deputy Editor, training journal @LightbulbJo

Jo Cook

Cook looks A

ttending events and conferences is a privilege and some of us are fortunate to

attend many in our careers. Time spent at events allows us to discover new ideas, to keep up with trends and build relationships. If we are lucky, some of those relationships develop into strong friendships fostered by shared beliefs and a passion for our industry. Stepping out of our comfort zones

from time to time and attending different industry events stimulates innovation and broadens our experience. I attended day two of the Association of Professional Sales annual conference

Technology is not a cure-all and there are often barriers to overcome in order for it to work. However, we must have an open mind on how technology can support us to do a great job in the future.

in June and found it a contrasting experience to L&D events – I hardly knew anyone! Attending events where you don’t have personal networks within an industry can be a daunting prospect. A friendly ‘greeter’ to ease the way when you have to speak to people you don’t know is not just welcoming, but also vital for new people to an event. It was amusing that the only person to approach me at the conference turned out to be someone with a training background! At the Charity Learning Consorti-

um events, Susie Finch does a great job of meeting and greeting people as they come through the door and getting them comfortable and chatting to someone. Tis is a role that shouldn’t be underes- timated. In a larger event, it’s something to perhaps plan with a number of people

so that attendees feel included. Another event last month was the

Flight Hospitality annual conference where the focus was managing human resources in the hospitality, tourism and events industries. Te theme of the 2016 conference was ‘relationships not robots’ and I spoke about virtual classrooms. One of the main thrusts of my session was that technology enables people to do a great job. Te reaction to some of the elements about technology was fascinating. One speaker, talking about recruitment, asked several times, “can an app do that?” It felt that they had interpreted the theme as an either/ or situation, rather than bringing them together. During a great session on appropriate use of personality questions that helped refine recruitment initiatives, there were questions from the audience revealing their mistrust of data to help make decisions, even though the speakers proved the efficiency and business impact. Technology is not

a cure-all and there are often barriers to overcome in order for it to work. However, we must have an open mind on how tech- nology can support us to do a great job in the future. We discuss technology in L&D in our TJ webinar on Tursday, August 11.

Jo Cook is the deputy editor of TJ and is responsible for www. webinars and the online community. She can be contacted at jo.cook@

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