Another conference is in the books. And man is that book thick. It was another amazing conference. I LOVE the HDI conference. I go to a few industry conferences every year, and the HDI conference is by far my favorite. I gain so much knowledge from the conference and love interacting with other people who just get it without having to explain it. It is refreshing to say the least!!!
This year’s conference was in DC. I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to going to DC….it is generally dirty and hectic (sorry for you DC’ers out there), but I was happily surprised with the location of the Gaylord. It overlooked a beautiful harbor and the location in regards to shopping and food was amazing. Great choice HDI!
The conference wouldn’t have been complete without the amazing Keynote speakers. Of course, we have to have our Chief Fun Officer, Kirk Weisler. He is always amazing! I “grew up” in this industry knowing Kirk and love seeing him as the MC for the event. He is so funny and personal. Thanks Kirk for another great conference! The Keynote speakers were great and very informative. We had a wide range of speakers from innovation to hacking. It was so great. I have to say my favorite though was Biz Stone. My youngest son shows some of the qualities of Biz in his entrepreneurial spirit that it gives me hope LOL. I loved how Biz got Lacrosse at his high school because he didn’t know the rules of Basketball. I told that story to my oldest son and he said why didn’t he just learn the rules LOL.
The breakout sessions were as always golden. I love hearing how different companies run their business and stealing nuggets from them. It is always so helpful to hear how we all struggle with some of the same things. It not only helps me know I am not crazy, but also gets me thinking about different approaches to how to run my team. My favorite session was with Jeff Toister and how to get your team obsessed with service. Customer service, true authentic customer service, is a dying art form and we need to get our teams obsessed with giving them authentic, get-nothing-in-return service for our customers. Jeff helped me to see how to do that and I also got his book…can’t wait to read that one!
My most favorite part of the HDI Conference is meeting new people and gaining insight from them. This year I set out to meet as many people as I could in my line of business, local government. I wanted to find others like me who struggle with some of the things the private sector doesn’t. I loved meeting people from Colorado, Alaska, and other places that even though we are from different locations, we struggle with the same things. It was so much fun swapping stories and exchanging contact info. I know I will be reaching out to them to pick their brains. Where else can you get to meet people from all over the country that are in the same boat as you?? That is a pretty big boat!!
Another exciting part of the conference was the announcement of Officer of the Year. Our own Joshua Tooley received that award!!!!! How amazing is he!!!! Much congrats Joshua!!!!
If you weren’t able to make it to HDI conference this year, make plans now to make it next year….April 10-13th 2018. If you need help convincing your management that you NEED to go, there are ideas and letters on the HDI website (www.thinkhdi.com) that will help you. It is life changing in regards to your work career. I have a personal story of how HDI changed the course of my career and saved me after I was laid off. HDI is an amazing group of people who share knowledge and ideas to better each other. You HAVE to be a part of it and going to conference solidifies those relationships.
So until next time, start planning for next year’s HDI Conference!!!!