We love thought leaders around here. Everyone who works on Crafting Culture is always looking for new ideas to inspire us, so we’re all voracious readers and audiobook-listeners.
And of course, we gobble up podcasts like Pacman eating ghosts after a juice cleanse.
But we’re fortunate to be able to invite some of the greatest minds in business to sit down with us and let us pick their brains on how to create a world-class culture. Not everyone has a chance to do that — and we love our jobs because of it.
If we have questions about, say, an HR thought leader’s book… we just ask them to be a guest on Crafting Culture.
So, what can you do to get your culture-crafting questions answered by the foremost leaders in the industry if you don’t have the power of a podcast to leverage?
They’re the best way to pick a thought leader’s brain without shoving a mic in their face.
Not just that, you also get to network with professionals from the world over who have probably faced some of the same challenges you have.
We believe that culture is a blend of a top-down leadership mission permeating your entire organization and grass-roots values organically formed by everyone in every role.
One of the best places to build a network is at a conference. You’ll find allies, mentors, future-employees and even friends lurking around the booths and lecture halls of a world-class conference.
So, if you want to kickstart your talent acquisition, leverage new advancements in people analytics, learn the most cutting-edge technologies or just get better at company branding, HR conferences are a great place to start.
But they are legion. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of HR conferences held each year.
Luckily, we’ve compiled a handy guide to HR conferences in 2020 to make it easier.
Note: With the current CoViD-19 pandemic, the fate of many of these conferences is uncertain. Many, however, have already made plans to move to a digital-only format. Be sure to check the conference site to see any changes planned.
The best HR conferences in 2020
What are the best HR conferences in 2020?
Our top 5 picks for the best HR conferences in 2020 are:
- The HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, NV
- The CIPD Festival of Work in London, UK
- Talent Acquisition Evolution in Cincinnati, OH
- HR Vision in Amsterdam, NL
- RecruitCon in Denver, CO
Read on to learn more about these picks and other great conferences, including:
- The best HR conferences in the US in 2020
- The top international HR conferences in 2020
- The most important HR conferences for tech in 2020
The best HR conferences in the U.S.
When: March 23-25
Where: Miami, Florida
Who should attend: As its name suggests, this conference is heavily geared towards data-minded people focused on talent optimization.
- Integrating talent strategy and business strategy
- Applying people analytics across the talent lifecycle
- Adapting to change and uncertainty
- New techniques and technologies you can use to generate talent insights
The event will also offer a number of workshops and even courses offering certifications, so you’re bound to leave more knowledgeable (and credentialed) than when you arrived.
When: March 23-25
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Who should attend: HR executives, entrepreneurs and talent managers will all feel at home over the course of this 3-day convention.
- Engaging passive candidates
- The gamification of HR
- Providing an exemplary candidate experience
- Building a learning and development platform for global teams
HR Transform is a convention focused on the future of HR. Bringing together some of the most innovative and prominent minds in HR, the convention looks to the future and figures out how to lay the groundwork today. Luckily, the HR insights you’ll learn in Vegas don’t have to stay in Vegas, you’re free to take them back to your office. It’s totally legal, we checked.
Cost: $1295+ (This figure does not account for potential blackjack table losses)
When: March 23-25
Where: Seattle, WA
Who should attend: Recruiters and sourcers who want more open sourcing.
- Creative solutions for attracting candidates
- Increasing response rates
- Diversity solutions
- Partnering with better hiring managers
SourceCon is a conference focused on real, candid conversations with industry innovators and thought leaders. It’s a great place to find techniques for sourcing candidates that actually work. Across 3 days, SourceCon’s roundtable sessions, networking opportunities and intimate peer-to-peer learning environment are sure to have you returning to work ready to hire.
When: April 16-17
Who should attend: Recruiters, strategic managers and business leaders.
- The choice between work and family is dead (Spoiler: family won)
- New approaches to talent acquisition models
- Using research to create a better recruitment strategy
- Employee advocacy programs
The ERE conference prides itself as an education-focused conference, but its topics are far from boring. With lessons explaining why sometimes you have to break things when tweaking them won’t work, this is a far cry from your boring Western Civ class. The conference is entirely peer-led and speakers are chosen solely for their groundbreaking research and achievements.
When: May 11-13
Who should attend: HR executives, recruiters and talent leaders from around the world intent on solving the hiring challenges of today (and tomorrow).
- Recruitment best practices
- How to succeed on the Indeed platform
- Industry trends and research
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how huge Indeed and its platform are for recruitment. So, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear their conference, Indeed Interactive, is one of the best places to network and learn about the cutting edge of recruitment technology.
Cost: $1199, or $599 per person when registering in groups of 3 or more
When: June 7-10
Where: Minneapolis, MN
Who should attend: WorldatWork is a conference from the Total Rewards Association for anyone who wants to learn more about — or level up their business through — motivating their employees through compensation, benefits, sales compensation and executive compensation.
- The total rewards program.
- Organizational culture & development
- Pay equity and rewards fairness
- Employee well-being
- Personal development
World at work boasts a rich field of experts, researchers, exhibitors and consultants as well as some courses to take. Of course, maybe you just want to attend for the photo opportunities with celebrity guests like Danica Patrick and Brooke Shields.
Cost: $1895+ for members, $2495+ for non-members.
When: June 22-24
Where: Everett, MA
Who should attend: Anyone concerned about overcoming the global talent shortage that has become the top risk facing today’s organizations.
- Finding new or previously overlooked talent sources
- Hiring criteria that actually predict success
- Revamping your talent pipeline strategy
Brimming with world-class thought leaders, amazing networking opportunities and some of the best insights into the newest tactics and technologies, this conference has it all. And it’s in beautiful Boston at a time of year when there is very little risk of freezing to death, so you have no excuse not to attend.
The best international HR conferences
When: March 26-27
Where: Amsterdam, NL
Who should attend: Jet-setting HR professionals who want to learn everything there is to know about the latest trends, developments and disruptions in the industry.
- AI in recruitment
- Data analytics
- EX platforms
- Continuous performance management
- Learning and Development
In its 3rd year, the International HR Forum features interactive Q+A sessions and open panel discussions with some of the top leaders in the industry. Plus, you get access to a free walking tour of one of the coolest cities in Europe.
Cost: €998+ (with online discount code)
When: June 2-3
Where: Amsterdam, NL
Who should attend: HR leaders and professionals who are looking to the future of the industry.
- Emerging technology
- Embracing change
- Crafting the workplace of the future
- Strategic solutions
Okay, we had to add another Amsterdam conference, but it’s not just because we love the city. This 2-day event is an incredible networking opportunity with oodles of industry leaders. And 3 separate conference streams mean you can personalize the conference into your own — to use the words of the conference’s website — “bespoke experience.” (That’s a good thing.)
When: June 10-11
Where: London, UK
Who should attend: The Festival of Work has something for anybody in HR and, chances are, most people who aren’t.
- Leadership, business management and organizational development
- People management, engagement and reward
- Resourcing, talent management and future skills
- Workplace Technology and innovation
These seemingly broad categories are actually how this sprawling 2-day conference is split up. Talent managers can mosy on over to one area to learn workforce planning in the age of automation through case studies. Maybe you’re more of a leader — why not take an expert masterclass on business in the age of disruption? This conference has it all.
Best HR conferences for people in tech
When: August 31 – September 2
Where: San Francisco, CA
Who should attend: HR professionals in the tech sector.
- Scaling what makes your company unique
- Staying ahead of future trends
- Becoming a disruptive driver of business success
- Retention during rapid growth
Leap Tech Talent markets its open platform conference as bold, radical and disruptive — which isn’t a surprise given the biggest successes in tech so often are. And you’ll have a chance to engage in some honest dialogue with HR leaders at those very companies.
Cost: $2699+, with discounts available for groups of 3 or more
When: October 13-16
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Who should attend: Technologically savvy HR and IT professionals interested in optimizing (or buying) HR systems.
- Artificial intelligence
- Blockchain technology
- Diversity and inclusion
- Reskilling and upskilling
- Tech for SME
HR Tech is one of the largest HR tech expos in the world — it’s basically the annual meeting for the industry. It’s packed with tons of thought leaders, vendors and plenty of futuristic tech for you to geek out on.
Cost: $1745+ for a premium pass, from $445 for the expo only
When: November 4-6
Where: New York, NY
Who should attend: This one-day conference is for talent acquisition professionals in any industry who want to sharpen their knowledge on new technological tools to attract the best talent.
- People analytics
- Employer Branding
NYC TechRecruit also has some panels featuring world-class leaders in the talent acquisition space, plenty of networking sessions and even a cocktail party afterward (in case you didn’t get your networking fill during the day). Plus, you’ll never hear us complain about the catered lunch included in the ticket price.
When: November 9-11
Where: Kissimmee, FL
Who should attend: RecruitCon is a great convention for people interested in the best of the best when it comes to emerging recruiting practices.
- Talent acquisition leadership and strategy
- Candidate experience and selection
- College recruiting
- Solutions to overcome talent competition
RecruitCon has a strong emphasis on emerging recruiting practices like effectively using AI, assessing soft skills in candidates and utilizing onboarding to minimize bad hires. Like any good conference, it’s an amazing networking opportunity and they even have a rewards program — and who doesn’t love rewards?
The best HR conference on a budget
When: September 2
Where: Cincinnati, OH
Who should attend: Anyone in the talent and acquisition space who would like a cheaper alternative to some of the pricier HR conventions.
- Recruiting best practices
- How to be visionary in your career
- The intersection between HR, marketing and Recruiting
- A chance to obtain professional credits
TAE has all the networking, industry insights and forward-thinking approaches to employer branding, sourcing or technology some of the more ritzy conferences on this list, but at a fraction of the price. Even better, on their website you can download a .docx file designed to convince your boss to attend.
Choosing the best HR conference for you
There is no shortage of great options when it comes to the best HR conferences in 2020.
Whether you’re more tech-savvy and want the latest and greatest gadgets for people analytics or you’re just looking to shore up your network, you can’t go wrong with any of the picks on this list.
But remember, getting the most out of a great HR conference means taking advantage of the opportunities it provides. Listen to all the talks you can, ask questions of the greatest leaders in your field, meet as many people as you can — you get out what you put in!
That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun — if I’m at a conference in most of these great cities, I’m going to have a good time no matter what — it just means you should be open to learning everything you can while you have the opportunity.
And, if I’ve learned anything at these conferences, you should bring that approach back to the office, too.
Rather listen to your favorite HR influencers from the comfort of your own home? Crafting Culture brings the best and the brightest in HR right to your earbuds. Subscribe to Crafting Culture on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.