ATD Blog

Core 4: Inspire, Connect, and Deliver

Monday, October 3, 2022

After six years away, the ATD Core 4 Conference is heading back to the Big Easy in October. More than 200 participants will come together on Canal Street for the two-day essential event. Whether you’re new to the field or an experienced training and development professional, you will be sure to find some key takeaways during one of the 24 educational sessions covering four tracks: instructional design, training delivery, measurement and evaluation, and learning technologies.

But what really makes this event extraordinary? I sat down with Bridget Dunn, who leads the group responsible for planning the event, to find out.

Dunn explains that Core 4 has a lot to offer. She finds that there is so much to learn and take away from this conference. “The best thought leaders in the industry are hand selected to deliver our education sessions,” she says.

Creating an opportunity that brings aspiring and experienced TD professionals together to network and engage in discussions is what Dunn loves most about planning this conference. “Attendees have made lifelong friends at this event,” she adds.

What Makes Core 4 So Special?

I also chatted with several of the event’s speakers. Check out what they had to say about what is in the “secret sauce” that gives Core 4 its distinctive flavor.


“Core 4 is a wonderfully intimate conference, with the ability to really have a conversation with others about what you’re doing and gain insight into the approaches that others take and share your experiences. You will see the same people frequently, which encourages ongoing and in-depth conversations.”
—Richard Goring, Director, BrightCarbon

“Do more than simply attend ATD Core 4. Be a student and be a teacher. Learn from the world-class presenters, but also share with other industry experts what you learned—those points that resonated with you long after a session concluded, and points that have you saying, ‘Oh! Let me tell you what I just heard!’ That’s what you will hear the entire time you’re at Core 4. The best part, and what I always look forward to, is the fact that every speaker is on an unstoppable mission to give their absolute best, and every attendee will walk away with an unparalleled professional development experience. Hands down. Guaranteed. Every. Single. Time.”
—Bridgett McGowen, Speaker, Author, Publisher, BMcTALKS

“Core 4’s energy is truly unique. Attendees bring incredible passion and focus to the experience; they clearly love what they do, and they can’t wait to apply what they learn to their work. Bring a few challenges you’re facing to each session, and think about how to apply what you’re learning in real-time. You’ll be amazed at how fresh perspectives can help you break through the barriers you face!”
—Stephanie Hubka, Managing Partner, Protos Learning


“What I love most about Core 4 is that you get to network, connect, and learn from other professionals in a more intimate setting. Unlike some of the larger conferences, at Core 4, you won’t get overwhelmed by the dozens of sessions and hundreds of people. Instead, Core 4 offers curated sessions and speakers that will deliver exactly what you need.”
—Tim Slade, Founder, The eLearning Designer’s Academy

“Core 4 is one of my favorite conferences of the year because it is focused, the speakers are hand selected, and the attendees are quite eager to learn. If this is your first time attending a Core 4 conference, make sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring a sweater, carry your own water bottle, and most importantly, take the time to meet other attendees and share your experiences with them. Lifelong friendships have been formed by those who initially met at the conference, and there’s something wonderfully special about that. In my case, I married one of them!”
—Kassy LaBorie, ATD Author and Principal Consultant, Kassy LaBorie Consulting

“Core 4 gives you an opportunity to dive deeper into a topic. Since it’s a smaller conference, you can often get all your questions answered. Don’t be afraid to ask a speaker to chat more with you during breaks, dinners, breakfasts, and so on. One of my favorite Core 4 moments was sharing coffee with someone and talking about how my content could apply to their work setting.”
—Cara North, Director of Learning and Development, Circulo Health

So, if you’re ready to pack up your conference chinos, tell us how you plan to spend your time at Core 4 in the comments below. We look forward to seeing you on the glittering streets of New Orleans.

About the Author

Jes Thompson is a content manager for ATD's Learning & Development topic areas. As a content manager, Jes creates and curates content on instructional design, training delivery, and measurement and evaluation. Before joining ATD, Jes worked in higher education facilitating training in leadership development skills, conflict resolution, and DEI. Jes holds a degree in Communications with an emphasis in digital media production from the University of Florida.

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Hello Jes,
We are excited to attend our first Core 4. Annah and I will be coming to you from Gainesville, Florida!
We look forward to attending the conference.
See everyone next week!
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I can't wait!
Yay! We will see you there!
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