Brave new world

A sharp, focused start to events is promised at this year’s World of Learning conference, as Dr Dean Spitzer, a specialist in learning and performance improvement at IBM Corporation USA gives the opening address.

Based on the theme of Maximising business performance through training and development, Spitzer is expected to home in on meaty issues such as staff efficiency and how long it takes for training to affect the bottom line.

He will examine the major trends in learning which are expected to arise in the next few years, and highlight how the job function of the training and development manager will develop and become integral to making the most of business performance.

Key themes
Throughout the rest of the two-day conference, practitioners and experts will be giving an insight into four key themes: promoting learning, implementing learning, innovation in learning, and management development.

High-profile organisations such as the Child Support Agency, the BBC, the RAF and the Cabinet Office will be presenting case studies.
Day two looks set to have a similarly strong start as training and performance consultant and industry analyst Jane Massey presents a free keynote.

She will be presenting global developments in measuring return on investment and on ensuring that measurement methodologies are fit for the purpose.

The event closing keynote (which, like all the keynotes, is free) will look at what the Government is doing to improve basic skills in the UK. Susan Pember from the DfE will deliver this final address.

Sessions are operated via a pick-and-pay format, which means that delegates are able to choose and attend seminars directly relevant to their business and experience.

This week also sees the fifth year of the World of Learning Awards, which aims to recognise and reward the leading learning initiatives and venues of 2004.

Celebrated at a gala dinner on 17 November, the awards also show the personal touch in the category Outstanding Contribution to the Training Industry.

Among the shortlisted names are Clive Shepherd, director of e-learning at the Training Foundation, and Simon Hayward, chief executive of Academee.

The judging panel for the awards includes many well-known names from the world of training such as Colin Buckley from Ufi and Brian Merison and Jim Wilson of the British Learning Association.

A programme of free experiential workshops and product demonstrations provide visitors with the opportunity to see and sample the latest learning solutions.

For example, on 17 November, Pro Excellence is hosting a workshop on “Making Sales Training Stick” which will show how to increase the return on investment from sales training.

On the same day, customer service expert Mary Gober will be highlighting her training approach to building strong service cultures.

On 18 November time management experts TMI will be whetting delegates’ appetites as they get them to make truffles in an innovative demonstration of team development techniques.

Running alongside the conference is the exhibition which this year will see more than 80 of the industry’s major players showcasing the latest products and solutions.

Exhibitors include: Ashridge Management College, Balance Learning, the British Learning Association and Walkgrove.
There will be plenty of opportunity to catch up with the impact of this month’s blended learning research as Balance Learning will be available for discussion on stand D190.

Stand news

Among the 80-plus exhibitors are:

  • British Computer Society stand D90 Showcasing the new e-Citizen qualification.
  • CIA Training stand D90 Launching the courseware for the new e-Citizen IT qualification.
  • Delta Net stand B20 Its comprehensive learning solution, ‘KreateIT’ allows clients to develop interactive content, track student participation and evaluate the effectiveness of e-learning solutions.
  • Emta Awards stand C70 Catch up with the new range of learning and development certificates for trainers, assessorsand presenters.
  • Enabling Visions stand E150 The company will be, a web-enabled service aimed at supporting a coaching process.
  • Phone Coach stand E80 Launching an updated version of Cablefree Network. Six pairs of trainees can record simultaneously using cordless phones.
  • RSVP Design stand B140 Unveiling a new experiential toolset system, a modular portable training system and a series of accelerated learning tools.

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