Attendee FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the THRIVE HR Leadership Exchange

Q. Who are the members?

The approximately 25 members of the 2017 THRIVE HR Leadership Exchange will be senior HR leaders with significant responsibilities. All members are carefully selected and recruited by our editorial staff.

Q. What is your attendance policy?

We ask that all invited members of the Exchange consider their schedules very carefully before committing to this unique program. Our events are intentionally built around a limited number of participants, and the attendance of all invited members at all scheduled events is critical. We recognize, of course, that emergencies do arise, so in the event that a member must cancel, please let us know as soon as possible.

Q. Are spouses welcome?

Of course. We encourage spouses to come along and enjoy the beautiful resort. Spouses are welcome to attend event dinners, receptions, and activities.

Q. May we extend our stay?

Our conference resort has a limited block of rooms available for those members who wish to extend their stay at the conference rate but at member expense. Our team will be happy to put you in contact with resort staff to extend your stay at the Omni.

Q. Who picks the topics we will discuss at the Exchange?

You do. Invited and confirmed members of the Exchange will be surveyed on their top strategic priorities, and the agenda will be set based on those responses and on the two pre-event conference calls.

Q. What is the format for the sponsor focus groups?

Our sponsor partners are the reason we are able to offer our program at no charge to the HR leaders who participate. We ask that each attending Exchange member attend a single 90-minute session with one of our event sponsors and several of your HR peers. It’s an educational opportunity for both member and sponsor, not a pitch session. All sponsors are coached by us and sessions are evaluated by the members. It must be a good experience for all to meet our standards. In previous exchanges, an overwhelming majority of our members rated their interaction with sponsors as good or excellent.

Q. What do I need to do to accept?

Simply respond with your acceptance to the BLR senior editor who sent the invitation. Please provide your contact information, as well as that of your executive assistant or other team member you would want involved with your planning and registration at the event. Our team will then be in contact with you or your designee with registration and conference information.

Q. Will I be asked to bring a presentation?

The unique format of the THRIVE HR Leadership Exchange is built around a series of relatively small executive roundtables of between eight to 12 members, moderated by a BLR senior editor. Discussion guides and any relevant information on those panels will be sent to members for educational review in the weeks prior to the event. You may volunteer to present a single idea or innovation at Friday’s “8 Minutes, 8 Slides Breakfast.”

Q. What is the “8 Minutes, 8 Slides Breakfast?”

We believe that the best ideas can be presented quickly and simply. If you or your organization has an idea, solution, or just a problem solved that you can share in a fast-paced, straightforward format with your peers, please volunteer to make a presentation at our Wednesday breakfast. The BLR Media editorial team will provide you with a template to prepare. (If you want to do one minute, one slide, that’s OK, too.)

Q. What else should I know?

Our roundtables are a far cry from the big conventions where you rush from room to room and the talk is about FMLA intermittent leave and drug testing protocols. This is peer networking about key strategic issues facing senior HR leaders today and in the near future.

We poll the participants before the event to be sure that we fill the agenda with current and pertinent topics that will be useful to all. Topics that have been suggested so far include:


How can you insure that HR strategy is in line with corporate strategy?

Talent Management.

How can you best deal with talent management in all its challenging components?

  • Specific positions that are hard to fill because of
    • Bloated salaries
    • Unattractive locations
    • Simple shortages of competent workers in the specialty you need
  • Loss of corporate knowledge and legacy systems expertise as Boomers retire
  • Or the flip side, if Boomers don’t retire, what to do for high potential younger managers with nowhere to go
  • How do you identify and treat HIPOs?
  • Junior people mentoring senior people?
  • New social-media based approaches to hiring and maintaining talent pools


How do you define it and how can you make it universal in your organization?


How can you identify engagement and how do you increase it?


Does recruiting seem to be a two steps forward, one step back operation? Are you at risk of losing your high potentials as the economy improves?


How important (and how easy) is it to develop your employment brand?  (“I want to work there!”)


How far can we trust technology to manage HR functions and make HR decisions?


How far can you go with trusting outsiders to do your job?