So I just got back from ASTD's Tech Knowledge 2009 in guess where? The usual suspects did their usual great jobs (Brent Schlenker, Tony Karrer, Michelle Lentz) - I'm not trying to slight any other speakers - just don't want to name the whole program. (FYI - I did upload my slides here.) (Double FYI - You can also look at the slides for the ILS Design Challenge that I mentioned here).
I also think that Linda David at ASTD is probably one of the hardest workers in this industry and that Bob Mosher, et al served bravely on the conference committee. ASTD also stepped up and took a brave swing at extending the actual conference by having an ASTD Virtual Conference .
That's actually further than a lot of conferences go. They also had Michelle Lentz (@writetechnology) pushing hard for a Twitter presence for the conference. You can go here and check out the associated Tweets.
I am also excited about the upcoming eLearning Guild's Annual Gathering and Game Developers Conference - both of which have been tremendously valuable experiences in the past and both of which I assume will be greatly valuable this year as well. I think I am just really beginning to want more out of my conferences. Here's a short list:
- Social media should be the default and should kick in as soon as I register and continue past the conference
- I should have the option to NOT get a printed guide that weighs 10 LBs. I know why you do it, for the ads not for the attendees - figure out an alternative model and save some trees - get creative w/ an iPhone app or a Flash app or something.
- Whether or not I'm a speaker or an attendee, I want input into what will be session outcomes. Asking me to pay, go to a session and then fill out an eval so that NEXT YEAR will be better is a little backward isn't it?
- FIGURE OUT WIRELESS!!!! I don't give a rat's ass how you do it, just freaking do it. Do you understand the good will and PR you will reap? Do you? I know this diff between simple and easy - this one might not be easy but it sure is simple - get it done.
- Keep the Expos. I actually like them. Do the vendors feel like they are getting value though? I don't know.
- Consider NOT holding a 'cutting-edge conference' on how we'll all learn in the future with everyone seated theater style or at rounds for 45, 60 or 90 minutes. Try some difference configurations - not all will work - jettison the ones that don't and use the ones that do to re-shape the face-to-face experience.
- I'm also going to risk some wrath here and say NO to Vegas as a location. I'd actually rather be in Chicago or New York or San Francisco or Atlanta - if you want to hold a conference somewhere that has tourist appeal, then hold it somewhere with broader tourist appeal.
Let's see that's all for now...so kudos to ASTD and eLearning Guild and GDC for doing some really hard work to pull off these incredibly complicated logistical events...I just want it all.