Are you ready for THIS? Your first ever 2020 ATD Virtual Conference?
Due to COVID-19, this year’s conference will be provided virtually. ATD promises the conference will be similar to the in-person experience of previous years, “minus the sore feet.” If you’ve been to an ATD conference before, here’s what’s NOT changing:
Thought leadership from 5 great Keynotes: Ken Blanchard, Marcus Buckingham, Erica Dhawan, Nancy Duarte, Keith Ferrazzi and Patti Sanchez.
How I’m preparing: I’m reading up on them with their bios and looking up their book abstracts online! I need to know how their work helps me be better in mine.
Sessions to discover what’s new in the industry: With over 100 hours and 11+ tracks, there are tons of opportunities to learn about what is new and who is who in the industry.
How I’m preparing: I have three goals for this conference. They are aligned with my organization’s strategy and with my personal growth: 1) learn what is new in technology to improve the learner experience; 2) gain insight on how COVID-19 will change the landscape of L&D for the better; and 3) understand how others have leveraged internal and external resources to do the work of L&D during extraordinary times.
Opportunities to learn something new by the best in the business.
How I’m preparing: I am reviewing the speakers and session topics to understand trends in the business. I am creating a schedule that allows me to attend sessions that are live and those that are on demand. I am picking topics that I know very little about along with some that I know I will find kindred spirits and old friends.
Networking with others to share best practices (especially during these novel COVID-19 times).
How I’m preparing: I am connecting with others I know and those I don’t know to find out whether they are attending and/or if there are certain topics that are more timely or relevant to them than others so that I can share what I have learned post-conference!
So, what IS different? Here’s a breakdown of what we know today along with how my plans are changing for a great virtual conference experience!
|Pack a suitcase. Although you could wear your sweats, I recommend you don’t.||Dress differently for the conference space. Change the space where you will attend the conference from your current everyday work environment if possible. For me, it’s likely my outside back patio with my dog. I’m wearing shorts and flipflops and will have my laptop, phone, Alexa for music, and a leash at the ready for breaks!|
|Check into the conference at your hotel (unless you will be traveling and found a fun place to stay at the beach that is open! In which case, Lucky You!)||Check in online for the “kiosk” of events online and instead of swag, you can earn badges to win prizes throughout the event including an iPad Pro! There won’t be a mobile app this year; however, ATD will be sharing a link to the online platform that can be accessed through your internet using a compatible browser: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge. I have high-speed internet through my local cable provider and am using Google Chrome. I will be using AI to create my learning journey. This feature is available when you first login.|
|Race to signup for spots on networking night (If you’re like me, always doing things last minute, you have likely missed out on the opportunity to participate in the past.)||Connect with your peeps and those you would like to have as peeps via text, email, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter (song “Get here (if you can)" going through my head now.) I’m also going to be looking for the link that ATD will provide to set up my profile on the virtual platform. I’ll upload my best selfie and join the chat groups offered; and, also take advantage of the 1:1 chat feature.|
|Stand in line during breaks||Plan your coffee, meals, and snacks ahead of time. I keep my favorite Peets Sumatra coffee with almond milk on hand and a 32 oz water bottle on hand. I also plan to take advantage of ATD’s Brain Breaks. Be sure to look for those.|
|Raise your hand for post-session Q&A (unless you’re like me and just feel good doing this from your back porch)||Join “Conversations With” after sessions to ask questions. I am going to be adding time on my calendar to do this especially for those topics I know very little about or have unique perspectives to our work during COVID-19. I am also planning to view the on-demand sessions that will be available 24/7.|
|Make a mad dash to Visit the EXPO (Did I say, I usually do things last minute?)||Plan for time in your schedule to visit the Sponsor pages, take notes and jot down contact information, follow-up on tools and technologies shared in sessions, and take advantage of the conference Online Library.|
|Wonder how a virtual conference will help you grow your career in Talent Development||Visit the ATD Career resource pages, talk with a career coach or explore contract opportunities available in our TrainingPros Talent Portal.|
|Forget to have fun!||Play conference BINGO and post your selfies by tagging @ATDNational and #ATDVirtualConference on Instagram or Twitter. You could win a prize!|
|Worry about conference volunteering.||Consider supporting your local ATD by volunteering or volunteer to help in your community during these times.|
See you Online!