Wednesday, the 8th of June 2016 began our first official day of the UFHRD Conference sessions. I have to say, it was quite a different and eye-opening experience that our entire group was not accustomed to. The day started pretty easy, around 12:30pm with a networking luncheon and went straight into sessions. If anyone has ever attended a conference, you’re most likely used to sessions lasting around 45 minutes with opportunity to bounce around various types of sessions. They’re typically structured, scheduled, and well-communicated. However, our group learned the hard way that this style of conference is structured completely differently than conferences that we are accustomed to attending. As the Keynote speaker, Davis Fairhurst, the Executive VP of McDonald’s, ended his spectacular speech, it ran over-time, and threw off the timing of the conference sessions, but the schedule continued as normal and was not communicated among the conference participants. Each session lasted around 20 minutes, was very fast-paced, and swiftly shifted to the next, which did not give any time for us to absorb information or change sessions. The schedule and program was very unique to our style of conference.
Additionally, our group was exposed to unique point of views and discussions with various professionals in the field from all over the world. The one that really seemed to stick with our group were a couple individuals from South Africa whom we chatted with during the evening social. It was really intriguing for us to exchange information about our differing educational systems, politics, and human resource design, as well as noticed similarities within our communication, conversation, and expressions. I know we all look forward to another day at conference tomorrow to gain more insight in the realm of human resource development and networking opportunity with some incredible individuals across the globe.