growing and evolving in a similar way. From small and uncertain beginnings in an old, historic hotel in Louisville, to Chicago, Atlanta, and then on to Las Vegas, with each event the HRevolution grows, adapts, and, well evolves, to try and meet the needs of the smart, innovative, and connected Human Resources professional.

The next installment of the HRevolution, set for Sunday October 7, 2012 in Chicago, promises to build upon the last four events, add some new and interesting twists, and ultimately result in the one true ‘can’t miss’ event for the HR community. HRevolution is about a new way of thinking about the workplace, about HR, and about talent, and equally important it is about a different way of meeting, connecting, and learning from your friends and colleagues.

We will cover topics ranging from social networking and HR technology, management and leadership, influence and career management and more. But whatever the topic, you can be assured the session leaders will challenge you to think differently, while not attempting to tell you what you should think. And you can also be assured the less formal, more interactive and engaging format will make you think, encourage you to participate, and help connect you to the rest of your fellow HRevolutionaries in a way much, much different than other events.

HRevolution is my favorite event of the year. Sure I am biased. But I bet after you come, it will be your favorite event too.

I hope to see you in Chicago on October 7th.

  Steve Boese

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!

Email subscribers need to click through to see the video.

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.)?


  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.


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!