Monday, June 8, 2009

ASTD ICE 2009, Part 2

I know you were eagerly awaiting updates on the conference. I apologize. The ASTD conference was so amazing, so chock full o' training goodness, that I didn't have time to post again! Let me give you a few highlights:

1. Session Speaker: Thiagi
I've heard people say, "You HAVE to see Thiagi in person!" I have ignored such zealousness before. Fanatics do not have a place in such an objective field of study (wink wink.) However, Thiagi is to training what Jon Stewart is to the news (almost.) He brings a light hearted-ness to serious subjects and yet still manages to impart great information. Very highly recommended.

2. Session Speaker: Scott Blanchard
Sometimes, I expect relatively famous people to give presentations that are fluffy. Once you've made your mark, I think it's pretty easy to ride that wave of money into oblivion. Also, it's probably easy to ride your father's wave. However, Scott Blanchard's presentation on "Selling Training to Cranky CFO's" was research-based and compelling. (That reminds me, I want to get my hands on those shiny pretty slides of his...)

3. Session Speaker: Elaine Biech
Not only was Elaine the fantastic creator and facilitator of the Leadership Certificate program that I participated in last week, she is also the author and editor of almost 50 books!! I had the honor of meeting with Elaine for a one-on-one sit down. She has incredible insight on this industry of ours, and I hope to highlight our conversation on this blog at a later date.

4. The Expo
I am generally uncomfortable around the whole sales process, this goes double for people who try to sell me things. However, the Expo (a mass conglomeration of vendors selling everything from COTS training to LMS's to Books, etc) was pretty nice. The "BUY ME BUY ME BUY ME" pressure was turned way down, even though the economy is surely weighing heavily on all the folks there. I had a good time seeing the state of the industry products out there.

**Oh, and I didn't get paid by any of these people.

5. Networking
There is nothing more invigorating, inspiring, motivating, (add your adjective here) to me than meeting new people who have similar passions. The drive to engage our audience, contribute to our organization's bottom line, and increase the effectiveness of our field was prevalent in every conversation I had. Thank you ASTD for an amazing conference!

Bad Training Closing #2
(or, how to make sure your training doesn't "stick.")
"Ok, now I'm going to hand out Action Plans. Fill them out if you would like to. Have a great weekend!"

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