Training Solutions seems to have been a success for many exhibitors and visitors, although it was quieter at times than it might have been. Here are our thoughts and impressions on the show.
Training Solutions seemed to signal a return to normal business. The marketing was relatively subdued, and although this may be regretted because of the relatively low level of freebies it generates, it was generally very easy to recognise what exhibitors were offering. And this can be a relief.
However, the exhibition was diverse. A lot of medium-sized organisations were represented, many in soft skills and management training, and with not many very large stands, the whole event had a human scale. There was a smattering of dedicated e-learning providers but generally a balance between e-learning, classroom-based training and other modes.
Coaching has been one of the big growth areas of the year, but there were few coaching providers here. Training Needs analysis, another developing area, was well represented, with software solutions to fit many sectors and levels. Outdoor training providers were there too, reinforcing the emphasis on team and management development, and a few venues were exhibiting too.
Memorable figures included the blue people from Blue Beetle, and the drama around the park bench very effectively provided by ImpAct UK (there should, however, be a moratorium on any more training companies using some variation of "Impact", three at this show alone, and it's getting too confusing). And Ian West's cartoons were a refreshing addition to all the other ways on conveying important information.
There may not have been many coaching organisations, but there were providers of coaches, buses in fact. European Mobile Training were showing off their high-tech travelling multi-media suites, and there were a few other well-appointed vehicles there. All very James Bond. And talking of which, The Training Network's Sean Connery lent some style to the occasion.
TrainerSoft get some kind of unofficial award for getting everywhere and knowing everyone, not to mention getting their insert into the front page of the exhibition brochure.
Wednesday evening's auction in aid of Sport Relief was memorable, not least for the host, Lenny Bennett, and the band, Fool's Gold, and was much enjoyed by all. You can bid for some more courses in support of Sport Relief here.
TrainingZONE's sessions went very well, the lunchtime debate raising issues and a few arguments (see review).