How did you feel when you first attended an ATD conference? What keeps you coming back?
For those of us who work in training and development, the first time attending an ATD conference is unforgettable. We want to attend each session, talk to everyone, and go to the entire expo. Everything at an ATD conference is relevant—the sessions, the keynotes, the networking events—and you want to embrace everything at once.
Soon you realize that you will not be able to do it all and that you have to look for what is more relevant to you and your company in the short- and medium-term and prepare your schedule.
How do you select sessions? What should attendees do during the sessions to get most out of them?
I suggest analyzing the main problems you are facing day-by-day in your work. With this in mind, consider the tracks and listen to some world-class speakers in your chosen area. I suggest downloading presentations and taking note of key comments and insights. Later it is important to review them and begin practical actions to test the concepts.
How do you network and make friends? What social media tools do you use to connect with people?
This event is a place of contacts and networking. In the sessions we have opportunities to interact with people and give a short description of what we do in our work, and to ask colleagues why they are here and what their challenges and problems are. This is an excellent way to broaden the horizons of business and foster collaboration with some of these people in the future.
For social media, I recommend Twitter to share thoughts and insights. For connections and networking, certainly recommend LinkedIn. There is a feature called Find Nearby that is great for this occasion. Stay connected!
How can someone become a speaker for next year’s conference?
I think if you follow these steps, you will have a good chance to be an ATD speaker:
- Look for a relevant topic that makes sense to speak on for the demanding audience of ATD.
- Write a clear and convincing description that shows you have deep knowledge of the subject.
- Have a good background of theoretical and practical experience.
- Communicate and interact with the audience in a style that demonstrates a well-told story.· Present with interactions to engage the audience.
- Share takeaways that are clear and relatively easy for the audience to apply.
- Avoid being too salesy—your presentation will lose credibility.
What’s the best way to transfer the learning after you return to your home country?
Take one or two concrete ideas and apply them to relevant projects as a pilot. After this first experience, collect results, adjust, and scale the solution.
What is one suggestion you would like to give first-time ATD conference attendees?
Focus on the tracks and your insights, make as many connections as possible, and enjoy!
Any other tips that you think it would be helpful for attendees?
- Download the app.
- The ATD conference is the most important event for those who work in our industry. You will find world-class experts, so don´t go back home with any doubts—solve them here!
- At the ATD Store you will find interesting studies and books from the speakers. You can have them sign your book and network with them.
- Use the lunches and happy hours to develop your network. Stay connected with them.
ATD Global has organized several opportunities for international attendees to be recognized, learn with each other, network, and have fun! For instance, you can connect with Emma and other colleagues in the Global Village. And be sure to attend the International Orientation, an informative session for new and returning international attendees to network and learn how to get the most out of ATD 2019. Learn more here.