I'd like to hear whether you are going this year, what you thought of conferences past and why you are attending - is it just for the freebies? Some time out of the office or a couple of leisurely days in a beautiful spa town or is it a genuine case of gleaning the latest HR information, access to amazing speakers and networking opportunities that you are after. Or are you intending on making a major HR purchase and in need of quizzing the huge numbers of suppliers. Post your comments and we will compile them into an editorial piece to go live on the site ahead of the conference.
Annie Hayes, Contributing Editor, HR Zone
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I have only every attended the exhibition and then I will only go every two or three years unless I am trying to source a supplier for a particular project.
I think the conference is too expensive for most private organisations. If you look at the name badges of many of those who are attending the conference a large majority seem to come from the councils or the public sector.
When in many private organisation the training budget per employee is only a few hundred pounds how can I justify spending £1,263.13 to attend the CIPD Conference. Especially when I can attend events such as The Human Resources Forum or The Human Resource Summit at no charge apart from my train fare and a few incidentals and I am more lightly to be meeting my peer group than at Harrogate.
From comments made to me by others that have attended there seems to be much more opportunity for open debate about HR issues at some of the other HR Conferences.
I have never been as I have been able to get what I want at other events at far less cost.
I think HR practitioners in private business have already got a lot to do to convince boards/directors of their worth, etc, and asking them to pay the high cost for the conference, which many would see as a 'jolly', only adds to the problem. For the same amount of money I could send two people on courses that would enable them to get their obligatory CPD training for a year!
I attended both the conference and the exhibition 3 or 4 years in succession but have not been back for the past 4 years. As I used to live in Leeds it was no trouble to pop over to Harrogate but over recent years I have had trouble justifying attending in my own mind let alone requesting budget to attend. When I attended, although i enjoyed it, I couldn't justify the expense versus the value and like the other contributors have noted, as my HR career has progressed I have found other, more beneficial & cost effective events to attend.
I'm a fan, and attend whenever I can. I don't know anywhere else that I could get to the see range of world-class speakers so cheaply (by the way, I'm not associated with the CIPD).
I will also be live blogging from the conference: see http://strategic-hcm.blogspot.com .
The hat gets it every time.