Learning DevCamp 2018 is in the books. Three and one-half days of L&D goodness, and I am still giddy. Giddy, I say.
Let's face it - there are a lot of conferences out there. So why this one? What makes me so thrilled to have attended? Here are a few key takeaways:
1. Curation counts. I am super impressed with the thoughtful selection of sessions at this conference. The mighty Jason Bickle does yeoman's work of requiring speaking slots and work sessions to have (gasp!) actionable takeaways. Every session needs to provide something that the attendee can put into place or do. That sounds like a no-brainer for a L&D conference, but sadly, it's not standard practice. At least not from my experience. At some conferences, it feels like it's more about burnishing the speaker's cred or brand than providing value for attendees.
2. Size matters. Learning DevCamp is pretty small as conferences go. I am not 100% sure on the final attendance but I think it must be about 250-300 people. That more intimate setting allows attendees to actually create a community, fast! Want to have lunch with Captivate guru Joe Ganci or microlearning maven Ray Jimenez. Done and done. How about hanging out with thought leaders like Patti Schenk? Easy peasy.Even better (no offense, Thought Leaders), I get to make lasting connections with other instructional designers who are in the trenches, struggling with many of the same issues as am I. We keep in touch. We bounce ideas off each other. We encourage each other ... well after the conference is over.
3. Location, location, location. Learning DevCamp is held at the University of Utah, in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah. Not only is it a gorgeous backdrop, but it is very affordable. The university conference center is the hub of the event, and the attendees can get three squares each day at the university dining commons (three!) as part of the registration. Lodging is a heck of alot less expensive than I have paid at the big conferences in Orlando or Las Vegas. And the pre- or post-event recreation possibilities are pretty epic.
Check out Learning DevCamp as part of your professional development planning for 2019. I will definitely be there.