I had the pleasure of speaking at the marcus evans CLO Summit in Georgia last week. The other presenters and most of the attendees were directors, VPs, or CLOs.
There were also several solution providers that I had the pleasure of catching up with or meeting for the first time too.
The venue was a winery and resort 50 miles North of Atlanta. It was an intimate event…probably about 100-150 people total.
I sat on a research panel with Dr. Arthur Paton, Motorola, Inc., and Gary Whitney, VP at InterContinental Hotels Group. The panel discussion was facilitated by Jenny Dearborn, Director L&D, at Hewlett-Packard. She also served as chairman of the event. Our topic was “Has eLearning taken the World by Storm?” We had an interesting discussion and my contribution probably was memorable for my push back on the multi-generational stuff. I couldn’t really answer all of the questions asked because they were “at your organization…” questions. As you know, I’m my own organization and I study other organizations…some of which were there.
I’ve been to one other marcus evans event in San Francisco a couple of years ago. They do about 150 conferences a year and have it down to a science.
I sent my slides to the event planner prior to the conference (as requested) and just assumed there would be Internet access. I had planned on doing the entire presentation in the cloud switching back and forth between various sites but learned there was no Internet service in the conference center. Event planners have to arrange for (and pay dearly for) that in advance and they weren’t aware I would need it. I just assumed the default was “yes.”
So…Dr. Jay Colker, SVP & CLO at ShoreBank Corp. and I met up on a break and I had an interesting conversation about working in the cloud, crowdsourcing, and other things and I shared with him my original plan of doing the cloud prez in the cloud.
He tried to make the Internet thing happen but it wasn’t to be. I’m 99% sure I was the most high-maintenance presenter there. So, I arrived with Plan A, fell back to Plan B, returned to Plan A (based on “let’s try” discussions) and ultimately back to Plan B. Plan B+: original slides, video, Twitter on my mobile, and screen shots.
My talk, the last of the day on Tuesday, was about cloud computing (hence my desire to deliver it in the cloud). I’ve uploaded my slides to SlideShare. It’s missing the ‘slideography’ which is a bit sloppy on my part. Once I add that, I’ll free it up for download.
Couple of takeaway’s for me…
- SharePoint is more commonly used than I thought.
- The gap in knowledge between traditional delivery of eLearning and self-service eLearning through the social web is ginormous…
- …however, there is tremendous interest in moving beyond a content- and infrastructure-centered approach to a socially-centered approach. The topic generated excitement.
- Gangsta hats make people wacky.
- Learning executives are taller than average L&D types (random observation).
- There’s a need for some PowerPoint best practices.
- I need to find a way to do more to address the knowledge gap.
- There is a “one-way” mentality with a lot of the newer social tools and technologies. I find myself switching things up constantly. That was never the case in the corporate environments. I think that prevails today.
Some of my friends on Twitter came through for an impromptu flash conversation on the topic of cloud computing during the presentation. I gave my BlackBerry to the person lucky enough to be in the front row and he was kind enough to read off responses. It was described as provocative. Of course, I was unable to respond to anyone since I didn’t have my device so it must’ve appeared rude to my friends.
That’s how friends are on Twitter though…forgiving of longer than normal absences and sudden requests for “say hi” type stuff.
All speakers were good and I particularly liked what Donald O’Guin, Director, e-Learning and Learning Technologies at Pfizer, Inc. shared. Pfizer has opened various apps up to employees and they seem to understand the power of the social web.
I also enjoyed Nancy Lewis’ (former CLO & VP at ITT and former VP, Learning, IBM) talk about the future of learning and next generation tactics. Another person who gets it! All my prior communications with Nancy have been on the web so it was especially nice to meet her and see her friendly face up front during my own presentation. That helped (thanks Nancy).
Karie Willyerd, former VP, CLO at Sun Microsystems was also fabulous. Her talk was “Social Learning Innovation: A View to the Future.” She recently wrote a book with Jeanne Meister about the 2020 workforce. Lots of data and discussion.
A meaningful conference rich in networking.