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21 of the best HR conferences to attend in 2021

by Jamie Bell No Comments

We’re all well-aware of the impact that COVID-19 has has on the world of HR conferences, and can feel a significant shift in workplace culture happening before our eyes. People operations, internal communications, executive teams…none of us have seen anything like what we’re currently experiencing in our day-to-day jobs. That’s why there’s no better time than now to embrace a spirit of continuing education and advanced learning opportunities from cultural and corporate leaders across the world. So, while we may still be navigating a reality of canceled or delayed or digital events, we’re going to step out of our silos and sign ourselves up for as many of the following HR and people ops conferences as we can!


HR Rebooted
January 26-29, 2021 | Virtual

Attracting thousands of attendees a year, the HRPA 2021 Annual Conference and Trade Show is one of the largest HR conferences. This year, the virtual format will continue to bring together the HR community and provide HR professionals access to the latest trends, technologies, and best practices from some of the industry’s greatest thought leaders. It will continue to offer a stellar line-up of speakers and experts participating in keynotes, plenaries, and break-out sessions. Though it is Canadian-based, there will be takeaways for any attendee regardless of location!

Culture Summit Virtual
January 27-28, 2021 | Virtual

Culture Summit is a cross-functional, cross-industry conference that brings together founders, thought leaders, and culture champions from all over the world to share insights and best practices on building and transforming culture in the workplace.  The speakers and workshops empower you with the data, strategies, and frameworks you need to drive actual change in this new world we are living in.


Digital Workplace Experience: Navigating the R/Evolution of Work
February 11, 2021 | Virtual

The first of a four-part digital event series this year by Digital Workplace Experience, this winter session will focus on the following topics: evolving your digital workplace practice design, unifying and integrating the digital workplace, cultivating remote and hybrid culture, remote enablement and engagement, and IT as an employee experience driver. Join thousands of enterprise executives grappling with real world company culture, employee experience and digital workplace platform challenges.

2021 Internal Communications and Culture Next Practices Conference
February 24-25, 2021 | Virtual

Get the guidance you need to meet the moment by joining experts for Ragan’s can’t-miss Internal Communications & Culture Next Practices virtual conference on Feb. 24-25. You’ll discover fresh, new internal comms strategies, hear eye-opening case studies, take part in interactive brainstorming sessions, and get practical examples of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to engaging employees and driving business goals.


HR West
March 17-18, 2021 | Virtual

The HR community throughout the West Coast has attended HR West every year in the San Francisco Bay Area to earn recertification credits, network with peers and experts, and create their own experience with a variety of HR topic tracks to choose from. Participants can expect high-caliber session content and solutions to cater toward the unique challenges HR professionals as they face these unprecedented times of the Coronavirus pandemic. Content, including the latest HR trends, techniques, and legislation, will cross national borders reaching HR executives around the world.

Wisdom 2.0
March 21 – 22, 2021 | Virtual

Wisdom 2.0 addresses the great challenge of our age: to not only live connected to one another through technology, but to do so in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world. Through our series of conferences, meet-ups, and workshops, Wisdom 2.0 strives to bring this conversation to the world in an accessible, innovative, and inclusive way.


Wharton People Analytics Conference
April 15, 2021 | Virtual

The Wharton People Analytics Conference will be a mix of speakers, panels, networking opportunities, and more. The event draws attendees from companies experienced in people analytics, as well as those just beginning work in the area. It includes presentations on historical successes, as well as on cutting-edge methodologies.

WorkVision 2021
April 19, 2021 | In-Person (Amelia Island, FL)

WorkVision 2021 is an event designed to connect you to other HR leaders from across industries and viewpoints – a diverse group of executives who share a common purpose – to shape a new way forward as organizations begin to enter the post-digital world. Join an exclusive group of business leaders who will converge in Amelia Island, Florida to strategize, share and explore vital topics impacting the evolution of work, the rise of the individual, and the critical role of the organization in a modern digital age. Engage in provocative discussions with leading-edge thinkers who are shaping the workforce of the future and delve into topics that deepen your understanding of vital issues impacting business.

SHRM Talent Conference & Expo 2021
April 19-21, 2021 | Virtual and In-Person (San Diego)

SHRM’s Talent Conference & Expo is the can’t-miss event for all things talent. Join in person or virtually to learn innovative talent strategies tailored to the realities of the world of work. Learn from engaging speakers and takeaway tips to enrich your workplace. Network with other recruitment and talent management professionals on the latest trends in recruiting and best practices to retain engaged employees at every level of your organization.

2021 VIRTUAL Conference: Build an Inclusive Culture
April 21, 2021 | Virtual

The struggle to create a fair, equitable, and inclusive workforce is not only critical to the success of every organization but also to the lives of millions of Americans. We know that hiring, engaging, and retaining a diverse workforce creates a business advantage, but this value has skyrocketed in today’s unstable marketplace. Join us April 21st and meet the HR leaders who are changing everything with new strategies, tools, and innovative ideas that will transform hearts, minds, and your bottom line.


Leap HR: Healthcare
May 3-5, 2021 | Virtual

LEAP HR: Healthcare is your unique opportunity to plug into a community of strategic HR leaders from the most forward-thinking healthcare organizations across the globe, at a time when HR has never played a more vital role for employees and patients. Step inside 40+ stories of HR innovation and uncover the new, time-saving thinking that is accelerating organizational agility and resilience during and after times of crisis.

Optima Conference
May 12, 2021 | Virtual

OPTIMA is the annual talent optimization conference that will provide insights to push your company to the next level. This conference is for leaders who are looking to learn cutting edge strategies on designing, hiring, and inspiring high-performing teams. You’ll discover dynamic sessions with A-list speakers from various industries, hear real-world case studies on how to scale your business, and network with fellow business leaders, HR leaders, and consultants.

RecruitCon Virtual Conference: Hiring in the New Normal
May 18 – 19, 2021 | Virtual

RecruitCon Virtual Conference: Hiring in the New Normal provides you with the insight to recruit top talent during these times of uncertainty. Gone are the days of the candidate-driven market, but sadly, the need for skilled workers still remains. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a massive shift in the way we work, and this shift also impacts the way we hire. No more handshakes and introductory lunches—most hiring practices take place behind a computer screen these days, which means your organization will need to adapt in order to keep up with the changing times.


The State of Employer Branding and Recruitment Advertising
June 16 | Virtual

This virtual event will focus on the related topics of employer branding, recruitment advertising and recruitment marketing. This event will explore how some organizations have intentionally created and managed their employer brands, and be a place to  discuss how HR professionals can shape their job advertisements and recruitment marketing practices represent their employer brand and how this affects recruitment success.

SHRM Annual Conference & Expo 2021
June 20-23, 2021 | Virtual and In-Person (Chicago)

Join thousands of colleagues in the “Windy City” and virtually for what will be four days of high energy, best-in-class programming and skills development. During the largest gathering of HR professionals in the world you’ll have access to premier competency-based HR education, expand your network of HR peers, leaders and experts from all backgrounds and sectors, and receive practical and timely takeaways to help shape your workplace in the “new” normal. With programming designed for all levels of HR, there is something for you!

CHRO Summit
June 22, 2021 | In-Person (Chicago)

Join a group of influential, forward-thinking HR leaders who appreciate a critical reality – success lies not just in being able to foresee and prepare for the future, but also in the ability to lead your organization there.The CHRO Summit is an exclusive event designed for chief human resource officers (CHROs).  Limited to 60 CHROs, this daylong program explores the latest thinking and business strategies that drive innovation and organizational success.


2021 VIRTUAL Conference: Hire with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
August 18, 2021 | Virtual

Another great event by HCI, this one aims to help HR professionals increase innovation and engagement with fair, inclusive recruiting. After all, building a more diverse workforce at all levels of your organization can increase engagement and innovation down the road, but it starts with hiring. To reap these benefits, organizations must build inclusive employment brands and reduce bias in their hiring processes. Sign up and discover how to deliver on the promise of fair and inclusive talent acquisition.


HR Technology Conference & Exhibition
September 28 – October 1, 2021 | In-Person (Las Vegas, NV)

The workplace has digitally accelerated faster than ever before and vastly changed. New thinking, new processes and new tools in HR are needed. The time to engage in crucial conversations that will help define HR’s “new normal” is here, during HR’s premier multi-day conference.Plan now to join thousands of your peers passionate about HR from around the globe as well as many of the world’s foremost workplace thought leaders. You’ll also be able to explore the latest innovations – all devised to help you make better decisions to drive impactful change in your organization for now and what lies ahead. (This event is currently accepting speaker applications, too!)

ATD 2021 International Conference & Exposition
September 29 – October 1, 2021 | Virtual and In-Person (Salt Lake City, UT)

Learn from the gamechangers in the talent development industry so you can supercharge your knowledge, capabilities, and results.  Experience a vast variety of professional development opportunities, get hands-on training from world-renowned experts in the field, and network with professionals from the biggest companies in the world, including Amazon, AmerisourceBergen, Apple, AT&T, Exxon Mobil, McKesson, Walmart, UnitedHealth Group, and many more.


28th Human Resource Summit
October 6 – 8, 2021 | In-Person (Prague, Czech Republic)

This is one of the longest-running HR events in the world, bringing together senior HR experts to discuss emerging and relevant topics in the industry. If you’re in senior HR management, the conference is free to attend. (It only costs something to attend if you’re a vendor wanting to promote your product or service.)

Talent Connect 
October 14-16, 2021 | In-Person (Boston, MA)
Talent Connect is a two-day conference for LinkedIn’s corporate customers. The conference attracts thousands of attendees from around the country, including HR professionals from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and many other Fortune 500 Companies with the aim of learning from recruiters, sharing best practices, and mastering LinkedIn. It t brings more than 5,000 talent developers and recruiters together for three days of networking, collaboration, panels, and unique insights. Keynote speakers of past events included Michelle Obama, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Jeff Weiner.


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