Jack Welch, keynote speaker for SHRMs 2009 annual conference

ASSE vs. SHRM: Who Wins Their June 28-July 1 Smackdown?

Going head to head in two sizzling destination cities this week are the annual conferences of the American Society of Safety Engineers (San Antonio, featuring Labor Secretary Hilda Solis) and the Society for Human Resource Management (New Orleans, featuring business titan Jack Welch).

Jack Welch, keynote speaker for SHRM's 2009 annual conferenceTwo top-notch conferences are taking place beginning today, only 545 miles apart: the American Society of Safety Engineers' Safety 2009 in San Antonio and the Society for Human Resource Management's 61st Annual Conference & Exposition in New Orleans. Both take place June 28-July 1. Both have big expos, hundreds of educational sessions, searing outdoor heat, popular downtown tourist attractions, and a big-name keynoter. ASSE has Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, SHRM has corporate titan/consultant/author Jack Welch, who'll do a book signing with wife Suzy after his speech at 2:30 to 4 p.m. today. Which would you rather hear?

SHRM says it expects 10,000 attendees and its expo will fill 100,000 square feet and include around 600 exhibitors' booths. ASSE's Safety 2009 floor plan is almost as big, with roughly 550 booths displayed, but its attendance probably will be closer to 5,000.

Besides the Welches, whose appearance will include a discussion moderated by Claire Shipman, senior national correspondent for ABC News, SHRM's keynote speakers are Earl G. Graves, Sr., founder and publisher of Black Enterprise magazine; Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter; and Lee Woodruff, a contributing editor for ABC's "Good Morning America" who co-wrote the best-seller "In an Instant," which describes her family’s journey to recovery following her husband Bob’s roadside bomb injury in Iraq.

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda SolisASSE's keynote speakers are Fox News business and financial journalist Stuart Varney; former Yahoo Chief Solutions Officer Tim Sanders; and business motivational speaker Chip Eichelberger.

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