Choosing the Right Conference

This chat has taken place; view the chat transcript here  the next #chat2lrn will be on Thursday 7 March, 08.00PST/11.00EST/16.00GMT

welcome attendees

For those of us lucky enough to have the budget available to attend a conference or two for professional development each year, there can be a great deal of stress and anxiety involved in choosing the right one to attend. Budgets are tight. Time is tight. You want to make sure you are attending the conference that can give you the biggest bang for your buck and is worth the time spent away from your desk where the work continues to pile up.

But how do you make the choice? Do you only attend conferences hosted by respected organizations in the US such as ASTD and the eLearning Guild or if you are in the UK the LPI or CIPD? Or is your choice driven by advertised content that may help you solve a challenge back at your job? Or perhaps your boss needs representation at a certain conference and chooses for you.

Conferences can be amazing professional development opportunities in the Learning and Development industry, but they can also be decidedly underwhelming. Costs for conference registration, travel, hotel and other expenses can easily reach several thousand dollars, so the choice you make is important.

In addition, with the increasing influence of the Twitter backchannel, many people can now choose to attend conferences virtually. Does this offer better value for money or are we deluding ourselves with a watered down experience?

At #chat2lrn, we would like to hear about your experiences choosing and attending conferences in our industry. Join us on Thursday, February 21 16.00GMT/11.00EST/08.00PST to chat about how you approach the dilemma of choosing the right conference to attend.

To help you get started thinking about this topic, I’ve provided links to several of the major* conferences held each year in the U.S. and the U.K.

*Note: This is not a comprehensive list.

U.S Conferences


ASTD TechKnowledge


Learning 2013

Learning Solutions

Training 2013

U.K. Conferences

Learning Technologies

Learning Live



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