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Next Concept HR Magazine focused on What's Next for what matters most to HR. Insightful and timely, it covers best practice trends and presents new ideas and concepts to keep readers up-to-date with the latest in our field. Voices from our nationwide community contribute to a wide range of topics. Articles include valuable practice resources, news and views to provide training, legal and legislative developments, info on quality service providers, and opportunities to form career-long networks and partnerships. Subscribe at:


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Win a Room at the Hyatt Regency for HR TechXpo

Posted By NCHRA Marketing Team, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Discover the intersection between HR and Tech at the HR TechXpo!

Join in on our Twitter Contest! #HRTechXpo #HR and #HRTech 

Help us create buzz about the event on Twitter and you could win a beautiful room at the Hyatt Regency (San Francisco - our event location!) for the Thursday night before HR TechXpo on Friday, August 19th.

Starting now until 12pm noon on Wednesday (8/17), whoever tweets the most qualifying tweets will be the winner. We will notify the winner by or before 8/18.

A qualifying tweet has to include:

1) The hashtag #HRTechXpo
2) The event website URL:
3) 1 of these 3 additional hashtags: #HR, #HRtech, #ATD

Get tweeting and best of luck!

Make sure you "Like" us on Facebook and "Follow" us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest news from NCHRA.

Tags:  conference  Contest  HR  HR tech  human resources  marketing 

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11 Reasons to Attend HR West 2016

Posted By Amy S. Powers, Friday, January 8, 2016


HR WEST 2016 - HR in the most innovative place on earth! March 7-9, 2016Why should you attend HR West 2016? Here's our count down to the #1 reason, but we're sure you will agree that these are all amazing reasons to be at the Oakland Convention Center - March 7-9, 2016!

Credits. Credits. Credits! Earn up to 15.75 recertification credits, 12 of which likely qualify for Strategic.

10. Keynote Monika Fahlbusch has worked for Salesforce, Old Navy and PeopleSoft. If anyone knows about the employee experience, it’s her!

9. Hotel. Conference. Parking - all under one roof! Book your room today.

8. Everyone wants to peer into the future and Emcee Leah Hunter is “the Future Hunter.”

7. TEDx Presenter/Princeton Professor, John Danner is leading an exclusive full-day session and you won’t find this opportunity elsewhere.

6. Speed dating isn’t your thing, but speed networking? Now, there’s a great concept.

5. Now is the time to transform your workplace (if not now…when?)...Keynote Eva Sage-Gavin tells you how!

4. You love a good debate and Keynote Jeffrey Pfeffer is calling B.S. on the current state of leadership.

3. Winning makes you happy and the #GoHRWest Sweepstakes has great prizes!

2. Classical music soothes the soul! Keynote Kai Kight will play his violin for us!

1. 80+ concurrent sessions for just $863 - unparalleled education you can afford!

Register Today!

Prices (valid thru 2/10) – NCHRA Members: $863 / General: $1,030
For all the details, visit 

Already Registered? Enter #GoHRWest Sweepstakes and win a free hotel stay!

#HRWest2016 #GoHRWest

Tags:  Conference  Go HR West Sweepstakes  HR  HR Education  HR Re-certification  HR West 2016  Human resources  NCHRA 

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Inspiring HR pros to compose an innovative career path at HR West

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Let the countdown to HR West 2016 begin! Are you ready to get compose a new and innovative path to your personal and professional fulfillment in 2016? 


As a classical violinist turned innovative composer, Kai Kight uses music as a metaphor to inspire individuals and organizations across the world to compose paths of imagination and fulfillment. Inspired by his own mother who, when diagnosed with cancer, revealed regrets of not bringing her ideas to the world, Kai is on a mission to spark a global mindset shift in which ingenuity is the norm, not the exception.


When the Fortune 500 consulting firm PWC needed a unique way to inspire their millennial employees to find their purpose, they called Kai. When the legendary Walt Disney company needed a fresh approach to spark the creativity of their designers and animators, they called Kai. When the Superbowl-winning Seattle Seahawks of the NFL needed an innovative method to enhance the performance mindset of their star players, they called Kai. 


In his emotionally powerful presentations, Kai performs mesmerizing original music and vulnerably shares stories from his own transformation as an artist. Kai translates these insights into takeaways that audiences can easily infuse into their own lives and work environments. 


We are honored to have Kight present the final keynote of HR West - on March 9, 2016. Get ready to be inspired to have the human resources career and life that you may, for now, only be dreaming of. Join colleagues and friends at HR West 2016 -- HR in the most innovative place on earth! 


Watch highlights and testimonials of Kai Kight, innovative violinist, composer, and speaker, and don't miss seeing and hearing him live!  Register today.




Tags:  conference  HR  HR conference  HR West 2016  kai kight  NCHRA 

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HR West App - New for 2015!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 19, 2015
Updated: Thursday, February 19, 2015

We are very excited to introduce the all new HR West App
for iPhone and Android!




Download and use our (free!) new app to view maps, schedules, concurrent sessions, and exhibitor information all in one, convenient place. Registered HR West conference attendees have access to session handouts, the ability to connect with other attendees and a fun, interactive game to play.

Tap the links below if you're on your mobile device, or search for HR West in your 'store.'

Download in App Store

Download in Google Play Store

View Concurrent Sessions
See the full event schedule, room numbers, speaker details, and descriptions.
Tap "Add to Schedule" to bookmark and house in your personalized agenda!

Connect with Attendees
Connect with fellow attendees by exchanging your "digital business cards."
Your new contacts can be viewed within the "My Contacts" section of the app.

Network with Exhibitors
Discover the organizations that made this such a great event!
Simply tap an organization's name to view a description and contact details.

You must be registered for HR West to enjoy full interactive features of the HR West app!

Not registered? Register Today

             Questions? Give us a call 415.291.1992415.291.1992, or email




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Tags:  2015  Android  App  conference  HR West  iPhone 

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Turn That SOUL-CRUSHING Conference into a WIN - How to Get More Out of a Conference

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 12, 2015

By Sue Shellenbarger


You’ve spent days wandering the cavernous halls of a convention center, trapped in windowless rooms, drinking too much coffee and talking yourself hoarse. Does anyone ever emerge from a conference as the organizers intended, feeling recharged with new ideas, contacts and energy?


New York City marketing executive Stefany Stanley does. Among conference organizers she is known as a savvy convention-goer, someone with a strategy for rising above the dreary rounds of networking and breakout sessions. Ms. Stanley says she has gained valuable contacts, ideas and insights from the 15 conferences she has attended in the past five years.


Avoiding time-wasting traps takes planning, self-discipline, skill—and for many, a lot of caffeine. The biggest mistake most conference attendees make is failing to plan ahead, set a personal agenda and report back to colleagues on their results, says David DuBois, president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, a Dallas trade group.


Ms. Stanley, 26, admits to some apprehension as she prepares for 21/2 days at Content Marketing World. This is a conference in Cleveland focused on using content such as blogs and videos to replace traditional advertising. Her employer, Sandra Arnold Inc., or SAI, a creator and producer of corporate events and exhibits, is spending $3,000 on her trip, including a $2,000 pass to the meeting. Ms. Stanley, SAI’s business development director, hopes to return with new digital-marketing ideas and relationships with potential clients and helpful contacts.


A record 70 million people will attend conferences in the U.S. and Canada this year, with attendance expected to peak next month, industry research shows. The experience can be overwhelming.  Conferences usually last one to four days. Content Marketing World offers 80 breakout sessions, with time to attend only 11. It sprawls over 270,000 square feet of the Cleveland Convention Center. Sessions include “Breakthrough Moments in Content Marketing.” Eight networking sessions are scheduled to allow the 2,600 attendees time to meet.


Along with the usual speeches by celebrities and exhibits, Content Marketing World provides social activities such as “our own music festival” with a Beatles tribute band and “Shooters on the Water,” an after party starting at 10:30 p.m.


No matter what session conference attendees pick, they worry they’re missing a better one. The best networking may be in one session while the best speakers are elsewhere, Ms. Stanley says. She comes in with her schedule highlighted in neon yellow for “must attend” sessions and amber for “maybe.”

“You really have to be on your A game,” she says. “You’re networking and getting all that information, plus giving your pitch and telling people about your company. It’s exhausting.”


She works out to build energy, rising by 6 a.m. to lift weights and run 3 to 5 miles. On the treadmill, she mentally rehearses different versions of her opening pitch to suit different people. To help her resist the free candy and junk food that abound in most exhibit halls, she stuffs granola bars into her shoulder bag.

Ms. Stanley resists the temptation to befriend other new arrivals and travel with one group. “I have to stay focused on my goals, getting new ideas and new contacts,” she says.


She positions herself by the coffee pot for the first networking session; talking about the coffee can be a good icebreaker. She considers introducing herself to another attendee standing alone nearby, but she hesitates, and the opportunity is lost when another attendee approaches the man. Ms. Stanley tells herself. “You’re here to network. One, two, three, go!”


Meeting conference speakers, who tend to be high-level executives, is a key networking opportunity for Ms. Stanley in her search for corporate clients. She is nervous as she waits in line with a dozen others to introduce herself to Katrina Craigwell, global manager of digital marketing at General Electric Co., after Ms. Craigwell’s presentation on a successful digital-marketing campaign. Ms. Stanley plans to take Ms. Craigwell’s ideas, such as promoting GE research with videos on social media, back to her SAI team. She also hopes Ms. Craigwell will put her in touch with colleagues at GE who might be interested in SAI’s services.


Brazilian by birth, Ms. Stanley values Latin cultures’ emphasis on warmth and spontaneity. When her turn finally comes to speak with Ms. Craigwell, she says, “You were wonderful. I felt as if I knew you.” The executive responds with equal warmth and promptly emails Ms. Stanley’s contact information to a colleague.


Later, as she prepares to introduce herself to another speaker, Ms. Stanley gives herself a pep talk: “What’s the worst that can happen? He’ll say no. What’s so awful about that?” Her friendly approach sparks a conversation about how SAI might help his company, and they part with plans for another meeting. Ms. Stanley notes on each business card the follow-up steps she promised to take.


By late afternoon, her energy wanes. She downs her third coffee of the day. Hungry after having only a salad for lunch, she allows herself a bag of Doritos, then heads for the last breakout session of the day. Blocked at the door by a security guard and a sign, “Session Full,” Ms. Stanley talks her way in with a joke. The guard laughs and opens the door.


Ms. Stanley passes up an opening-night pub crawl. Networking with strangers over drinks “has never proven effective for me,” she says. The music festival on the second evening is unusual enough to lure her. She leaves after 45 minutes. “I prefer to go to bed early and be focused on the next day,” she says. Ms. Stanley once slept through a meeting because her cellphone died, she says.


She now arranges a wake-up call from her hotel, in addition to setting the alarm on her smartphone. At a breakout session on the last day, she finds a seat near the front, only to realize that she already knows the information being presented. Usually, she avoids sitting too close to the front so she can see who else is present, and also so she can slip out quietly if necessary. “I picked the wrong seat” this time, she says. On the last day, more than an hour before a closing keynote speech by actor Kevin Spacey, hundreds line up for seats. Ms. Stanley strides past them on her way to a panel discussion. “I’m not going to not network so I can be in the front row for Kevin Spacey,” she says. “You have to keep in mind your goal.”


Later, Ms. Stanley takes stock: She has reaped several good ideas and a grasp of emerging trends such as using journalistic techniques to attract customers on social media and the Web. She collected 20 business cards, initiated promising relationships with four potential clients, and made five “fair-to-good” new contacts. She isn’t done. Many people only took her card or gave her a colleague’s name. But she will follow up with them all.



Sue Shellenbarger is the creator and writer of the The Wall Street Journal's "Work & Family" column. The former chief of the Journal's Chicago news bureau, Ms. Shellenbarger started the column in 1991 to provide the nation's first regular coverage of the growing conflict between work and family and its implications for the workplace and society. Read more about Sue here

This article was originally reprinted in HR West Magazine November 2014 issue by permission of Wall Street Journal, Copyright © 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide. License number 3484300144322.


Register for HR West today - March 2-4, 2015 at the Oakland Convention Center, Oakland, California.
For more information contact, Amy Powers, NCHRA.

Tags:  Annual  Bay Area  California  Coast  Conference  HR  HR West  NCHRA  Oakland  San Francisco  SHRM 

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