How to Choose Which HR Event to Attend

It’s the start of a new year and a brand new decade (we still can’t believe that, btw). Now’s the time to start setting yourself up for success for the rest of 2020. This includes planning out your professional development before schedules fill up and registration prices increase. With all the 2020 HR event possibilities, how do you choose which one, or ones, to attend? We could just tell you to go register for the 2020 California HR Conference before Preview prices end on Feb 14, but we’d rather help you make the best choices for your HR career, which may or may not be our event.

Let’s look at some important factors to consider when choosing which HR conference to spend your precious professional development budget on.


This can be the most obvious deciding factor for many who work within limited budgets. Is it better to attend multiple smaller HR events or go all out on a gigantic one? It’s entirely up to you, your professional goals, and your wallet/approving manager.


Wouldn’t it be great if everything you wanted to attend this year was happening in a gorgeous location right around the corner? Much like price, the location of an event can be a make or break factor. For example, to us, no amount of amazing HR content or air conditioning would make an event in Phoenix, during a heat wave, worth it. (No offense to Phoenix, but it gets h.o.t.)


Some people LOVE getting swept into an ocean of attendees where they can meet anyone from anywhere around the world. Others prefer smaller events where you can stand out in the crowd, see familiar faces each day, and not need to worry about sitting on the floor during your favorite sessions. And there are plenty of events in between where the content is still targeted like a small event, but you’ll still meet tons of new people.


Single day, and even half-day, events are great for focused content and minimal time away from your desk. This is especially helpful for all the HR Department of One professionals out there who can’t always afford to leave for very long. Multi-day events, on the other hand, always guarantee a broader menu of session topics, tracks and speakers. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive HR education and update on the latest trends and laws, multi-day conferences are the way to go.

Entertainment and socializing:

Let’s be real for a second. The headlining entertainment at the larger HR conferences matters. If you’re going to throw down a chunk of your budget on an event, you want every part of the experience to have at least **some** appeal to you. Same goes for socializing. How often and where networking is encouraged or facilitated (you want me order a Lyft and go how far away from the hotel/conference center for a single free drink?) makes a big difference in how valuable your event experience is.

The Food:

No conversation about attending a professional event is complete without a critique of the food. If this doesn’t matter much to you, ignore this section. But if you’re at all partial to how often you’re provided sustinance and what it is (bad coffee can totally cause a negative butterfly effect through the entire day) look into what each event has served in the past. Is lunch bagged or plated? Do they offer dietary-sensitive options like vegetarian or gluten-free? What ever it was, was it good?

The Expo: 

This is the perfect place to be if you want to discover a ton of products and solutions, all in one place, that you know will be relevant to your company and career. Rather than treat this like an optional feature of the event, consider the value of returning to your office ready to buy in on, or at least propose, a system or product that will save you time, effort, money, etc. Plus, expos are often filled with fun (what’s more fun than puppies?). Whether it’s raffles to win some pretty sweet prizes (think Apple Watches, designer handbags, spa get-aways, free product subscriptions and more) or interactive boothes (arcade games, photo/video boothes, VR, ball pits, tastings, you get the idea) checking out the expo is a fantastic break from sessions and learning. 

Here are the best ways to research HR events:

Your HR friends, colleagues and connections:

Nobody know’s the struggles and joys of working in human resources like your fellow HR pros. They also know which human resource events offer the best value and content. Ask them which events they enjoyed in the past, what they liked and didn’t like, whether they’re attending again in the future, and how attending impacted them professionally.

Social media:

No company, brand or event can hide from social media. Research the hashtags used by events in the past and check out what people said about the event before, onsite and afterward. You’ll get much more organic opinions but they may be much broader than what you’re looking for.


These are the perfect mix between your HR pals and the larger social media universe. They’re usually written by people with plenty of experience in the HR industry, so you know their take on various events is worth investigating.

We hope this helps you figure out which 2020 HR event is best for you. If you’re interested in a wonderful HR learning experience in a lovely location, consider registering for the 2020 California HR Conference. Prices increase on February 14th so act soon if you want to take advantage of the Preview rates.