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What to see and do at the 2015 AHRI National Convention

The AHRI National Convention sees the largest gathering of HR professionals and industry experts descend on the Melbourne Convention Centre, and this year’s lineup of events has something for everyone. Here are some events you should not miss and some suggestions on how to make the most of your time.

  1. The opening ceremony

Criminal and human rights lawyer Rabia Siddique opens the convention with a fascinating discussion on diversity and leadership. This is also the perfect time to meet your fellow state delegates and plan your course for the next couple of days.

  1. Wander through the exhibition hall

More than 100 vendors are attending, so be sure to roam the aisles and learn about the latest HR products and services you can tap into. Don’t forget to visit the AHRI stand to round out your visit.

  1. Public sector HR symposium

Although the convention officially starts on Wednesday, Tuesday’s lineup focuses on the public sector and includes sessions led by the Australian Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd and other prominent public sector figures.

  1. The great debate

Dave Ulrich and Ram Charan have gone head to head on the issue of the place and role of human resources in the past. Now both of these HR heavyweights will discuss the value of HR and what’s next for the industry, in separate sessions.

  1. Dance, eat and be merry

The Wednesday night Gala is the social event of the season! Meet fellow attendees over a three-course dinner and break out your best dance moves to the sounds of the 80s.

  1. Give back

Fitted for Work is this convention’s official charity partner. The program helps women experiencing disadvantage to find work and keep it – through workshops, interview preparation, mentoring and more. CEO Donna de Zwart will be on hand during the welcome reception to answer questions and raise awareness. Attendees can also join a special networking session on gender diversity in the workplace.

  1. Get social

Tap into the #AHRINC hashtag to see what others are saying, share your experiences and get event updates through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Plus, don’t miss social media expert Laurel Papworth’s HR tech workshop on Tuesday.

  1. Author signings

In your downtime between speakers and workshops, head to the AHRI bookshop in the exhibition hall to browse titles from convention speakers and attend signings by Rabia Siddique, Ram Charan, Julia Gillard, Adam Fraser, Dave Ulrich and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.

  1. Expand your circle

Reflect on the day’s events with fellow attendees at the networking hub. There will be multiple chances to meet other industry professionals and build your network – all in a fun and informal environment.

  1. Head online

Can’t make it this year? No worries. AHRI will be hosting a series of webcasts throughout the convention that you can access from the comfort of your own computer. Click here to learn more.

Your AHRI NC survival kit

  • AHRI NC app: Download the AHRI NC app for event information and updates in the palm of your hand. From there, you can create a profile to interact with other attendees, access speaker schedules, take notes on sessions, participate in live polls and more.
  • Comfortable shoes: With more than 100 vendors, 30 speaker sessions and workshops, and a host of social functions, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Blisters shouldn’t distract you from the fact you’ll be this close to the likes of Julia Gillard, Dave Ulrich or Rabia Siddique.
  • Business cards: There will be several networking events throughout the convention, and you don’t want to get caught without your contact details. If you are a first-time attendee, head to the networking session on Tuesday afternoon at 4pm; an AHRI representative will be there to kick things off and help ease you into the event.

In your downtime (if you have any) go out and explore Melbourne

  • Experience the famous Melbourne coffee culture and get a caffeine buzz at your local cafe.
  • Take panoramic shots of the city skyline from the Eureka Tower sky deck.
  • Celebrate the start of spring with a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Head to Federation Square for some culture and easy access to Melbourne landmarks.
  • St Kilda Pier has penguins – enough said.
  • Shop from local vendors and artisans at Queen Victoria Market.

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