As always, I attended LEARNING LIVE this year with excitement and anticipation, not only because the talks are consistently good, but on a personal note it was my first smaller scale event back on 'the circuit' since joining TJ as editor. I was looking forward to seeing a few industry people from the industry I'd not seen for a while, and I had a good catch up with several of them.
To call LEARNING LIVE 'smaller scale' is not pejorative, I was just struggling how to separate it semantically from the Olympian behemoths of the calendar. And that said, it was an event bigger than any previous year, with about 500 delegates packed into 155 Bishopsgate.
And, while I did catch up with quite a few familiar faces from the industry, there were a lot of new faces there too.
This is a good thing.
It was a gamble for the LPI to switch the delegate focus of the event purely to heads of learning, and make it free, but it's one that's worked I think. It's good to expand the network of speakers and delegates in L&D, it's healthy.
I was part of the 'Live Tribe' so stayed in my lane of the Business Solutions Workshop, and if you want to know what I thought of the talks I covered, there's a Storify at the bottom of this post.
We got some good feedback about this month's issue of the magazine, and I managed to get some time with Gori Yahara of Google's Digital Garage, which felt like a privilege. I'm already looking forward to next year - here's some bullet points if you want to know why I like the event so much:
- Collaborative sessions: There's very little ''sage on the stage' work. Sessions feel interactive, inclusive and full of conversation.
- Long breaks: Have a coffee. Have a cup of tea as well. You have enough time to meet people and network, which is rare at some points. Here, you can sit down and have a good chat, interview someone, start putting your plans for world domination in place. Much of the value from L&D events is getting time to have a good natter with your peers anyway.
- Heads of learning: New faces, new people. It's good to see people you recognise but expanding that network is crucial for change, new ideas and progress.