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    The Top HR Conferences in 2018 You Can’t Afford to Miss [Updated!]

    hr conferences

    Which HR conferences are you interested in attending this year?

    It’s hard to overstate the value of a good conference.  The benefits of networking alone are worth the investment. The problem is knowing which conferences are worth the cost. 

    That’s where this list comes in. We’ve put together a list of all the best HR conferences for 2018 that will reward you with the most bang for your buck. Do what you can to make it to at least one of these HR events this year.

    Let’s get started by digging into some tips for making the most of your experience.

    Do Your Research

    planning conference attendance

    What are you looking to take home from the experience?

    Once you’ve successfully acquired the buy-in you need for your conference, take some time to consider the speakers and topics that are applicable to you, make yourself a schedule. Decide when you’re going to be doing what so that you aren’t wasting time during the conference trying to figure out what to do next. Be sure to include time to break for food and time to rest if you need it.

    Not every HR conference is going to be valuable to every attendee, and not every speaker’s content is going to align with your specific goals. Do a little digging before committing to a conference, and look up the speakers you’re considering listening to. Even the most riveting HR topics may not be delivered in a manner that suits your learning style. So look them up on Youtube, Twitter, and elsewhere, to determine if they are a good fit, and decide accordingly.

    Note: If you have to travel for the conference, then you should definitely read our popular post: Work Travel Nightmares and How to Avoid Them

    Bring a Conference Buddy (Or Make One at the Event)

    Conference Buddy

    In preparing for a conference, you will likely run into the problem that you can only be in one place at a time.

    Bringing along a conference buddy, or meeting up with one, can help with that. Decide what activities matter to both of you, and divide and conquer, comparing notes when the day is over. Even when you both attend the same presentation, you’re likely to notice different things than your companion, and the difference in perspective will help you both glean the valuable information from the speaker.

    Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities

    Conference Networking

    Do what you can to maximize your networking opportunities. Attend after parties (on your best behavior, of course). Stay in the designated hotel, as it puts you in proximity to other attendees. Give yourself time to mix and mingle at the conference, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to strangers—you never know when an acquaintance will turn into a business contact.

    Interested in Taking This List With You? Click Here to Download Your Free PDF Copy 

    Now that we’ve gone through a few ways to prepare for your next HR conference, let’s delve into the conferences themselves. The following list is categorized by month and provides important details and suggestions for each of these valuable HR events.

    HR Conferences in January

    HR Conferences in January


        • Host: Global Strategic Management Institute
        • Dates: January 31 – February 2, 2018
        • Location: San Francisco
        • Summary: “Recruiting Reinvented: Improve your social strategy with best practices and data-driven outcomes”
        • Price: $1,595 
        • Who Should Attend: Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals who are interested in learning about the latest recruiting strategies, data-driven recruiting, strategic sourcing and employer branding.

    • What’s Covered: The HR conference includes a pre-conference training, and compelling topics like “Putting Technology To Work For You: The 10 Best Social Media Recruiting Tools,” and “The Millennial Fit: Strategies for Helping Millennials Find the Right Job.”
    • Dining: The restaurant at the venue is Geraldine’s, which offers unique local cuisine, cocktails, and live music. Other nearby restaurants include Iron Works BBQ, the Moonshine Grill, and the G’Raj Mahal.


    HR Conferences in February

    Human Resources Professionals Associate Conference

    HRPA Annual Conference and Trade Show

      • Host: Human Resource Professionals Association
      • Dates: January 31 – February 2, 2018
      • Location: Ontario, Canada
      • Summary: Unique on our list for being both a conference and a trade show, the HRPA conference’s premier feature is the “HR today” interview segment, which is filmed throughout the conference.
      • Price: $646–$1,697
      • Who Should Attend: The “world’s second largest HR conference” brings in a wide range of HR professionals from around the globe who take advantage of knowledgeable keynote speakers, more than 130 HR professional development sessions, a variety of networking events and exhibits of the latest HR products and services.

    • What’s Covered: This conference offers training on topics like “Work-Life Balance: How to Find Your Own Definition of Perfect,” “How to Develop the Average Person Into a Great Leader,” and “Advancing Your HR Career: Insights from HR Leaders.”
    • Dining: The King Street Social Kitchen offers a breakfast buffet and dinner in the evening, while the Mix Bistro serves guests from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and offers a scenic overlook of Toronto’s entertainment district.


    HR Conferences in March

    HR Conferences in March

    HR West 2018

    • Host: Northern California Human Resources Association
    • Dates: March 5-7, 2018
    • Location: San Francisco Bay Area
    • Summary: An HR conference for San Francisco professionals by San Francisco professionals.
    • Price: $949 – $1,169
    • Who Should Attend: HR West is popular among HR professionals who are focused on staying on top of the latest industry trends. With more than 80 concurrent sessions (that go toward recertification credits) that range from startups, HR and technology, small business and advanced career levels — there is something for everyone.
    • What’s Covered: This conference includes keynote speeches offered by Ann Tardy and Bill Strickland, Brett Culp, a variety of sessions on different topics and a Speed Networking event.  
    • Dining: In addition to the hotel’s various breakfast options, the Iron & Oak Restaurant and Bar is ready to serve morning, noon, and night. Outside the hotel, there’s a host of options available within half a mile, so there’s something for everyone.


    i4cp 2018 Conference

    • Host: i4cp
    • Dates: March 26-29, 2018
    • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
    • Summary: An HR conference with a heavy network focus, there are no vendors among the membership at i4cp, just like-minded professionals.
    • Price: $1,695 – $2,295
    • Who Should Attend: The conference that emphasizes “next practices” — rather than best practices — is designed for senior HR, talent, learning and diversity leaders.
    • What’s Covered: This conference offers a host of invitation-only pre-conference events, as well as a pre-conference workshop and a welcome meet & drink, in addition to general sessions. A few of the keynote speakers this year include Brene Brown, Daniel Pink, Candice Morgan, and Andrew Razeghi. 
    • Dining: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has a number of local offerings for the hungry patron — all fine dining. Try Bourbon Steak for prime cuts of meat skillfully prepared, or La Hacienda for a stylish Mexican dining experience.


    HR conferences in March

    HR in Hospitality

    • Host: HR in Hospitality
    • Dates: March 5-7, 2018
    • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Summary: “The only HR event specifically for the hospitality industry”
    • Price: $1,225 – $1,625
    • Who Should Attend: This is the only HR conference on the list that was made specifically for HR professionals in the hospitality industry. This event attracts hundreds of HR and Employment and Labor professionals from a wide range of sectors.  
    • What’s Covered: Agenda TBA
    • Dining: True to Vegas, there’s as much to dine on as there is to do. The selection of nearby restaurants will prove that there’s more variety than the average appetite can handle.

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    HR Conferences in April

    BambooHR Summit

    BambooHR Summit

    • Host: BambooHR
    • Dates: April 25-27, 2018
    • Location: Snowbird Ski Resort, Utah
    • Summary: Experience Bamboo’s culture and gain access to wide range of keynote and breakout sessions to discover new HR trends and insights.
    • Price: Starting at $795 (Super Early Bird Pricing)
    • Who Should Attend: HR Professionals who are interested in new educational opportunities, fresh connections, and the tools that will help them elevate their work and their people.
    • What’s Covered: The BambooHR Summit conference offers the latest news and insights from leaders in the industry, as well as individualized training with Bamboo representatives, and outdoor entertainment in the beautiful Utah mountains.
    • Dining: Snowbird’s Ski Resort provides visitors with access to a variety of dining options, which include American classics at the Steak Pit, Mexican cuisine at the popular El Chanate, and for those who love the art of fine dining, make sure to check out The Aerie.

    HR Conferences in April

    ERE Recruiting Conference

    • Host: Society for Human Resource Management
    • Dates: April 2-4, 2018
    • Location: San Diego, California
    • Summary:“Enterprise Talent Acquisition — Recruiting that Scales”
    • Price: General Admission $1,595
    • Who Should Attend: This HR conference provides an interactive experience for talent acquisition professionals, with more than 75 percent of attendees holding VP, Director and Manager level job titles.
    • What’s Covered: In addition to regular training presentations, this conference offers a welcome reception, roundtable discussions, and a networking reception.
    • Dining: This year’s venue is just a short walk away from the Gaslamp Quarter, which offers just about every type of cuisine.


    HR conferences in April

    Talent Management Conference and Exposition

    • Host: Society for Human Resource Management
    • Dates: April 16-18, 2018
    • Location: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Summary: In their own words, the conference “gives you the tools, resources, innovations, and solutions you need to evolve your human capital strategies.”
    • Price: $1,620
    • Who Should Attend: This conference boasts more than 1,000 attendees that work in talent acquisition and management industries. Recruiters, talent management professionals, HR managers, and generalists will likely find the most value in this event.
    • What’s Covered: This conference covers topics such as legislation and compliance, onboarding techniques, and engagement and retention.
    • Dining: WThe nearby Las Vegas Strip is replete with famous restaurants from casual to elegant, and from affordable to extravagant.


    HR Conferences in April

    HRPS Annual Conference

    • Host: Society for Human Resource Management
    • Dates: April 22-25, 2018
    • Location: Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, Arizona
    • Summary:“Join a dynamic group of influential business and thought leaders in a forward-thinking discussion around the critical role HR executives play in designing the organization of the future.”
    • Price: $2,395—$3,790

    • Who Should Attend: Senior HR executives who are responsible for the planning and strategy behind the direction of their organizations are typical attendees of this HR Conference. 
    • What’s Covered: This conference features concurrent sessions, a host of keynote sessions, and even “Innovation Labs”—interactive sessions that dig deep into a topic.
    • Dining: Scottsdale may not have the reputation of fine dining that other cities have, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t quality food to be had.


    HR Conferences in May

    HR Conferences in May

    ATD 2018 International Conference and Exposition

      • Host: Association for Talent Development
      • Dates: May 6-9, 2018
      • Location: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California
      • Summary:Help others reach their full potential by reaching yours.”
      • Price: $1,325–$2,500
      • Who Should Attend: The ADT conference boasts more than 10,000 attendees who are dedicated to the design, delivery, management, and strategy of talent development. If you’re looking for the specific value offered by the conference, you may want to check out their ‘Convince Your Boss’ page.  

    • What’s Covered: In addition to the general concurrent sessions, this conference also offers a “conference preview” for new attendees, and boasts former president Barack Obama as a keynote speaker.
    • Dining: As a major tourist destination, there’s no shortage of excellent places to dine in downtown San Diego.


    HR Conferences in June

    HR Conferences In June

    SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition

      • Host: Society for Human Resource Management
      • Dates: June 17-20, 2018
      • Location: McCormick Place, Chicago, Michigan
      • Summary:“Internationally renowned speakers that offer fresh points of view and inspiring stories that can help shift your perspectives and deepen your understanding of leadership, motivation, and success.”
      • Price: TBA
      • Who Should Attend: This event offers relevant opportunities for any professional in the HR industry. With more than 200 concurrent sessions that allow for customized learning and access to thousands of solutions providers, you are practically guaranteed to walk away with a fresh perspective and new tools at your disposal.

    • What’s Covered: With concurrent sessions, master series and mega sessions, and keynote speeches by Adam Grant and Oscar Munoz, there is a lot to do at this conference.
    • Dining: Chicago is a bustling city with a wide variety of dining options. There’s no shortage of delicious offerings to be had.


    HR Conferences in August

    HR Conferences in August

    California HR Conference

    • Host: Professionals In Human Resources Association
    • Dates: August 26-29
    • Location: Long Beach, California
    • Summary:“We offer a unique experience committed to your understanding of the trends and laws affecting the future of your business, to opportunities for purposeful networking, and to connecting HR communities.”
    • Price:$345–$845
    • Who Should Attend: Industry professionals who are interested in learning about employment law and legislation, strategic management, leadership development and global HR.
    • What’s Covered: This conference is organized into a series of educational “tracks,” featuring focus on multiple topics, including the following: Global HR, Total Rewards, and Nonprofit HR.
    • Dining: The conference offers a map with a fairly comprehensive list of nearby attractions, including—but not limited to—nearby restaurants worth looking into


    HR Conferences in August

    HR Florida Conference and Expo

      • Host: HR Florida State Council
      • Dates: August 27-29, 2018
      • Location: Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Kissimmee, Florida
      • Summary: This event is the annual conference of the Florida State Council (a state affiliate of SHRM). “Each year the event attracts 1,500+ human resource professionals and vendors throughout the state of Florida and across the globe.”
      • Price:$400–$1,285
      • Who Should Attend: The individuals who attend this HR conference represent human resource professionals and vendors from virtually every industry. Attendees can also earn credits for both the SHRM competencies certification and the HR Certification Institute certification.

    • What’s Covered: This conference features master sessions, pre-conference activities, and keynotes from the likes of Lou Holtz, Marlee Matlin, and J.R. Martinez.
    • Dining: The Gaylord Palms Resort has a number of dining options onsite for those who don’t want to travel to far for food.


     HR Conferences in September

    HR Conferences in September

    HR Technology Conference

    • Host: LRP Publications, Human Resource Executive
    • Dates: Septemeber 11-14, 2018
    • Location: The Venetian, Las Vegas
    • Summary: The HR Technology Conference & Exposition is the world’s largest HR tech expo, and boasts tens of thousands of attendees.
    • Price:$395–$2,145
    • Who Should Attend: This HR conference is tailored to human resource professionals who are interested in leveraging technology to exceed employer expectations and achieve organizational success.
    • What’s Covered: This year features keynotes from Mike Rowe, Randi Zuckerberg, and Rita Mitjans.
    • Dining: As mentioned above, Las Vegas has, as a result of its robust tourism industry, a healthy variety of dining options for attendees to avail themselves of.


    HR Conferences in September

    ASHHRA Annual Conference and Exposition

    • Host: American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration
    • Dates: September 15-18, 2018
    • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
    • Summary: An HR conference dedicated specifically to human resources in the healthcare industry. Attendees are able to take advantage of general sessions, breakout sessions, networking events, and 175 exhibitors focused on advancing healthcare through HR.
    • Price:$200–$1,345
    • Who Should Attend: Human resource professionals in the healthcare industry.
    • What’s Covered: “Inspiring general sessions and breakout sessions feature healthcare specific topics you won’t find at other HR conferences.”
    • Dining: For a chic dining experience, try Eleven. For something with an upscale elegance, try Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.

    HR Conferences in September

    Crossroads Conference

    • Host: Utah Human Resource Council, Partners in Business
    • Dates: September 18-19
    • Location: Utah Valley Convention Center, Provo, Utah
    • Summary: “Our mission is to provide an opportunity to network with peers, explore innovative solutions with vendors, and improve your knowledge as an HR professional.”
    • Price: TBA
    • Who Should Attend: HR managers interested in professional development and the exploration of top industry topics by a variety of powerful speakers.
    • What’s Covered: This conference features concurrent sessions, general sessions, two conference workshops, a networking event, and an ice cream snack break.
    • Dining: Nearby at the Provo Marriott is Slate Restaurant, with contemporary dining in a casual atmosphere. For those with more eclectic tastes, try Communal, or Black Sheep Cafe.


    HR Conferences in September

    IPMA-HR International Training Conference

      • Host: International Public Management Association for Human Resources
      • Dates: September 22-26, 2018
      • Location: Hyatt Regency, Phoenix, Arizona
      • Activities: “IPMA-HR is your resource for comprehensive and timely HR industry news, jobs, policies, resources, education, and professional development opportunities.”
      • Price:$649–$949
      • Who Should Attend: IPMA HR has been serving HR professionals since 1906 and its conference and expo appeal to all levels of human resource professionals.
      • What’s Covered: This event features four keynote speakers this year, including the likes of Kris Boesch and Eric Bailey.
      • Dining: There are several restaurants in the area that offer a beautiful view of the valley while you dine.

    HR Conferences in October

    HR conferences in October

    2018 [email protected] Conference

    • Host: Human Capital Institute
    • Dates: October 3-5, 2018
    • Location: The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ
    • Summary:“92% of business and HR leaders have identified the critical need to redesign their organization to meet new business demands. Yet only 14% of executives believe their company is ready to effectively redesign their organization. Join us at the 2018 [email protected] Conference to get started.”
    • Price:$795–$1,995
    • Who Should Attend: Human resource professionals focused on the employee experience and interested in learning more about engagement, development, wellness, and technology should consider attending this HR conference. 
    • What’s Covered: Agenda TBA
    • Dining: Try Kitchen West for modern dining, or for a more relaxing experience, eat poolside at the Twisted Vine.


    HR Conferences in October

    CUPA-HR Annual Conference 2018

    • Host: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
    • Dates: October 7-9, 2018
    • Location: JW Marriott Indianapolis Hotel, Indianapolis, IN
    • Summary:CUPA-HR conferences and symposiums are where higher ed HR professionals and industry experts connect, share ideas and solve problems together.”
    • Price:$155–$1,055
    • Who Should Attend: Human resource professionals working in higher education.
    • What’s Covered: In addition to concurrent sessions, keynotes, and pre-conference workshops, this conference also features “super sessions” and “micro sessions.”
    • Dining: Within the hotel, there is Osteria Pronto and High Velocity. For dining outside the hotel, there are several options available within half a mile.


    HR conferences in October

    The HR Southwest Conference

    • Host: DallasHR
    • Dates: October 14-17, 2018
    • Location: Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas
    • Summary: “The HRSouthwest Conference (HRSWC)…is recognized today as the largest regional human resources event in the United States. The conference offers educational sessions, nationally renowned keynote speakers and a Marketplace of 200+ solution and service providers.”
    • Price:$279–$1,199
    • Who Should Attend: HR professionals interested in networking with 2,000+ attendees, exploring HR’s strategic role in their organization, learning about the challenges and opportunities surrounding the future of HR, and discovering new solutions to solve problems in the industry and streamline efforts.
    • What’s Covered: This conference offers educational sessions, an online learning center, pre-conference activities, and re-certification through SHRM.
    • Dining: Fort Worth is a sizable city, and there are numerous options both near and far.


    HR Conferences in October

    Talent Connect

    • Host: LinkedIn
    • Dates: October 9-11
    • Location: Anaheim, California
    • Summary:Talent Connect is a three-day event that will elevate and inspire you to reimagine not just your future, but the future of your company.”
    • Price: TBA

    • Who Should Attend: Recruiters and professionals in the business of talent acquisition may gain the most value from this HR conference. 
    • What’s Covered:  Agenda TBA
    • Dining: TBA


    HR Conferences in November

    HR Conferences in November

    HR Comply

    • Host: Business and Legal Resources
    • Dates: November 14-16
    • Location: Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Summary: HR Comply (formerly the Advanced Employment Issues Symposium) is the nation’s leading human capital management conference for HR professionals, executives, and in-house counsel.

    • Price:$999–$1,199
    • Who Should Attend: Human resource professionals, executives, and in-house counsel that want to stay on top of employment law.
    • What’s Covered: This conference features pre-conference workshops, “hot topic power talks,” and keynote speeches.
    • Dining: The Las Vegas Strip offers a diverse selection of restaurants to suit any taste when it comes to dining experiences.

    HR Conferences in December

      • Stay Tuned! More December HR events will be updated soon.

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