Top 21 Best HR Conferences For HR Professionals in 2020

HR Conferences 2020: A Comprehensive List For Recruiting Professionals

/blog/posts/hr-conferences - December 30, 2019 - 14 minute read -
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Human Resources professionals tend to have a full schedule of activities, from recruiting to training and creating motivation, to ensure that their business is running smoothly and people are at their best. As a result, they may lose the big picture of the industry and information about the latest trends as well as innovations. Thus, there are 100+ conferences organized in the US every year for HR professionals to meet up and build their networks. They can learn and discuss every aspect of HR and how to tackle problems in the HR industry or their organizations.
Here are the top four reasons why you should mark your calendar, get yourself prepared and join HR Conferences in 2020:

  • Learning from the experts: Speakers in our HR conference list are the top business leaders and industry experts. Therefore, you can learn about HR fundamentals and best practices throughout their sessions and workshops. You can also receive suggestions and advice for the HR problems you are facing in your organization
  • Keeping up with current trends and changes in the industry
  • Gaining your learning credits: Joining an HR conference is a great way to obtain professional development credit hours. Many conferences on our list offer dual credit hours for SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, and HRCI credit-holders
  • Meeting up with amazing HR technology providers: You can learn about new technology, resources, tips, and recommendations from them, whose tools can help you stay competitive and optimize your HR department performance

And thus, we have built our list of the top HR conferences to attend in 2020.

hr conference interviewmocha

Rakuna’s 21 HR conferences for 2020

Offline conferences are great opportunities to immerse yourself in events and gain the most from industry experts and professional networks. By meeting and listening from industry experts in person, you can gain the most updated insights, learn from their experience, and have the chance to ask for advice. Human resources conferences are also the best place to meet HR professionals in person, which is helpful to build relationships, expand your networks and find mentors. You can also interact with vendors, try out and compare human resources tools side-by-side.

I. National and Regional HR Conferences

1. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference & Expo - June 28 - July 1 ,San Diego

This is the leading annual human resources conference organized by SHRM and also known as the best learning place for HR professionals at every stage of career.
What to expect:

  • Over 200 concurrent sessions cover key aspects of HR including some highlight sessions you definitely should checkout:
    • HR 4.0: HR as an Architect of Exponential Organizations
    • Keeping the Human in HR: How AI and Technology Change Everything
    • HR Transformation Led by Employee Experience
  • 600+ vendors showcasing a wide-range of innovative HR-related products and services
  • A wide variety of opportunities to build your network from session-based networking to hallways and even the conference’s online community site

2. HR West Conference 2020 - March 9 - 11, 2020, Oakland, CA

HR West Conference takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area, the most innovative place on Earth, where human resources professionals join together to find out what’s next in the industry. What you can expect:

  • Learn about Bay Area-specific trends through various sessions, including the “Bay Area Economic Outlook” keynote from Jeff Bellisario
  • Meet 1000 exciting and innovative professionals, join the conference online community, and learn how to stay ahead in the game with industry insights, tools & resources, as well as the latest workplace research

3. HRSouthwest Conference - October 4 - 7, 2020, Nashville, Tennessee

Over 2500 attendees annually and a history of nearly 80 years in the market, this is one of the best premier regional educational and networking events for HR professionals. The HRSouthwest Conference 2020 will bring 100 educational sessions from thought-leading speakers and industry experts, networking opportunities and an exciting Marketplace of more than 200 HR solutions. This is a must-join event for HR professionals in the southwest region and any entrepreneurs who wish to join the southwest market.

4. 25th Annual Maine HR Convention - May 11 - 15, 2020, Rockport, Maine

With a long history of 25 years, this convention generates an atmosphere where HR careers and Maine workplaces thrive. At this HR conference, you will join in imaginative, participatory workshops, learn about talent management, and receive a boatload of recertification credits. Some highlight sessions and workshops you should checkout:

An hr conference is a great place to meet HR professionals

II. Specialized HR Conferences

1. ATD International Conference & EXPO - May 17 - 20 2020, Denver

Attracting over 12000 HR professionals, 400 speakers and 400 exhibitors, this is probably the largest and most comprehensive event for talent development professionals worldwide. Participants can learn from the best people on talent development design, delivery, and strategy to effectively train and develop talents for your organizations. The learning tracks are diverse, such as Managing the Learning Function, Career Development, Industrial Design,…, which you can choose based on your interest. You will also gain insights into the latest trends, best practices, and new solutions for designing, delivering, implementing, and measuring learning programs. The right strategy and program help you nurture the best people for your business.

2. Talent Conference & Exposition - April 20 - 22, 2020, Orlando

Talent Conference and Expo is a great event to stay current with trends in the industry. This year, business leaders and HR experts will share about their own experience, how to reach untapped or underleveraged talent pools, retain high performers, and create a positive employee experience. You can learn about data-driven strategies, gain actionable learnings to enhance your organization’s talent strategy. Participants will also have various chances to connect with the brightest minds in talent management and creating meaningful connections. Some recommended sessions are:

  • Top Recruiting Strategies for the Decade Ahead
  • Succession Planning
  • People Analytics: Taking data-driven actions

3. Hiring Success 2020 - February 11 - 12, 2020, San Francisco

The success of your business starts with hiring the right people. Therefore, Hiring Success is the HR conference that you don’t want to miss. This will be a great opportunity for you to join with forward-thinking leaders and HR professionals to dive into diversity and inclusion, innovation, and how to achieve successful hiring. You will have the chance to meet 1200 talent acquisition leaders from all around the US and work with them on your top issues during Success Circles and Smart Lab.

4. ERE Recruiting Conference - April 15 - 18, 2020, California

ERE Recruiting Conference is the nation’s best conference on recruiting strategies and tactics. As participants, HR professionals can learn about innovative recruitment strategies and processes, and real-life examples from great business leaders. The 2020 conference will cover the most thought-provoking topics in HR including:

  • Neurodiversity Now
  • Recruitment Artificial Intelligence Experimentation
  • Creative Sourcing Strategies and Techniques
  • Run a Lean, Mean Talent Machine With Data

5. People Analytics & Workforce Planning Conference - March 23 - 25, 2020, Florida

This conference is the place for HR practitioners to meet industry leaders, gain insight into how to develop, adapt, and execute workforce plans and integrate their people strategy with their business strategy. Some key speakers of this event are including Jason Narlock (PepsiCo), Roxanne Bisby Davis (Cisco), David Denbigh (Ernst & Young), and so on Participants of this event will also learn how to plan for future talent needs, predict and measure the impact of talent initiatives, which is crucial for organizations in an ever-changing competition. They will also gain access to workshops and hands-on practice to support their people analytics initiatives across the talent lifecycle.

An hr conference is an opportunity for effective networking

6. HR Technology Conference and Exposition - October 13 - 16, 2020, Las Vegas

It has been the world’s leading event on technology for HR professionals and the industry’s annual meeting for more than 20 years. You will discover how the right HR technology will help you attract better candidates, improve and optimize performance management. For the 2020 event, you can also gain actionable insights to foster and promote gender diversity at the workplace in the special Women in HR Technology Summit sessions. What to expect:

  • Live Demo Theaters (Gain an on-the-spot and in-depth understanding of product offerings from 20+ top HR tech software providers)
  • Pitchfest (Hear 30 of the most buzz-worthy startups square off as they compete for bragging rights and up to $30,000 in prizes), and Conference Podcasts
  • Meet 450+ HR vendors, learn about the latest innovations, and compare HR technology products to find the most suitable one for your company

7. Unleash America - May 12 - 13, 2020, Las Vegas

The best conference to learn about the latest innovations in HR, HR Technology insights and how leading pioneers using their own workplace technology strategies in transforming their organizations’ success. Speakers of the 2020 event include business leaders and experts from Fortune 500 companies and start-ups such as Microsoft, Intel, Paypal, Unilever,… Participants will have access to the latest tools, trends, and techniques. They will also learn on what’s working, what’s not from the best practices and how to develop an actionable strategy to implement in your organization. The technology exhibition is catered for a wide range of attendees. No matter you are buyers of HR, HR decision-makers or learning and recruitment services and technologies, you will be able to find decent product offerings.

8. Advocacy@Work - March 16 - 18, 2020, Washington, DC

This is the 2020 SHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference, a must-attend annual event for HR professionals who have an interest in law or face problems relating to workplace legislation. At the 2020 event, you can learn about how you can develop and use your voice to make changes from local to national levels. Attendees will also have the unique opportunity to meet and let Members of Congress know, in person, how pending workplace legislation directly affects organizations and communities during the Advocacy Day.

9. Workhuman® Live - May 11 - 14, 2020, San Antonio, Texas

Known as the outlier of HR conferences and where you will probably have “the most human experience,’’ this conference is definitely worth your visits.

  • Workhuman Live offers a great environment for not only for individuals but also teams. Thus, as a leader, you can bring your team to Workhuman Live, experience it together, shake up the status quo and infuse your team with new ideas and energy to bring back to your organization.
  • You can also have countless opportunities for networking from welcome activities, morning yoga, after the breakout sessions, and during social breaks in Workhuman Central.
  • Topics include provocative workplace issues like unconscious bias, pay equity, humanizing performance management, and socially constructed change.

10. 2020 Annual Employee Health Care Conference - March 12 - 13, 2020, New York or March 26 - 27, 2020, San Diego, CA

  • This HR Conference is for industry experts and business leaders in HR whose interests in benefits, compensation, and employees’ wellness.
  • It provides a great space for HR leaders to discuss how to attract, retain and engage a diverse workforce to create a competitive advantage, and how to create the right benefit programs.
  • You can learn from leading experts about purpose-driven health care strategies and tactics that lead to great business results and positive employee experience.

11. Health & Benefits Leadership Conference - April 15 - 17, 2020, Las Vegas

Health & Benefits Leadership is for business leaders to gain actionable insights, meaningful solutions, and foresight you need to create the perfect benefits package and where you can meet the savviest HR and Benefits professionals.

Participants can also discover strategies that help organizations from various industries and sizes thrive, and know the best practices and tips from seniors and benefit executives. Some interesting tracks of the 2020 event are:

  • Being A Better Benefits Leader
  • Hot Benefits to Attract and Retain Talent
  • Keeping Employees Engaged
  • Rethinking Healthcare In Changing Times

You can also see and compare products and services side-by-side at the nation’s most cutting-edge Health & Benefits Expo.

12. Total Rewards Conference and Exhibition - June 7 - 10, 2020, Minneapolis

Total Rewards is the ideal event for human resources professionals who have responsibility for any aspect of Total Rewards, including compensation, benefits, sales compensation, and executive compensation. Participants can learn how you can enhance your Total Rewards strategy to effectively motivate and reward employees, and thus, drives the organization to achieve its desired outcomes. Topics in the conference include:

  • Total Rewards leadership development
  • Compensation and benefits
  • AI/technology challenges and opportunities
  • Solutions to integrate Total Rewards throughout your organization

There are 100+ hr conferences organized in the US every year for HR professionals to meet up and build their networks

III. Conferences for HR Leaders

1. HR Transform - March 23 - 25, 2020, Las Vegas

HR Transform will bring together the most prominent People leaders and innovators to dive deep into how executive-level people leaders can bring the future of work into their organizations. This will be a great opportunity for HR professionals, entrepreneurs to connect with senior roles at forward-thinking companies as well as innovators and investors who are revolutionizing the workplace. Entrepreneurs and talent partners can also gain insights into the latest industry trends, discover the newest products across all aspects of HR and find out more business opportunities.

2. HRD Summit - March 18 - 19, 2020, Boston, MA

Known as “the most senior gathering”, HRD Summit attracts over 600 People Directors on the globe to discuss, debate and knowledge sharing about the four key streams: Leadership, Talent, Engagement, and Learning. This will be a brilliant opportunity for HR leaders to meet with key decision-makers all over the world, who are working in various industries and are engaged and open to discussions.

3. WorkVision 2020 - April 19 - 21, 2020, Arizona

This is the must-attend event for HR leaders who are responsible for planning the strategic direction of their organizations. WorkVision is a great chance to meet up with exclusive leaders with more than 15 years of HR experience in the industry to strategize, share and explore vital topics affecting your business in the digital age. During the event, you can engage in provocative discussions with leading-edge thinkers on the evolution of work, the rise of the individual, and the critical role of the organization in a modern digital age.

4. Grace Hopper Celebration - September 29 - October 2, 2020, Florida

Known as the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, Grace Hopper Celebration is one of the biggest career fairs, which is especially attractive for recruiters who wish to enrich their diversity in workplace culture. The conference attracted more than 26000 people from all over the world in 2019, thus, there will be plenty of opportunities to engage with talented women in technology, have conversations on career, technology, and equality. For HR professionals, this will be an awesome chance to learn about new tech trends, recruit women in tech, or any potential talents.

Along with offline events, an online HR conference can bring a different experience to its attendees. It’s more convenient as you can fit it in your schedule without bothering to spend a decent amount of time traveling. The biggest online event in the industry is the HR Innovation and Future of Work Global Conference 2020 - March 3 - 6, 2020 | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time Zone.

It will be organized by Hacking HR - the global community of HR professionals interested in the intersection of the future of work, technology, organizations, and people. This conference provides a great platform to learn about HR innovation and how it affects the development of people as well as organizations. It will feature keynote sessions, panels, fireside chats, and a one-day workshop.
How to organize an HR conference

IV. Preparation for HR conferences

Planning to join a conference takes time and preparation to gain the most beneficial and exciting experience. Thus, we have also built a short Checklist for HR conference:

  • Number 1: Your wish list of must-attend conferences and key questions - your talking points during breaks, networking time or in Q&A sessions. You will have a high chance to receive advice or suggestions from your peers and experts as takeaways.
  • Number 2: Bring your business cards for networking activities.
  • Number 3: Check the conference app (if possible) to get the latest updates and connect with other participants.
  • Number 4: Use social media to engage with other attendants, and share key learning points, insights with your friends, also build your professional brand.


HR conferences are the best places to develop your professional experience, learn from experts, build your network and gain opportunities for future career and business cooperation. As there are more than 100+ conferences in the US every year, HR professionals working on different aspects and at different stages of career can find themselves a suitable event. As you have your conference wishlist, the next step is to plan your schedule and prepare yourselves well with questions as well as materials to gain the most from the experience.

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