A feature-packed conference for anyone in L&D

IMG_4805aThe wide variety of learning activities featured at LSCon 2013 made it a particularly exciting and dynamic conference experience, more than most others I’d attended in the past. I found myself engaged in one learning activity or another from 7:00 AM to after 10:00 PM each day. The variety of topics expand the primary focus of the eLearning Guild to the general L&D community – it’s not all eLearning.

For 2013, Learning Solutions focused primarily on performance: not technique, not method, not tools, but outcomes. I’ll go into more detail in subsequent posts as I explore my reflections on the conference, but for now will talk about conferences in general and what makes LSCon somewhat different.

As a professional in the field of Learning and Development (L&D), conferences were once my best opportunity to reach beyond the boundaries of my workplace and interact with peers from around the world. Today,  personal knowledge/learning networks (PKN/PLN) offer near-real-time capabilities to do the same thing, adding the convenience of time and place – I interact when I can and send requests at a moment of performance need. But conferences offer much more to the working professional, including the benefit of face-to-face meetings, often first-time meetings between people who had only interacted previously via PKN connections. They also bring together a number of parallel sessions where experts can share experiences with others in an interactive venue. Commonly added to these are several social opportunities with peers, one or more keynote presentations by leaders in the field or another loosely related field, and an expo where vendors in the L&D field demonstrate and discuss their offering to the community.

LSCon 2013

The Learning Solutions Conference, like other eLearning Guild conferences, expands on the general concept of a L&D conference with several important additions that make it one of the most dynamic and challenging conference experiences around.

Learning Stages

Learning stages are integrated into the expo at eLearning Guild conferences. They feature a rich program that runs while the expo is open, with speakers who share their insights and ideas along with best practices, hot topics, and innovative ideas in learning. Not only do they offer an alternative to the parallel sessions, they’re also open to any registered expo visitor, and expo-only passes to eLearning Guild events are currently offered at no cost. This is a great way to be involved in the L&D community without being registered for the conference program.

Morning Buzz

Another nice feature of eLearning Guild conferences are Morning Buzz sessions. These are informal, casual sessions held early in the morning before the formal parallel sessions begin. In these, you can grab a cup of coffee or tea and join one or more discussion leaders to talk about best practices and share tips, insight, and experiences.

Solution Fest

SolutionFest (DevLearn has DemoFest) is unique educational opportunity to see eLearning in action. It’s a lot like a science fair where conference participants show off their latest projects. Attendees move from table to table to see solutions to common eLearning challenges. It’s also a great way to share new tools and technologies, and how to use them.

Thanks for reading!


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