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Where Will You Focus Your Learning During the ATD Virtual Conference?

Friday, October 23, 2020

Learn more about how to choose a track and sessions during the event.

The Association for Talent Development’s Virtual Conference: Unleash Potential starts next week. The event will feature six learning tracks in three key areas: Core 4 and Org Dev (which are popular ATD conferences) and the Future of Work.

Perhaps you’ve heard from a colleague about previous Core4 conferences and the tools and techniques shared sound beneficial to your work. Or you may be wondering how to engage and develop employees better, knowing full well that employees are your organization’s greatest asset? And who doesn’t buy into the intrigue of the future of work and what it may hold? With more than 60 hours of programming next week, how do you choose your track and sessions from the Virtual Conference options?

A look at session tracks

Each track is designed for a specific talent development role and experience level. Let’s drill down on each one.

Core4. The Core4 planned content will meet the same standards as previous, in-person Core4 conferences. The Core4 track will consist of four sub-tracks: instructional design, training delivery and facilitation, measuring impact, and technology application. Senior Manager of ATD Conference Education Bridget Dunn explained, “We have brought back some of our top speakers in those areas and added some new voices that will offer a fresh perspective.”

Core4 is designed primarily for the individual contributor—facilitator, designer, and accidental trainer. Here are a few highlights from each of the tracks within Core4:

  • Instructional Design: microlearning, designing relatable characters and producing stories using tools you already own, and creating accessible content
  • Training Delivery & Facilitation: developing presentation skills; having dialogues around diversity, equity, and inclusion; and identifying specific elements to super-charge training effectiveness
  • Measuring Impact: using chatbots, creating measurable assessments, and designing programs that deliver positive return on investment
  • Technology Application: producing engaging virtual training or webinars, creating a prototype in minutes, and exploring the math of the brain

Org Dev. Organizational development sessions concentrate on HR and OD-related content, such as offering career development that employees want, making workplace diversity work, and building resilience for uncertain futures. In essence, content and speakers will instruct on engaging and advancing employees and helping to create an environment in which they feel valued.

Future of Work. This new learning track is aimed at more seasoned talent development practitioners. As ATD’s Director of the Content Division Justin Brusino explains, Future of Work content was created with programwide thinking in mind: think managing the learning function. The track’s sessions will cover such topics as upskilling and reskilling and technology. It will also focus on critical work topics such as diversity and inclusion.

In the Future of Work session “Lessons Learned From Upskilling Initiatives in a COVID-19 World,” Melissa Leavitt and Janet Salm will share how partnerships and coalitions of educators, employers, technologists, and others came together to test new approaches to helping people learn the skills that industries need now. And during “Developing a Future-Ready Workforce,” attendees will hear about how to build a future-ready workforce through technology and the employee experience.

Use this information to help you tailor your Virtual Conference experience and learning. All sessions will be recorded, with the videos posted same day. And remember that all attendees will have access to the full conference programming through December 31. Prioritize the sessions that will be most beneficial to you immediately and plan to revisit other sessions as your time and schedule allows in the coming weeks.


Note: Although each track was designed with specific talent development professionals in mind, all attendees can glean insights from every track. Want to learn more about the ABCs of instructional design or facilitation? Check out Core4 even if you’re not currently a contributor in that area. Interested in how talent development plays a role in how the future of work will unfold, check out what the Future of Work track has to offer.

Extend your learning

No matter which track and sessions you attend, you have the opportunity to continue your development at the end of the week by participating in one of eight postconference workshops on Friday. Note: Advanced reservation is required. These workshops will take place during two time slots: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET. To reserve your place, add the workshops to your personal agenda via the virtual platform by selecting the + or “Reserve Spot” button. Keep in mind that once a workshop has reached capacity, it will be closed to attendees. If you reserve a spot in a workshop and can no longer attend, please remove the workshop from your agenda, freeing the spot for another attendee.

Whether you’re an individual contributor, an HR manager, or a leader of the learning function, the ATD Virtual Conference will provide you with new ideas, tools, or other insights for dealing with our current and future world of work. As the conference guide recommends, begin with the end in mind: What are you here to learn?

Share your ATD Virtual Conference experience on social media. #ATDVirtualConference

About the Author

Connection Point is the daily news source written by ATD staff for the ATD Virtual Conference, relaying news, session coverage, and other updates.

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