Key insights from two great conferences!

Key insights from two great conferences!

In the past 6 weeks I’ve had the good fortune to attend two amazing conferences:

  1. The Association for Talent Development’s International Conference and Exhibition (ATD 2018) – May 6-9, San Diego
  2. The Australian Institute of Training and Development’s National Conference for 2018 (offered in partnership with EduTECH) (#AITD2018) – June 7-8, Sydney.

In this post I share what some of the world’s foremost L&D professionals said at ATD 2018 and #AITD2018.

ATD ICE (ATD 2018)

ATD’s annual International Conference and Exposition is arguably the largest event of its kind in the world.  ATD 2018 attracted 13,000 attendees!  I was one, and I’ll be back!

So what made ATD 2018 so special? Was it:

  • Barak Obama as keynote speaker?  He WAS just a little bit fabulous and definitely worth lining up for two hours to see.
  • 20+ sessions to choose from in all timeslots?  True, we were spoiled by choice.
  • or was it the fact that I attended #ATD2018 with such a marvellous group of people??  Yes… that’s it!

ATD 2018 – the Australia / New Zealand delegation
(look closely for the top of my head second row far right)

I attended ATD 2018 as part of the Australia/New Zealand delegation.  This was the first time I had attended a conference as a member of a delegation, and I don’t think I can go back.  Spending four days learning with other delegates exponentially enhanced the richness of the conference experience.  I gained a wonderful collection of new colleagues and friends, all of whom are impressive L&D professionals in their own right, and two of whom—Emma Weber and Andrew O’Keefe—were ATD conference presenters.

Couldn’t get to ATD 2018? Attend this webinar!

Please join me and 5 other members of ATD 2018’s Australia / New Zealand delegation  next Friday, 29th June, 10am AEST (Sydney, Melbourne) as we present Key Learning Trends and Highlights of ATD 2018.

My top 5 takeaways from ATD 2018

My top 5 takeaways from ATD 2018 are conclusions or insights I reached as a result of hearing these people speak – they are not direct quotes:

  1. from Barak
    The best decisions are based on all available facts and reflect your core belief system (this is a ridiculously simplistic summary of many insightful points he made)
  2. from Brit Andreatta
    We are wired to be lifelong learners—make learning purposeful and we’ll get even the most tired people ‘on board’
  3. from keynote speaker Markus Buckingham
    We will be more successful if we build on our strengths, rather than trying to ‘fix’ weaknesses
  4. from Megan Torrence...
    xAPI is not as scary as I thought—and it’s worth pursuing
  5. from Will Thalheimer
    We will get more credible and useful feedback from training feedback forms if we let people select a statement that best describes their experience, rather than asking them to select a number rating.


AITD 2018

The Australian Institute of Training and Development’s annual national conference was held in Sydney on 7-8 June 2018.  As always, the conference offered two days of top-calibre speakers from Australia and around the world, including Bernard Salt AM, Professor Adam Gazzaley, learning strategist Julie Dirksen, micro-learning expert Shannon Tipton and many more.

In addition to amazing speakers, for the first time, AITD partnered with EduTECH to offer the 2018 event. This meant that conference attendees also had access the largest educational exposition in the Southern Hemisphere.

I was Master of Ceremonies

for day 1 of this conference, so had a front row seat to most presentations—and they were fabulous!

This is me in ‘serious’ MC mode… most of the time we just had fun!

On the afternoon of day 2, conference organisers offered a choice of roundtable discussions.  I ran the roundable discussion at Table 12.  Here we discussed how to stay relevant as L&D professionals.  Table 12 participants shared questions they have about latest trends, insights they have gained (most of which were gained from earlier conference sessions), recommended good reading, and general words of wisdom.

I collated Table 12’s insights into one pdf.  Download it from: 2018AITD_Table12Wisdom_StayingRelevant_v2

In conclusion

I’d like to extend a general ‘thank you’ to all conference organisers and presenters.  It’s been a few weeks of fabulous networking, new ideas, new insights, and more questions…. onwards and upwards!