The Association for Talent Development delivered an exciting experience in this year’s ATD Conference & Exposition in Denver. And, it was an “exciting experience” not only for visitors & attendees, but for exhibitors as well.
Let me give you the numbers so that you put everything into perspective: 4 days, 400+ speakers, 300+ sessions, 10,000+ attendees; and more than 400 world-class training vendors.
Well, the ATD 2016 International Conference & EXPO was indeed the world’s largest event dedicated to the Training and Talent Development industry.
Denver is a great city, and the Colorado Convention Center is a state-of-the-art building with ideal convention facilities. The exposition was held on the upper level, in a 580,000 sq. feet space.
The exhibition day started at 9:30 am and was concluded several hours later at 3:00pm. Just imagine all 400 vendors from various eLearning & talent development industries, together with attendees from all over the world, with vast experience in the training industry. Most assuredly the place to be for us eLearning nerds.
We, at Epignosis, participated with genuine enthusiasm as a Bronze Sponsor, showcasing our three learning platforms:
– eFront, our enterprise Learning & Talent Development Platform geared towards large businesses;
– TalentLMS, the industry leading cloud Learning Management System
– Snappico, our new enterprise mobile app that builds on the intersection of micro-learning, gamification and infographics.
Meeting in person and talking with some of the industry decision makers, and of course some of our partners and customers, I was able to draw some conclusions I would like to share with you:
1. Balance between old and new
Some of the prospects we talked with deliver employee training and talent development programs, using some of the oldest and most respectable platforms around. People trust what they know. And they trust it with all their heart, even when it is outdated. But still, when you have a new, fresh and valuable proposal to offer, they are ready to, at least, listen.
The show had a few such products that made a difference, but I will use as an example Snappico, our new mobile-app for bite-sized employee training. Snappico really drrew attention. Here at Epignosis, we consider microlearning to be the future, and Snappico’s cards-based training offers a glimpse into that future.
2. Think big, but think of value, first
All eLearning platform vendors begin with a vision to succeed. On the other hand, though, all attendees at the ATD 2016 were there to add value to their professional life.
I found it amazing that almost all the instructional designers, trainers and Human Resources professionals I met were totally dedicated to offering better training and, literally, empowering their people to further develop their talent. As value over volume is one of our core values in Epignosis, that reminded me of what Albert Einstein said: “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”
3. Customer support is the new king
It was a pleasure meeting some of our customers on the field and hearing about how happy they are with our customer support.
When the first thing they asked coming to our booth was “is Eleftheria here?”, I knew we’re on the right track. Eleftheria, our Customer Support & Training Head, will involve the whole team, and especially our developers and administrators, in order to get things done.
Ask any of our loyal TalentLMS customers and they will all tell you the same thing: they just love the way all their tickets are closed.
4. Training and Talent Development is a growing industry
It is also a vibrant community of professionals, one I am very happy to belong to. You may come across a very respectful opinion leader, talk with him for a while, and then feel like you’ve known him for years.
Maybe intimacy is not the first word to come to mind when talking about a professional conference, but it is exactly what I felt at ATD 2016.
So, I’m looking forward to seeing you all next year at ATD 2017 in Atlanta. Let’s rock the world of talent development and offer the best of ourselves to share even more experiences next year.
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