What follows is an interview with Karen Hyder, principal at Kaleidoscope Training and Consulting and upcoming docent at DevLearn 2016 Conference & Expo.
Have you attended DevLearn before? If so, what made you come back?
Yes! Many, many times. I really enjoy the attendees at this event. They are very hungry for new research, new technologies, and new approaches for reaching learners.
Have you been a docent before? (For any program.)
Yes, for Learning Solutions, mLearnCon, and DevLearn. I think they choose me because I’m easy to pick out in a crowd. I’m 5’10” with long hair. Hard to miss. I also have a loud whistle, which comes in handy when rounding up a group.
What made you decide to be a docent?
I’m a trainer and enjoy teaching and helping people get moving in the right direction. I’ve been part of the Guild since the beginning. I know many Guild members, and I’m familiar with how our events work.
What are you most excited for/hoping to get from being a docent?
It’s fun to discuss what participants learned. My favorite quote from last year is, “How did I not know that was a thing?” Many people are pleasantly surprised after attending a few sessions and visiting a few vendors. People are already doing things your team never dreamed of!
What are you hoping to provide attendees as a docent?
A friendly, supportive introduction to the community and the event.
How did your career lead you to being a docent at DevLearn?
I was a classroom trainer for nine years and led train-the-trainer classes for many years. I’ve been attending events since before there was a Guild. I’ve been hosting our live web sessions since 2002.
If you switched careers today, what would you choose to do?
I wouldn’t. However, I do enjoy all things real estate, especially interior design. I manage to fit in projects between my online training, coaching, and event production work.
If you could only give one tip, what advice would you give to a new DevLearn attendee?
Don’t be shy. Connect with real people in the real world and enjoy. Don’t go back to your room and do email and order room service—PARTICIPATE! Go to the Expo Reception. Go to DemoFest. Join the docent sessions each morning. Sit with the docent group at lunch and in keynote sessions. The friendship and networking opportunities are abundant if you’re willing to put yourself out there.
Why do you think it’s important for learning professionals to attend DevLearn?
You don’t see the rut you’re stuck in until you go out and learn about what others are doing. A few new ideas can put your projects and your career on a new trajectory.