Pat Baillie, Out & Equal Director of Training & Professional Development, will be contributing to the Out & Equal blog while she is on the road for a month, traveling and training.
I got an early start for Atlanta Saturday morning, but not quite as early as I wanted! Rookie travel mistake…set my alarm to get up with lots of time to get to the airport. Suddenly, 90 minutes later, I wake up and realize I set my Monday-Friday alarm which surprisingly doesn’t go off on Saturday! Thankfully I was packed and ready to go and with the help of short lines to checkout at the hotel, a great taxi driver and no lines at the counter or TSA, I made it with 20 minutes to spare. I think I will just keep on the daily alarm for the rest of the trip just to be safe!
I was glad the luggage made it, and I took the local MARTA system to get to the hotel. It is hot in Atlanta but not as hot as I know it can be. I might also be acclimatizing to the heat. I try to get out and walk every day if I can so I don’t hotel happy. After getting settled, I headed over to the Annual Society for HR Management (SHRM) Conference at the World Congress Center. It is over by the aquarium, Georgia Dome,and Olympic Park. They set up an easy-to-use shuttle bus system to bring us in from the 20 or so hotels scattered around Atlanta. Today it was pretty quiet since the exhibit hall was still setting up. I picked up our registration materials and headed over to the booth. Q Wilson was in charge of shipping, so we will do the full booth set up on Sunday. We received a nice thank you certificate from SHRM for our donation of an Out & Equal Workplace Summit registration package to their online foundation auction. I also picked up our lead tracker which scans participants badges, so we can quickly turn around our contact list. I love technology!
After I got the layout of the exhibit hall down, I headed over to the SHRM bookstore and found they had David Hall’s Allies at Work book on the shelf. We had arranged to include it as part of the SHRM Diversity Conference last October, and they continue to carry it for this conference.
There is one targeted LGBT workshop at the entire SHRM conference — Todd Solomon who recently did a Town Call for Out & Equal on tax equity is speaking about LGBT benefits. I have a feeling that we will busy at the Out & Equal booth again this year as HR professionals try to find resources to take back to work. Visibility, dialogue and access are so important to advancing workplace equality! Q, Michele and I will keep that goal in mind as we try to connect with the over 12,000 attendees!