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An Unconventional Convention: Viventium at SHRM 17


Have you ever wondered why HR technology companies spend so much money attending conferences and expos, and what else they could do with that money? We asked ourselves that same question when preparing for this year’s SHRM conference in New Orleans.

The simple answer is that brands spend money so you get to know them and what’s important to them.  Here at Viventium, we reflected quite a bit on this notion after our leadership team returned from a major industry conference late last year.  When jumping into the industry conference game, we wanted to make the right choice in developing our booth concept and presence, so that attendees would get to meet us and experience who we truly are as a company.

As the leadership team described the array of booths we encountered on our trip, some of our millennial employees were truly shocked and, in all honesty, quite turned off by the sheer amount of money many companies were wasting in constructing elaborate, over the top booths for these conferences.  As one millennial employee put it, he could afford rent for roughly “3000 years” with the amount of money spent on just one booth created by an industry titan.

And you know what?  They were right.

It was from that conversation that our unconventional booth idea was born.  We decided to communicate our story not in a lavish way, but rather in an unconventional way.  After all, we pride ourselves on being an unconventional HCM provider.  How better to introduce ourselves to SHRM attendees than to be honest about what we value?

So we decided our SHRM experience will reflect our true nature. We’re going to invest in people rather than an extravagant booth.   What does that mean?  Well, for starters, our booth will be made of cardboard boxes.  Yes, you read that right.  Instead of a building a costly booth, which can run tens of thousands of dollars, we’re going to take that money and donate it to local charities in New Orleans that share our mantra of “daring to live remarkably.”

It’s more than a gesture. Our SHRM strategy best demonstrates what our brand is all about — that we’re focused on people and unlocking human potential.

We picked two charities that we think share our vision: Second Harvest and the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter. New Orleans has seen its share of difficulties in recent years, and we want to make a difference by helping those charities that are doing remarkable things for the people in their community. That’s not so different from what we do every day as an HCM technology provider. Here at Viventium, we help unlock human potential in the organizations that use our HCM platform. So donating to these New Orleans charities aligns with our focus on people, something that building an extravagant conference booth won’t achieve.

“Daring to live remarkably” means doing the things you know others won’t.  It means standing behind what you believe in and putting actions to words.  And we won’t lie, it really does feel good to know that we are repurposing that convention money to help empower the local communities of New Orleans.

New Orleans, we are in it with you.

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