Looking ahead to Learning Solutions 2013….
Next month Unicorn Chief Operating Officer, Jackie Kennedy, and CEO, Peter Phillips will be Florida-bound for the Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2013. But with the event divided into three key areas - Management, Design, and Development - and boasting hundreds of keynote speakers, learning sessions and exhibitors, where to start with just three days??? Jackie's already planning...... Getting ready for the event and making the most of my time there are my two big concerns at the moment. In just over two weeks I will be packing my case and heading to the Sunshine State of Florida to check out the Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2013, run by the eLearning Guild. The event brings the eLearning community together to learn, share, and connect around one common goal - to create more engaging and effective learning experiences. In previous years I've attended the DevLearn event, which is usually held in Las Vegas, one of the strangest and wackiest places I've ever had the good fortune to visit. If you have not been so lucky I'd recommend a visit, just to reassure yourself that tigers living in hotel lobbies, looking up and seeing the stars when you are inside, taking a ride on a gondola (when not in Venice), and seeing no clocks or exit signs in casinos, is all perfectly normal! With that in the back of my mind, what are my hopes and expectations for Learning Solutions 2013? Well I'd like to have a flood of inspiration after spending time in sessions listening to experienced ‘thought leaders’ and be wowed by exhibitors showing the next generation authoring tools. I'd love to be bowled over by exciting new ideas, creativity and treatments used to develop immersive learning experiences at Solutions Fest, where participants demo examples of their solutions. With keynote and featured speakers, over 100+ concurrent sessions, plus educational stages, I'd hope all this and more will be not just be possible but a given. But getting the most out of the event needs some up front planning..... This is how I intend to maximise my experience and ensure I get the fullest return on the time and money invested for both the good of Unicorn's ongoing innovation, creativity and originality, and consequently, our clients and partners. 1. After thoroughly reviewing the sessions available, plus the learning stages, I'm designing a personal schedule. I hope this will enable me to get a sense of the pertinent questions that I might ask and what I would like to achieve from each session. A difficult task, though, is to decide which sessions!? There are nuggets of knowledge dropped everywhere, but I want to attend sessions where I'm not so familiar with the subject matter. 2. Check my LinkedIn for speakers’ names to see their professional profile. Visit their respective blogs/company websites to understand their background as it might help me to understand the context in which they are delivering their knowledge. 3. Check out the exhibitors and sponsors for the event. Click through the site links and visit their web pages. What do I know about them? Could they be a prospective vendor or a client? Look to see if I feel there is business value in meeting any of them? 4. Make sure I have all gadgets charged, business cards in hand (lots of) and my camera, I always forgets the last one! So, lots of practical things to do before I even start to think about packing my bikini ;)