Virtual Conferences – Wow!

I attended a 2-day virtual conference this week. Yes, a conference that was totally online. “What do you mean a conference?”  There was a lobby, an auditorium with keynotes, an exhibit area, even a lounge.  (I would have loved some virtual cheesecake!)    Put on by Human Capital Media http://www.humancapitalmedia.com/ and called their “Summer School,” it provided multiple learning opportunities from the comfort of my home office – no airfare, hotel, travel, or even conference expenses!  And if you missed a session or part of one – minutes afterwards, it was available for replay, including hearing the Q&A that occurred with every session.  And the speakers were all outstanding  – best selling author Kevin Kruse, Laurie Bassi talking about her new book “Good Company,”   http://www.goodcompanyindex.com/about-the-book/how-to-buy/, Brian Klapper who did some amazing work creating simulations that greatly improved KFC restaurants in Canada  http://www.theklapperinstitute.com/,  Jay Cross and the Internet Time Alliance talking about informal learning and so much more  http://internettimealliance.com/wp/ , and even a company called FutureThink.http://www.futurethink.com/   Wouldn’t  you love to work there?!

I got so many ideas I almost don’t know where to start.  The only downside?  Not enough interaction – still the biggest problem I see with virtual learning is it is too often one way with perhaps a few polls or Q & A thrown in.  But honestly, in-person conferences are much the same way, and you can’t repeat them instantly if you miss something.   I would attend this again in a heartbeat.

Just a few ideas I walked away with:

– 70% of what we learn is through experience, 20% through others, 10% through standard, formal training

– To get engagement at work, you need to have  growth, recognition, and trust

-Google “Boost Shareholder Value” and see how few people talk about the people side of the equation.  (And see Doug Conant’s book, “Touchpoints” to learn more about how he turned Campbell’s soup around through reaching out to people throughout the company.

So ask yourself…

– what ways are you learning differently than before?

– what’s got you excited lately?

– how are you using technology differently than a year ago?

Take advantage of the web and all the learning it can provide.   Be sure to put some Wow in your summer!

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About hprager

Father, husband, brother and son. Delighted to be friends and mentor to so many wonderful people. Passionate about: leadership, learning and development, education, nature and the environment, youth, music, jazz, the tuba, Israeli dancing, networking and helping others, humor, laughter, swimming, hiking, the Cubs, Northwestern athletics, theater, musicals, concerts, traveling and making new friends wherever I go. Helping the world be a better place when I leave it.
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