#ATD2015 It’s a Wrap, Part 5: Brent Schlenker

your stories Brent Schlenker

What fun this has been!

A week of different learnings, of different perspectives, and of seeing the ATD ICE conference for the first time everyday! Today we kick off with Brent Schlenker. 

Brent is an interesting combination of learning professional and vendor. When getting to know Brent, I was shocked to discover that he worked for a “vendor” (emphasis added). His interest is always first for the personal learning experience. He truly wants people to find their passions, encourages self-discovery, and impresses on others the importance taking ownership of their learning. I have great respect for Brent and his contagious energy for the learning industry and the people within. Never once has he ever tried to push an agenda or a sale (his boss may not be happy to hear that) and he generously wrote the foreword for my book, Disruptive Learning. It’s people like Brent that make me want to be a better a learning professional, and I hope you all are as lucky as I am to have such a supportive person within their network. (Brent, pay me my $20 bucks!)

Share your expo experience in the comment section below. What did you find that was truly awesome sauce? 


Jean Marrapodi is a tough act to follow. Despite her confusing me with @markOehlert 😉 I LOVE Jeanne! She is one of my favorite learning people.

So here it goes…

Forgive me fa… wait… wrong confession.

Let’s try this…

brent schlenker My name is Brent Schlenker and I’m a Learning Management System vendor. (Hi Brent!) I’ve been one now for just over a year.  Every day is hard. But I take it one day at a time. I used to be into eLearning… pretty hardcore. It’s always tempting to go back…to… ya know… old school eLearning. The same temptations are there. But, I have a VERY cool support group as a vendor. Training has changed so much. It’s fun to work with a group of dedicated training professionals committed to changing the future of training. We all work very hard at helping those who want to clean up their training act.

Or… maybe Shannon wanted something a little less tongue-in-cheek 🙂 [as Shannon patiently waits for Brent to get to the point] 

In all seriousness, I have been working for Litmos now for just over a year. #ATD2015 was the first event I felt 100% comfortable BEING a vendor and manning the Litmos booth. When I look back on all of my experiences I see the 1 year pattern quite clearly.  It took me at least a year to get comfortable programming DevLearn for the eLearning Guild. And I will spare you the details of my other jobs. So, I’m glad Shannon asked me to share my thoughts now and not last year.

As a vendor, things happen fast.

And there is very little time to do anything outside of the booth. And so what we get are reflections from the attendees.  We get an opportunity to chat with the wonderful people of the training industry. We hear about their experiences at the event, and on the front lines of corporate training. And that’s what I love the most. We may not always be the right solution for that person but I learn SO much from hearing the stories of struggle, and desire for change.

I’m certain that every vendor will have a different story to tell.  But because we are a Learning Management System, and at the heart of every training department, there really are very few problems we can’t help trainers solve.  We had a lot of attendees stopping by for demos and to learn more about Litmos LMS. I was actually a little surprised at how many people were there to find a new learning management system or replace their existing one. It’s an exciting time to be part of a company like Litmos.

Another take-away was learning how few people understand that an authoring tool is NOT a requirement for creating corporate training courses.  People look a little shocked when I tell them how successful our customers are creating and selling their courses, managing and tracking users, and delivering to mobile devices, with only the Litmos LMS. Sure, for certain projects an additional authoring tool is nice to have, and we support them, but it’s by no means necessary to create a compelling and effective learning experience.

We have an Apple watch app!

We also launched a new product at #ATD2015 called Litmos Boost! It’s still in private beta but we had a demo available and that was a big hit. A few developers from other vendors stopped by to find out about how it was created but we didn’t have anyone from our technical team there to get into the details.  With the popularity of the Apple watch, Litmos Boost was a big hit. People first came looking because of the watch thinking its clever but not every learner will have the watch.  And so it was fun to see eyes light up when we told them boost works on other devices as well.

And I delivered a session…

I also delivered a session at #ATD2015 and was delighted by the turnout. As an attendee, I was always suspicious of vendor sessions. So, my expectations were set pretty low since I was in the vendor track. I was so surprised by the large turnout I thought maybe the room was filled with friends or attendees who knew me from my eLearning Guild days, or from my blogs. But that wasn’t it either. I asked.  Nobody knew me. Apparently several attendees who arrived early actually read the description and really liked it and felt compelled to hear more. I guess writing all those session descriptions for so many years finally paid off.

Honestly, I love being a vendor now. It was a bit of an adjustment for me, but I’m all in. The next year is going to be exciting! Stay tuned!


Share your expo experience in the comment section below. What did you find that was truly awesome sauce? 

Watch this space tomorrow for the conclusion of #ATD2015 Perspectives with Barry Altland


Related Posts: 6 After Conference Tips Everyone Should be Doing;  #ATD2015 It’s a Wrap Part One: Sue Prenderville; Part Two – Jean Marrapodi; Part Three Miranda Lee; Part Four – Will Constantine


You know you want one! My new ebook, PRE-ORDER NOW!

Disruptive Learning

Foreword by Brent Schlenker

Final_distruptive Learning

Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton

As Owner of Learning Rebels, Shannon Tipton is a skilled learning strategist, content developer and International speaker. Shannon has over 20 years of leadership experience developing successful learning strategies and infrastructures for training departments within organizations in North America, Europe and Korea.

Shannon works with people and organizations to develop learning solutions that brings actual business results. Recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field, Shannon integrates technologies and social learning tools to strengthen workplace alignment, enhance collaboration and increase learning connectivity.

As author of “Disruptive Learning” Shannon frequently speaking at conferences across North America and Europe and ranks as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter (@stipton).

Leave a Comment

Table of Contents

    Join the Rebellion!


    Cool tools for cool people! 😎

    After we confirm your email, you'll get our
    "Creative Problem-Solving Primer" #WhosYourBuddy

    (By signing up, you agree to receive emails from Learning Rebels, and while it would make us sad, you can opt-out at any time.)

    AWESOME! Welcome to the Rebellion. Now you will begin to receive great stuff from the mother ship. IMPORTANT! Be sure you have the LearningRebels.com address added to your contacts or moved to your primary folder so you don't miss a thing. It would be a tragedy for your Rebellion to end up in your spam folder, never to see the light of day.