Each year, when we attend the ATD Conference and Exposition, we have a fuzzy feeling inside, proof of our passion for the training and development industry. Each year, the show is bigger and better. After three incredible days in the ATD buzz, we’ve come back to our desks filled with inspiration.
Here are our Top 10 Takeaways from the 2016 show:
1) Thought provoking sessions – Workshops and keynotes from the likes of Simon Sinek, Brené Brown and Jeremy Gutsche, along with over 15 speakers, tackling topics such as leadership, innovation, change for both classroom and e-learning. Hearing experts on these hot subjects helps see situations from a different perspective. The industry’s exponential growth is a testament to the passion of its professionals.
2) Novices and Experts – Having a chance to chat with a variety of companies. Some are still confidently using and evolving their traditional classrooms to major international pharmaceutical companies with over 200 instructional designers on staff, for example. The diversity and having a chance to provide guidance and expertise to the industry was humbling.
3) Innovation and Disruption – It was wonderful having the opportunity to share our latest advances in innovation, to network and share experiences with our industry peers. Showcasing Cudoo® – the latest innovation in Microlearning was a highlight. It was great to offer A free one-month subscription to all of our ATD partners in learning.
4) A truly international Learning Community event – Catching up with old friends and new partners from around the globe. It was great to see friends from around the world, namely North America, Middle East, Europe and Asia.
5) Seeing so many excited faces – Every stand had some kind of fun going on (we’re a true creative bunch)! We made sure we covered it all; from beach balls to frisbees and language phrasebooks (how many times did you come back to find ‘your’ language?!) – our stocks were running low by the end of the show. We were also delighted to award our Grand Mystery Prize to one of our stand visitors, Theodore.
6) Exploring Denver
Located at the base of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Denver is an dynamic city with lots to offer, from stunning architecture to breathtaking landscapes, discovering Denver is a pleasure for the eyes.
We even spotted a 40-foot high Blue Bear (aka “I See What You Mean”) peeping into the Convention Center, by artist Lawrence Argent.
7) International Learning Showcase – The products that were showcased are at the forefront of the industry and prove how quickly our sector is evolving. What is more encouraging is the focus on how learning fits within the various learning patterns of organizations. Some companies are struggling to provide engaging and adaptive learning to three generations of employees, and struggling to make it work across the board – Generation X, Millennnials (Gen Y) and the up and coming Generation Z (upto 72% of the Gen Z’s want to run their own company!). It is exciting to ponder what products will be available over the next 12 months!
8) Microlearning, Nanolearning, Gamification, Video – These were the buzzwords on everybody’s lips! All new ways to learn but also with a blended approach as we are still holding on to the traditional classroom…. What tools did you take away to add to your learning environment? Feel free to comment below.
9) Learning is without a doubt a lot of fun – We were winners in table tennis, hung out with Gene Simmons (his lookalike, but close enough!), watched some hilarious moments with VR goggles, spun around on hoverboards, took selfies with giant blue bears and challenged our stand visitors to Spin the Wheel & join in our pedometer competition!
10) We’re already looking forward to ATD 2017 in Atlanta, GA, for more innovative learning, games and competitions, new friendships and even more memorable moments.
We would love to hear your experience of ATD 2016 – your thoughts, suggestions and what you would love to see there next year.