Last month I visited the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition in Manchester.
It had been some time since I last crossed the Pennines to go to this show and I was keen to see what was being discussed in the conference and on the floor of the exhibition hall.
The conference press office, managed so well by Rob Blevin and his team, becomes a home from home for journalists and reporters eager to get a quiet few minutes to reflect, refuel and report on the day. In years gone by it was a very quiet environment with reporters sitting around PCs writing and sending copy to their publications – there was some discussion and conversation but it was a very studious, quiet environment.
Today’s press office is very different – the bloggers and tweeters bring a different dimension to how an event is represented to its community and beyond. The CIPD recognises the value of social media and enlists the services of some of the most active people on social media to report and comment on the conference and exhibition. The press office is now buzzing with conversation and activity as this new type of reportage becomes increasingly influential.
The sharing of information through social media has removed old boundaries and opened up the way things are reported in a way that is, hopefully, more democratic. The enthusiastic independent tweeter simply captures nuggets of what they see and hear and leave the twitter-sphere to make of it what they want.
Democracy was clearly in evidence at one of the most popular sessions I attended at the conference. ‘Leaders in learning’ was led by the CIPD’s head of learning, Andy Lancaster and added a refreshing breeze to the usual conference offering. Using the Ignite format, ‘content’ came from four experts. Along with Lancaster, Niall Gavin, Paul Taylor and Perry Timms explored some of the most important trends in L&D – the new skill set for L&D practitioners, the use of technology and managing change and uncertainty. The rsession was energetic and dynamic where people left animated with ideas.
As 2014 comes to a close I’m anticipating a move towards a much more collaborative approach to how we deliver our learning solutions – across sectors and around the world. The move to greater democratisation of learning can be expected as organisations really get to grips with harnessing the talent and knowledge of their people particularly as technology provides reliable tools to make this happen.
Until next month – happy reading!
Debbie Carter, Editor
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