This past Monday, I was fortunate to appear on Bryan Wempen's daily blog talk radio show, "Drive Thru HR," to promote the Wisconsin SHRM State Conference, currently going on in Appleton, WI. The conversation turned to the topic of social media.
Of late, social media has become a growing component of the conference experience. The 2010 SHRM Annual Conference had their first annual blog squad to highlight conference activities, and a social media lounge. Illinois SHRM, HRFlorida, and Ohio SHRM had bloggers and heavy activity on the Twitter stream. As expected the HR Technology Conference was rife with social media experience with a number of bloggers and the HR Happy Hour. HR Southwest is starting up soon and it, too, will take a stab at carving up a part of the social media pie. You even see wonderful companies staking out a claim in this area, such as the Stelzner/Ruettimann powerhouse, "Voice of HR."
However, two major state HR conferences are going on this week, with relatively little fanfare: the 2010 Michigan SHRM Conference and the aforementioned 2010 WISHRM conference. While I can't speak for Michigan, WISHRM10 has over 1100 attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and guests....all with limited promotion on social media avenues. No major bloggers....no social media sessions....a relatively quiet Twitter stream.
So, I posed a number of HR bingo-type questions on Bryan's show: What is the return on all this social media activity? Is it creating a buzz? And is this buzz creating increased revenue to the state council? Are more people attending? Is it creating interest for future years of the conference? What is the bottom line of this activity?
Wisconsin SHRM enters its first full day of conference activity today. 1100 individuals will be busy enjoying the activities and learning, oblivious to the social media world's comments.