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Learning Technologies 2009: How was it for you?

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2nd Feb 2009
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We'd love to hear what members thought of Learning Technologies this year. It was certainly buzzing at our stand! What was your highlight? What session enlightened you? What speaker inspired you? And has your business gained from attending? Please join in and leave your comments below and share your experience of this year's show.

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By AnonymousUser
04th Feb 2009 14:17

Superb Learning Technologies event this year (Don, I’m using the tag… #LT09uk !). We really must give Don, Mark and Ian a huge thank you for putting this event on in the way that they did. Given all the doom news beforehand it was just fantastic to see the response from the learning industry – upbeat and making a difference – it has helped us to turn in our third highest revenue month in eight years.

One of the most noticeable things was how the ‘debate’ has now seriously moved on –informal learning and collaboration and treating learning provision like a business now seem part of the way things are done rather than a discussion as to whether they are appropriate or not.

My predictions for 09 are more consolidation in the provider market; growth in online collaborative learning at the expense of the classroom (moreover at the expense of travel and accommodation expense); savvy BD and marketing people ‘getting’ the new PR ways.

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By katemcnabb
03rd Feb 2009 10:39

Well my feet have only just recovered, but what a great show LT 2009 was. Mark, Ian, Don and their team did an amazing job to make it the biggest LT ever. But what really made it remarkable was the overwhelming buzz and air of positivity.

The general consensus seems to be that e-learning is a way of saving organisations money and that is why it was busy. But is it just that? Concepts such as Web 2.0 which once seemed so 'out there' and inappropriate for the working environment have now had time to bed in and are understood and accepted. It isn't so much a case of will organisations utilise these tools and technologies, but when and how. David Wilson's session showed how learners utilise these technologies as part of their everyday 'home' lives but that this does not necessarily translate into their working lives. Why not? Part of this is down to the vendors many of whom, like us at e2train, are busy developing ways these technologies can be integrated into already successful, real world solutions. And part of it is down to organisations to embrace these technologies, not be scared of them, and to work out how they can best be used to help both their learning and overall business objectives. But with so many vendors and client organisations alike in attendance at LT 2009, it's looking pretty likely that we'll find the way forward. The future is certainly looking very exciting!

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By John Stokdyk
30th Jan 2009 18:38

It may be a sign that I spend too much time on new style websites, but I often find that I start mapping out phrases I overhear at trade shows as a verbal tag cloud in my head.

"xxxx 2.0", "social networking" and "communities of practice" were all prominent at Learning Technologies this year.

When I asked OutStart's Jeff Whitney about the buzz around communities of practice, he explained that the idea was all about wrapping web interaction around informal learning.

"If you think about how learning occurs, there's always been that ad hoc and peer-to-peer element," he said. "When people went online to learn, that social interaction stopped. Blogs, wikis and online communities add back that social interaction."

As I pointed out shortly afterwards on our Twitter feed, that's what TrainingZone has been doing for 10 years now.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor
TrainingZone.co.uk

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Susie Finch
By Susie Finch
02nd Feb 2009 17:57

Attending any conference is rather like a party – the pre planning, the adrenaline buzz while you’re there, and the sore feet afterwards from new shoes that have pinched. Well, if Learning Technologies was a party, then what a party it was! The exhibition was a constant buzz, and I only realised that I had only eaten half a prawn sandwich all day at 8pm after my third helping of nibbles at the nearby bar. I’ve always known that it was a great industry to work in, but while Gordon Brown was planning his speech of Doom & Gloom, all those at Learn Tech were locked in a small bubble of positivity. Even the snow held off! There was no sign of desperation, or of hard sell, and it was a joy to meet so many TrainingZone members and contributors, as well as Jay Cross. Many thanks to everyone who stopped by and spoke to camera for our video vox pop -which we hope to have on site on Wednesday.

The free seminars on the exhibition floor were packed, and the conference also well attended. Donald Taylor is a great host, oozing calm (as well as trademark charm). Who could have failed to have had a great time? In many of my journeys in the lifts – a great place to overhear conference gossip – the only complaint was the bitter coffee on the exhibition floor. (Don’t change it next year, as they’ll have nothing to complain about).

My favourite stand without a doubt was Saffron – a unique concept with mother-in-law’s tongues to die for, with cream cheese and pumpkin on top. Next on the list has to be the BCS pick n mix stall (my son says thank you!) and I also loved the Infinity scooter (how did you get it there?).

In terms of gadgets, I was impressed with the Video Arts new magic, portable box – a pay as you go system, making downloading video clips instant and affordable - and the still amazing (to me) whiteboards – of which my father–in-law always says: “If there’s no blackboard rubber, what do they throw at the students?” Having attended school in the 1940s, he’s not joking.

Donald & the Learn Tech team are already planning next year’s show but they’ll be hard pushed to beat this year – can it be even bigger and better? For me, I must just remember to wear more comfortable shoes…

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By peterm.trainerbase
02nd Feb 2009 15:53

Hi all

TrainerBase exhibited at LT2009 for the first time; having attended as a delegate the last couple of years.

I have to say that the show exceeded our modest expectations. As a trade association, we are not necessarily see as a typical exhibitor, but were very pleased at how we were received by both providers of learning and development services AND the purchasing community.

We came away with 60+ leads; a good percentage from purchasing organisations looking for support.

There were 3 of us on the stand most of the 2 days and there were occasions when this just wasn't enough. Anyone who missed us and picked up information; apologies.

Great show; well done Ian and Mark.

As I have been heard to say; onwards and upwards.

Peter
Chief Executive
TrainerBase
The Trade Association for Learning Practitioners.

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