ATD ICE 2018: It’s a WRAP!
(Jump to the bottom for the May ATD ICE super SWAG giveaway details)
Click here to read Part One with Mark Sheppard
Read Part Three with Kate Pinto
Here is Part Four with Heidi Matthews
ATD ICE 2018 – Another one in the books.
This would be #11 for me, and the experience never seems to grow old. I’d love to hear about your conference experience in the comments below.
I must admit, as the years go by my goals and interests have changed. I’ve become more focused on what I want to achieve out of a conference experience. Of course, my life has changed in 11 years. I’m older (so says my birth certificate), I have more experiences and now I have a completely different point of view as a business owner.
This is what makes ATD ICE (Association of Talent Development, International Conference & Expo) a vibrant place. Sure, there are others from which to choose. I have the honor of being able to speak at most of those conferences, and because of this, I get to experience different types of conference vibes. I will say this – for the very reason some people do not care for the ATD ICE conference (too big) is the very reason I do like it.
There is so much happening at any given time, and Mark Sheppard shared with us before the conference how to use the backchannel.
I like having choices.
You all have heard me say this before…we must continue to educate ourselves. If we don’t then we are failing ourselves and our business. I get forever frustrated with learning professionals who tell me that they cannot find any sessions to learn from…ARE YOU KIDDING ME? There were over 300 sessions in San Diego. If you cannot find something to learn from at an ATD ICE conference, well, you are not trying hard enough.
You can learn from the variety of session and networking opportunities. You can meet people at lunch, meet people in the Starbucks line, and while they are giving away ice cream in the expo hall. The learning opportunities are endless!
Speaking of expo – yes, you can learn from the expo and vendors.
Seriously, they are not just there to give stuff away. I personally feel bad for the vendors when people take stuff by the handfuls and not even give the vendor the time of day. That’s just RUDE. If I’m going to take stuff, I feel like I should listen to what they are trying to sell. BTW, people, this is how you LEARN new stuff by asking and watching demos. You never know what kind of fun thing you are going to see and experience.
Some of my favorites this year had a lot to do with hardware:
Padcaster: All in one mobile video studio
Slingcast: Multicamera action without the need for multi cameras
Sage Media: They understand how video works with the brain, super smart – super clever
UMU: One stop shop for your blended designs. A seriously cool tool that works with your mobile device. Want to create good training on the fly, THIS is your tool.
Team Sculptures: Okay, hands down the COOLEST experiential teambuilding program. (although there was an escape room vendor, I wasn’t wow’ed)
AllenCom: Really like what they are up to. 3D rendering; augmented and virtual reality. Super cool!
I can find sessions on a variety of topics.
I can whip from augmented reality to podcasting to content curation techniques and everything in between. I hosted a couple of sessions on microlearning. Here are the resources from the “Microlearning on the Go!” and in the panel discussion, there were 170 questions. 170! You all were some curious people! We use the UMU tool to gather the questions and then spent an hour having a back and forth with the rather large audience. JD Dillion who was our panel moderator posted all our answers to all your questions here.
This year I met some wonderful people from NASA (YES! That NASA), Harvard, American Airlines, friends from Zappos and the CLO from Hilton – just regular people working in fascinating industries all talking L&D geek. I had lunch with a pair of fabulous ladies from Dubai and met a person who knew a person, who knew a person, who knew me from China. Then randomly found a gentleman who lived not 20 minutes away from me.
How can you NOT love this environment?
An environment rich in learning exchange, an environment where you stand in line at 5:30 am with 1000’s of other people and be HAPPY, eat DONUTS, and SHARE stories all waiting to see President Obama. Sure, having the opportunity to see and listen to Obama was an outstanding, once in a lifetime opportunity, but seriously…can we talk about the people in line? People talking to strangers, laughing and sharing stories. No one getting upset, no one getting anxious – people accepting people of all backgrounds.
It doesn’t get much cooler than that.
Now, some traditions need to be broken – fruitcake at Christmas…just say no.
Some traditions deserve a place, such as the Learning Rebels annual ATD ICE wrap up series. Started back in 2015, I wanted to get different perspectives on this granddaddy of a conference.
So, it’s with those thoughts that I introduce Krissy Richard.
Krissy is a Learning Rebels supporter who engages with the Learning Rebels Facebook page. She had made mention that this was going to be her first ATD ICE conference.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to rope her into writing a blog post for me. I was curious about her experience, be it good, bad or indifferent. It has been awhile since I looked at this conference with fresh eyeballs and I’m so happy Krissy decided to accept the challenge.
Without further ado, I give you…
ATD ICE 2018 was beyond my wildest expectations!
Being a first-timer, I had no idea what to expect going in and it blew my mind. The sheer number of attendees, sessions available, and vendors were incredible. I planned out my sessions ahead of time to be prepared and know where and when I would need to be in certain rooms.
On the first day, after check-in, I met a wonderful woman named, Joan. She advised me to schedule multiple sessions at a time in the event one was full. I hadn’t done this, so initially I was a bit nervous, but I was able to get into all my sessions just fine. I will remember this tip for next year though as I heard plenty of sessions filled up.
My favorite session was called, “Keep it Quick – Make it Stick! 6 Accelerated Activities in 60 Minutes.” This session was great because I design and instruct courses here at the credit union and I’m always looking for new ways to get the class involved and get them off of their feet moving around. Instead of just talking about the activities, we actually got to do them as a group. It was quite a large group, but we made it work and Christie Ward, the speaker, kept it moving and on schedule throughout. She was great!
I learned about a few vendors and resources to try out and see how or if I can incorporate them into my training routine. Vyond, (previously known as GoAnimate) is a video animation vendor so I could build my own training videos and use these for microlearning, or full lessons. Also, www.vecteezy.com for content design and free vector art, there are a bunch of free ones on this website, but there are also premium ones that come at a cost. Nice to have some free resources to use for my company since it’s smaller.
I took advantage of a couple of the networking opportunities. I went to the ATD sponsored networking night on the USS Midway and the vendor-sponsored event, hosted by Vyond, at the Hard Rock Hotel on Tuesday.
Throughout this conference, I networked with so many amazing people and learned very valuable items that I plan on implementing into my workplace. I look forward to next year in DC for my second ATD ICE conference.
Thank you, ATD!
What was your favorite conference experience? If you didn’t attend, was there something from the backchannel that spoke to you? Please share.