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  • Writer's pictureSheena from Texas

5 Tips to Prepare for Workday Rising

I used to say that the annual Workday Rising conference was the Disney World for Workday geeks, and then Workday did also actually take us to Orlando for a Rising Customer Appreciation event in 2019 and life was complete!

In addition to being such a fun week, Rising is a MUST DO for every organization that plans to fully optimize their Workday investment and wow their executives with their knowledge and foresight. An investment in attending a rising conference really does have a high ROI. If you’ve never been to Rising before, or if you just want to take your experience to the next level, this is the blog for you as I share 5 tips for crushing Rising!

Tip #1 - Get Buy-In

Make sure that your leadership team or the person that holds the money realizes the business case for sending multiple employees to Rising each year. Some organizations will send their entire HR Systems team and they will still not be able to cover everything. Rising gives you a unique opportunity to dive into what’s new in Workday, what you may have missed in the last few releases, and what is coming that you won’t want to miss. You could read community for a month and not get the same level of information and learning that you will get from 3 days at Rising (and double that if you attend pre-rising sharing as well).

I recommend committing to your leadership that you (or you and your team) will come back with a summary of Rising impacts. That is, what did you learn that you will do different, what is coming that you plan to add to your roadmap. Be prepared to show just how valuable it was. I always put together a pitch of everything that we learned or discovered that was valuable to the organization and review it with leadership upon our return (get input from all employees that attend from your organization). This shows the value of Rising without question. Also, if you haven’t already put together a Workday Roadmap for your organization, that is a game-changer, and you can look for information on Workday Roadmaps in a future blog!

Tip #2 - Get the Ticket

Okay, so we have convinced our organization to send us. Now what? First, be prepared to buy your Rising ticket the second they go on sale. In 2022 they had a very limited number of tickets with a capacity less than half of the normal capacity. There were a lot of upset customers who had to stay home. Rumor has it that there will be much more capacity this year, but still, be ready. They have said that tickets will go on sale NEXT WEEK, so just keep an eye on the Workday Rising website!

Tip #3 - Prepare for Registration Like You're in College Again

So, now, let’s assume that we have our prized Rising ticket purchased! Next, we want to be prepared to register for all of the sessions that we want in on! This scheduling experience varies a bit each year, but if you can already know which member of your team will be focusing on which areas (one person cover comp and benefit sessions, another focus on talent sessions, etc), then you can start registering for classes the moment that class scheduling opens up (which will be later this year…another hurry up and wait). You shouldn’t attend any sessions together, the more that you can divide and conquer, the better! Have back-up options at hand because many sessions will fill up fast and you’ll need plan b options.

Tip #4 - Join Pre-Rising Sharing for Bonus Material

Whether you are approved to buy a Rising ticket or not, you also have the pre-Rising share-a-thon that you can attend for free! You need to arrive early and have a hotel for a few more days, but the amount of networking and sharing that occurs in those few days before Rising are PRICELESS! This year the share-a-thon will be from Friday night before Rising through Tuesday morning when Rising check-in will begin. Mark your calendars to attend the pre-Rising events because they will exponentially increase the amount of value that you can pull from San Francisco. It’s also nice to walk into Rising already knowing a lot of people! If you are local, this is a free way to get in on all the learning regardless of if you have the funding to attend Rising! Registration is free, but limited, so register early (registration is already open).

Tip #5 - Buckle Up & Take Notes

Now, hang on tight and take lots of notes! The amount of learning and networking and information that happens over pre-Rising and Rising will blow your mind. You will NOT remember everything later, it’s just not possible. Take detailed notes, remember to download, and save all the documents to the events you attend and sometimes, I even take photos of the important slides live during presentations to help me remember. You’ll thank me later when you’re putting together the presentation for your leadership team. It’s also a great idea to do a debrief with your whole HRIS team when you return home. Share your learning with the whole team to increase the value of the Rising investment again further.

Bonus Tip - Be Present & Have Fun

The bonus tip is to have fun! You will be surrounded by like-minded people who live and love Workday. If you are a Workday nerd like me, these are your people, and you will be in heaven.

Get your “phone-a-friend” contacts. These are the connections that you make that will help you when you have hit a Workday puzzle wall and can’t resolve an issue. This is the network that you build to support you in your Workday career journey. Some of my closest friends are people I met at Sharing events 8 years ago or Rising 5 years ago. Enjoy yourself, soak it all in (the fun and the information) and be present. You won’t regret this investment in your organization and your career.

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