ATD Blog

What’s New at TechKnowledge 2020?

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

You’ve probably heard that ATD is unleashing a revamped TechKnowledge (TK) conference in 2020. The new and improved TK will take place February 5–7 in San Jose, California, and feature keynote speakers Marco Tempest and Luvvie Ajayi. So, how will it differ from past versions?

TK Playground

One of the selling points of TK2020 is the TK Playground. This uniquely immersive learning environment will provide you with an opportunity to participate in accelerated education sessions, engage in conversations with subject matter experts, and participate in a wide range of hands-on learning activities. You’ll also be able to explore new solutions that meet the immediate work challenges that you and your organization can put into practice in the office. The TK Playground will enable you to explore action-focused stages that fulfill your mission.

Those stages include:

  • Build: Development-focused, hands-on sessions.
  • Disrupt: Facilitator-led conversations about industry issues. Be prepared to ask questions and share.
  • Spark: Find your next big idea. Focus on emerging areas and trends. Ignite presentations.
  • Connect: Networking-style sessions that are topic or industry-focused.
  • Advance: Skills-based sessions and discussions to help you hone your craft.
  • Explore: Mini case studies highlighting what’s going on within organizations.

TK Playground will bring out your creative side, and creativity elicits human potential. Whether you prefer one-on-one conversations or group discussions, the new TK has what you’re looking for, and it will help you learn from the stories and experimentation of others.

Co-Creation Instead of Demonstration

No challenge is unique to you. The new TK floor will serve as a safe zone where participants can collaborate with like-minded individuals who share common passions and experience who may have conquered relevant challenges. TK will also empower you to develop new solutions with fellow participants.

Supplier Meetings Instead of an Expo

In place of an expo, you will be able to partake in partner meetings and supplier sessions. With partner meetings, participants may select the organizations they want to learn more about and coordinate a time when they can meet to have a collaborative conversation. You’ll share your challenges in advance so suppliers will come prepared to discuss customized solutions.


In as quickly as 15 minutes, you can short circuit the sales process and get the answers you need to make strategic decisions when you go back to the office. Supplier sessions will offer a chance to view new technologies in a demo environment. You’ll be able to ask questions or learn from what others are saying at these interactive product explorations.

Enhanced Networking Opportunities

The event app has robust networking features including attendee matching and appointment scheduling. The app will keep you connected with others throughout the conference. You’ll be able to message participants within the app. You can even join a discussion group ahead of time to share your expertise and gain knowledge before you arrive.

There will also be a series of networking events during TK2020. Gain tips for maximizing your TK experience at the Kickstarter event on Tuesday. Sign up for the Meet-to-Eat dinners happening Tuesday and Wednesday to form relationships with other participants. Take part in the AR scavenger hunt, a fun activity that will get attendees into the city. And don’t forget to check out the hackathon.


At TK, ATD will be hosting its first-ever hackathon on Wednesday, February 5, at 6 p.m. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to work in small groups and tackle a real-world problem. There is no additional charge but advance sign-up is required through the conference app.


As April Olt discussed in the May 2018 TD magazine article, “Train With Hackathons,” these collaborative events are a great way for companies to solve problems and generate new ideas. While they’re typically used within the IT industry, they’re equally useful for any field.

Some of the top benefits to hackathons that The Coding Diaries identifies include:

  • learning what you don’t know
  • realizing what you do know and teaching that to others
  • participating in the pair-program
  • meeting many interesting, motivated people
  • growing as a developer.

Preconference Learning

As always, TK will feature preconference workshops and certificate programs to help you build expertise in a specific area of interest. These options will help you stay competitive within your field and enhance your on-the-job skills. Space is limited, so register early.

Practical Takeaways

The goal of TK is to serve its participants and the L&D community in the best way possible. The TK experience offers a variety of ways to learn before, during, and after the conference. ATD wants to ensure your questions are answered and you’ve gathered shareable, digestible, and actionable insights that will inform and influence your work for months to come.

Learning has evolved and TK has evolved with it.

About the Author

Stephen Newman is a former writer/editor for ATD.

Be the first to comment
Sign In to Post a Comment
Sorry! Something went wrong on our end. Please try again later.