SHRM Officially Announces Cancelation of the 2020 Annual Conference

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today announced that their annual conference this year is canceled. The move was speculated on for weeks, as SHRM had stopped advertising the annual conference on official channels for more than two months.

A news release from SHRM reads:

Regretfully, SHRM must cancel the SHRM 2020 Annual Conference & Exposition as we have recently been informed by the San Diego Convention Center that they will not be able to host us for this event.

This was a difficult decision, but it was based on directives from the state of California, the City of San Diego, and out of a need to keep participants and the community safe.

We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event. We know SHRM’s Annual Conference is the leading HR community event, and the entire global HR community looks forward to it each year. However, we know it is the right decision and we are confident there will be brighter days ahead as the HR community navigates our “new” world of work.

In a somewhat surprising move, SHRM is not attempting to hold a virtual event in the place of an annual conference. The SHRM Talent Conference & Expo converted to a virtual experience in a matter of weeks.

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According to the release, all current registrants will be moved to the SHRM 2021 Conference in Chicago, being held June 20-23, 2021 unless they request a refund by June 9th, 2020. Attendees who wish to request a refund must contact SHRM via an online contact form. More information about hotel reservations made through SHRM are available within the news release.

SHRM and its predecessor, the American Society for Personnel Administration, has been holding an annual conference since 1949. According to TLNT reporting, the annual conference made up about a fifth of SHRM’s operating revenue for 2018 — the last year public tax filings are available.

Lance Haun is the practice director of strategy and insights for The Starr Conspiracy, where he focuses on researching and writing about work technology. He is also a former editor for ERE Media, broadly covering the world of human resources, recruiting, and sourcing. 
 
He has been featured as a work expert in publications like the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, MSNBC, Fast Company, and other HR and business websites.
 
He's based in his Vancouver, Wash., home office with his wife and adorable daughter. You can reach him by email or find him off-topic on Twitter.

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