July 2, 2012 – Last week I traveled to Atlanta for the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) conference. It’s the largest association dedicated to human resources management. Many of their 250,000 members converged last Monday to learn best practices and to walk the cavernous GWCC exhibit floor. Even though I’m not great at these conferences (it is tough to get into a substantive conversation while people are grabbing the pens and other swag off of the exhibitors’ tables), I thought it was important to go see it, as we’ll want to be a big part of SHRM going forward.
Walking the Exhibit Floor
It was an incredibly interesting day, to say the least. There were upwards of 1,000 exhibitors. Removing the home movers, the job boards, the swag creation companies, the food services companies and other similar businesses, you could say that there were 300 exhibitors that might be competing with us or offering a similar service. But, reduce that further by the relatively localized service providers (including attorneys), and that number decreases to maybe 50.
Within those 50 select participants, you’d find insurance companies and outsourced human resources functionality. The insurance companies were exhibiting their wares, but nothing squarely about care coordination. The outsourced human resources functionality companies were all about efficiency in providing services to you and your organization – absolutely nothing about making it easier for your employees to get the care they or their family members need. And where you saw such services offered, they were largely about the employee interpreting his/her employer’s insurance. There was very little, if anything, said at the entire conference about the services we provide.
A Real Opportunity for CarePlanners
What a brilliant opportunity; brilliant first because looking at the SHRM members, they were all our potential customers personally and professionally. I spoke to many people walking the floor and, to a person, they described themselves as women moving quickly but trying to take care of their parents and kids. They hadn’t experienced a service like ours before (particularly the small and medium-sized participants) and would be absolutely open to conversation. Brilliant also because of the list of companies that we should be talking to. Simply great stuff and we can’t wait to push forward with SHRM. – Alan Blaustein