Madeline has written a piece on the things she’s looking forward to at next week’s HR Technology Conference, and I couldn’t agree more with her thoughts. But I also like to be contrarian. So I thought it share with you 10 things I hope I don’t see at the conference.

  1. Uncomfortable Shoes. We know you are adorable in real life. This is not real life; this is a series of sprints, connected by a marathon. Don’t be the girl with Band-Aids on your feet, or the guy changing his socks in the hallway.
  2. Empty Sessions. Guys, there are over 100 sessions on everything from women in technology to advanced analytics to hot new vendors. Don’t miss a thing, because I know a lot of the speakers and you won’t find a group like it anywhere in the world.
  3. Sitting Alone. If you are attending alone, say hi to the person in the session next to you. Go up to one of the speakers. Meet someone and say hello – just like your mom said in kindergarten, they’re just as nervous as you are. And if you aren’t alone and see someone who is, find out who they are – I bet you have an HR challenge in common.
  4. Quiet Q&A Sessions. I have presented at conferences and believe me, we are dying for questions. And I think I can speak for most analysts when I say that we love to talk about our business. If you don’t feel like asking it in front of everyone, email us, tweet us, we love to hear what you’re interested in.
  5. The Standard Pitch. You’ve been in this meeting. You know that no matter what you say you’re going to get the same talking points as the 30 people before you. LISTEN to each other. There is a real conversation to be had in our industry, if we are only willing to listen.
  6. Vaporware. I’m a simple, practical girl. I know “all hat and no cattle” when I see it. Show me what you can actually do, and what people are actually using. Hope is not a strategy.
  7. Rudeness. It’s going to be hot. Or cold. And sunny. Or rainy. And crowded. And by Thursday you are going to be pretty hung over. Flights are going to be late, and milk is going to be spilled. Bring your patience and your good humor. It will go a long way. We’re all in this together.
  8. Empty Glasses. There are a ton of great parties hosted by a bevy of fabulous technology providers. Go find one. And if you can’t, go to the hotel bar and practice the advice in #3.
  9. Cab Lines. Uber, save us all. Better yet, take the buses provided by the conference. The cab lines in Chicago are brutal y’all.
  10. Steve Looking Stressed. And last but not least, I hope I don’t see Steve Boese looking stressed. He has put together an amazing conference from top to bottom. It’s a tough job, wrangling all the speakers and presenters and participants and turning it into the great event that HRTech is year after year. So smile, Steve, I’m sure you don’t have to start planning next year until at least Monday.

See you all in Chicago!