Why you should go to Learning Technologies 2011

This will be my fourth Learning Technologies show and each year I’ve taken something different from the experience.

In 2008 I’d been working in the industry for just over six months. A couple of hours walking round the exhibition opened my eyes to just how broad and varied and interesting the industry is. Suddenly I wasn’t just working in the bespoke e-learning field, but in the much wider world of learning and development.

In 2009 I spent more of my time upstairs, attending a couple of conference sessions. This was my first real opportunity to hear some of the top movers and shakers speak, and it was probably this visit that really inspired me not just to follow blogs and read articles but to start sharing everything I was learning and thinking about with my colleagues and clients.

In 2010 I was back down on the exhibition floor for a lot of the time. I spoke in one of the seminar theatres, which was a fantastic opportunity to stretch myself and do something new (and daunting). But more importantly, manning the Saffron stand and attending other seminars meant I was really in the thick of it. Upstairs in the conference the discussions are all about visions for where learning and development is or should be going, which is great. But it’s downstairs in the exhibition where you can really find out what people are doing now, what problems they’re having and what’s working wonders.

Looking back over the past three years, it’s clear that Learning Technologies is a really valuable experience for anyone in the industry: whatever your role or career stage, you’ll get something from it.

So what am I hoping to get from Learning Technologies 2011?

  • Most of my time will be spent on the Saffron stand where we’ll be filming willing volunteers sharing their top tips, to be uploaded to our YouTube channel for discussion, comment and point-of-need learning. So I’m looking forward to rising to the challenge of creating a learning resource live throughout the show.
  • Since last January I’ve started Tweeting and blogging, so I’ve built up a great network and I’m looking forward to putting faces to names, turning virtual conversations into real conversations and meeting as many of the people I’ve shared with and learnt from over the past year as possible.
  • If I do get the chance to explore the exhibition, I’m looking forward to seeing what other people are doing to constantly raise the bar and redefine excellence, particularly in e-learning. It’s always a great source of inspiration, ideas and talking points and I’m sure this year will be no different.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend any conference sessions and probably won’t make it to many seminars either. There are so many great topics, so I’m depending on my fellow bloggers to report back on all the good stuff they learn – please keep me in the loop!

I’ll be on stand 18 (the bright orange one; it’s hard to miss!) so if you are attending please do come by and say hello.

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