Long before I ever started working at The eLearning Guild, people used to ask me how to decide which Guild conference to attend each year – and even if there was any reason to go to more than one. So why was that? Well, for quite some time I attended multiple Guild events a year, sometimes even covering travel costs out of my own pocket. Clearly I was getting something out of the experience, but what was it?
It can be easy to think conferences are somewhat interchangeable, but from my perspective each event actually has its own unique flavor, with event organizers curating the content, speakers, and events differently at each one to address more targeted needs for L&D practitioners.
Which of course leads to the next question: what exactly makes Learning Solutions different from the rest of the pack and what’s special about the experience you would get from it? Here are a few of the points I always tend to bring up about this:
There’s a focus on immediate solutions
Most conferences are great for giving you inspiration on new ways to solve the challenges you’re facing at work, but Learning Solutions is particularly helpful as its sessions tend to focus not on tools and tips you can use years from now, but on ones that you can use right when you get back to the office on Monday. That makes it an especially good fit for people who need practical and immediate solutions.
It’s a chance to talk about what learning ecosystems can be in the real world
The concept of learning ecosystems is an intriguing one, but it can be one of those topics people are curious about, but haven’t implemented yet. The Learning and Performance Ecosystems Conference co-located at Learning Solutions is an unusual chance to talk to the people who are actually working on building functional ecosystems in their own companies, giving you a chance to learn from what they’re trying and get guidance about what could make an ecosystems approach work at your organization.
The size of the conference
Learning Solutions is this delightful combination of just big enough that you get a wide variety of speakers and topics, but just small enough that it feels approachable for anyone. That’s one of the reasons that I often suggest it as a first conference for people new to the field. That said, because it’s a mid-sized conference there’s still a lot for more seasoned industry veterans as well. It’s hard to be all things to all people, but Learning Solutions does a solid job of having something for most people (which also makes it a good fit for teams to attend together).
Opportunity to talk with others in the field
Yes, you can absolutely do this at every conference, but there’s something about the location of Learning Solutions that makes people inclined to stay on site, even after the sessions have ended for the day. More so than any other conference I’ve been to, this means you’ll bump into other attendees constantly, giving you ample opportunities to just strike up conversations and chat about everything from what sessions you enjoyed the most, what ideas you’re thinking of trying out when you get back to work, and even what games you want to play at Game Crawl (a Learning Solutions event I personally love).
There are a lot of things to like about Learning Solutions, but likely I’ve missed some of your own favorites. If you’ve got another suggestion for something to add to this list, be sure to put it in the comments below.
Thinking about attending Learning Solutions 2017? Register for Learning Solutions 2017 by this Friday, December 16, and save $200 with the Super Early discount! Learn more about Learning Solutions here.