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Marshall Goldsmith, pictured here addressing the American Society of Association Executives in 2010, was the keynote speaker on the opening day of the BCHRMA-hosted conference.

More than 1,200 HR professionals have gathered at the Vancouver Convention Centre seeking inspiration and innovation at the 51st annual conference and tradeshow hosted by the B.C. Human Resources Management Association.

Inspire, influence, innovate, imagine the difference: that’s the theme of the 51st annual conference and tradeshow hosted by the BCHRMA on May 1 and 2, 2013.

About 1,200 HR professionals ranging from employees and consultants to managers and CEOs converged on the Vancouver Convention Centre to attend sessions by world-renowned speakers, network with their peers and explore the bustling tradeshow.

Approximately 1,000 people gathered in Ballroom A on the opening morning of the conference to hear keynote speaker Marshall Goldsmith, celebrated author and HR consultant, who gave a lively presentation based on the theme of the conference. He had the audience laughing at his anecdotes and participating in short exercises that served to drive his points home.

One of Goldsmith's key points was that teaching corporate leaders what to stop doing is just as important as teaching them what to do. Being overly competitive and giving destructive comments have a negative effect on interactions with others, he said. “Help more, judge less,” was a key piece of advice, along with “make sure your advice always comes from your heart.”

Goldsmith explained that how you interact with people affects more than just your business relationships. “Everything you learn to help you at work will also help you at home,” he noted. Participants left empowered to believe they should, and could, become better people, both in their work and home lives.

Following Wednesday’s plenary session, attendees dispersed to attend concurrent breakout sessions for the remainder of the day. One session, “The Impact of Social Influence Marketing on Employer Brands,” focused on digital innovation. Louis Vong, vice-president of digital strategy at TMP Worldwide advertising agency, reminded participants that it’s important to “own” your brand’s ecosystem, which means you need a social media presence that you are monitoring and participating in.

Vong also touted responsive Web design (RWD). “Statistics show that by 2014 mobile Internet will take over desktop Internet,” he reminded participants, “so make sure your site looks good on mobile devices.”