To be held outside Dallas on June 10 and 11, 2009, the show used to be sponsored by the area chapter of the International Association for Human Resource Information Management. HRchitect helped organize it in years past, but is now sponsoring the conference itself.
Matt Lafata, show chair and VP of sales and marketing at HRchitect, promises theHRshow as it’s being called, will be the “largest HRM show in the Southwest and one of the biggest tech shows besides HR Tech.” He and Rick Fletcher, HRchitect CEO, insist they aren’t trying to compete with the HR Technology Conference and Exposition put on every year by the magazine HR Executive.
“Our show is regional,” Lafata told us, estimating that about 90 percent of the attendees will come from Texas and adjacent states. Added Fletcher: “We’re not trying to take away from HR Tech or any other show.”
It’s certainly getting to be a crowded show calendar. The national IHRIM conference is in San Diego, April 19-22. The annual SHRM conference is June 28-July 1 in New Orleans. HR Tech is in Chicago Sept. 30-Oct. 2. And this is hardly a complete list. Lafata said HRchitect has a list of something like 400 HR-related conferences, shows, and events.
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“Our show is not in competition with anyone,” says Fletcher observing that the HR professionals surveyed at the previous shows strongly supported having a local event. Vendors, also, endorsed a regional show, especially since the cost of exhibiting ($795 for a booth) is less than a third — even a quarter — of what it might cost them to exhibit at a national event.
On the other side of the equation, attendees will find the cost of theHRShow significantly less than other shows. Conference fees are $335 for early-bird registrations. That makes it affordable for smaller companies with technology needs, but small travel budgets.
Right now the conference schedule is barren, bereft of keynoters and presenters. But Lafata and Fletcher say that when the lineup is released next month, “It will be as strong as any show. We’re just now making our big marketing push. We’ve got some great speakers already and we expect to have a really decent size show.”