With the SHRM Annual Conference less than 2 weeks away, I thought the timing was perfect to revisit this post from 2011 about the requests of vendors to meet. There are only slight modifications to reflect that its 2016. Note...Since I wrote this 5 years, not one vendor has taken me up on it.
In 12 days, I will be flying out to Washington, DC for the 2016 SHRM Annual Conference. One of the rites of passage associated with registering and attending the conference is the bevy of mail you receive from vendors hoping to lure you to their booth to discuss the latest in HR technology, drug testing, relocation, etc. Occasionally, they entice you with the promise of a certain geegaw that you can't find at any other booth. It would not be uncommon to receive 13+ pieces of mail a day in the 3 weeks prior to the start of the conference.
However, the pitch has changed.......
In 2010, at the SHRM Annual Conference I had the opportunity to be part of the 1st "SHRM Blog Squad," where I had the opportunity to highlight many of the conference events. You can read more details about it here. Thanks to Curtis Midkiff (@shrmsocmedguy) and Jennifer Hughes (@SHRMPress), I will once again be able to share my feeble thoughts on the conference yet again. However, because of my registration as a blogger for the conference, I have yet to receive a single piece of vendor mail.
However, I have been inundated with e-mails from vendors asking me to set up appointments to meet with their CEO or hear about their latest product, presumably as a pitch to feature him or her or the product in my blog. In addition, I have receive numerous calls from these companies following up on their e-mails.
As a courtesy to these vendors, let me tell you about my credentials:
1. I am an Associate Professor of Business Administration.
2. In that role, I make approximately .1% of any decision affecting the human resources of our organization.,
3. In the words of Lloyd Dobler, in "Say Anything:" "I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that"
So, I may be the wrong audience to target.
The one thing missing is a little WIIFM: What's In It For Me. What do I get out of taking time out of my busy SHRM Conference schedule to hear your pitch and feature your product/service/CEO in my blog? (One company who shall remain nameless did offer a "blogger gift bag;" if it anything like actors receive at the Oscars or college football players get when they attend a bowl game, count me in).
Which gives me an idea......
In 2010, Morgan Spurlock released the movie "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold:"
In the film, he sets out to finance the movie by getting advertisers to sponsor the film, which is essentially a movie about how advertising is polluting our lives and minds.
Given how many pitches I have received in the past couple weeks, I have decided to become a sell-out myself:
1. Sponsor my blog
If it worked for Morgan Spurlock, it can work for me. I am more than willing to rename my blog, "(Your company name) presents: True Faith HR." I'd be glad to include your company logo in every SHRM16 blog post I write. I'd include your company name in every tweet I issue. I'd even include pictures of myself in your company clothing line. As my blog and tweets will likely reach thousands of eyes, what better way to get your name out there.
Just make me an offer.
2. Draw my name at your booth for your "Grand Prize."
This will be my 16th SHRM Annual Conference in a row. In my previous 15 years of attending the conference, I have yet to have my name drawn as the winner of a booth's grand prize. You lure me in with the promise of an iPod, laptop, or GPS, yet each year I leave empty handed. I remain firmly convinced it is due to the credentials listed above; if I am not likely to buy your product, why give me the prize.
BUT.....now I have this blog. Why give the prize to Donna in benefits from Boise, Idaho. Draw my name instead. You can be sure as all get out that I will be talking about my newApple Watch on this blog and I'll be giving your company all sorts of props here. C'mon, what better way to make your company look magnanimous that giving this here blogger your prize?!?!?
So, vendors, what say you? I'm not expensive....I'll take an Apple Watch, Amazon gift card, pound notes, loose change, bad checks, anything. Do I have to come right flat out and tell you everything?
Serious inquiries only!