Having recently attended ATD 2017 in Atlanta, the conference experience always gives rise to the convoluted question of the value of conferences as a whole. I discussed this in a blog post regarding conference ROI.
The other facet of conference attendance, and what cannot be stated strongly enough, is the value of attending as a consumer. I’ve been on both sides, and the ROI for consumer attendance is unfortunately as surface-squishy as vendor attendance. Regardless of the nebulous and/or indirect factors, conference attendance is incredibly valuable for consumers in the eLearning world.
Being surrounded by like-minded folks is amazingly stimulating. Just being in and among a large group of happy people who care about the same (or similar) things that you do is validating – nothing beats the value of shared experience. When dialoguing with these people during breaks or in sessions – your shared ideas are reinforced, or you are learning new ideas to broaden and enrich the way you approach your eLearning challenges. Very hard to place a value on THAT.
Our time in history is one of near constant discovery. As true in the eLearning field as it is in any other, new developments and/or research can improve our methodologies. Conferences provide access to both method and development. Multiple sessions, tracks, best practices, and learning opportunities are featured every day of a conference, typically hosted by someone actually doing the job or related job to the one that YOU’RE doing. As such, reinventing the wheel isn’t necessary – because you have easy access to those who have done it, and presumably were successful enough to share it.
The development at ATD in particular, was mind-blowing. With more than 22 rows of vendors (with as many as 20 in a row), that’s a LOT of eLearning development. But how exciting to be part of a field with such an explosion of growth – and so much POSSIBILITY! How best to learn about your various options but from vendors? (Not to mention all the free swag).
IntelliBoard is excited to be attending the Mountain Moot in Montana and Bb World/Moodle Moot in New Orleans – both in July. We’re looking forward to meeting our clients, meeting our prospects, and most importantly, creating energy for the eLearning world!