Channeling The Learning Force


The nearly 2,000 Learning and Development (L&D) professionals who attended the Training 2023 Conference & Expo in Orlando in February didn’t just take learning to the next level—they took it to a whole new galaxy!

An illuminating message for attendees.

After an opening reception featuring an out-of-the-box experience, the three keynotes focused on storytelling, activism and inclusion, and embracing all kinds of minds. Attendees also found plenty of opportunities to learn from and collaborate with each other during 100-plus breakout sessions, eight certificate programs, 12 hands-on clinics, and the dine around mixer event, plus a variety of experiences on the Expo floor. These included: Learning Stage presentations, the Engaging Virtual Production Studio, VR/AR Pantry, Innovations in Training Test Kitchen, conversations with 60-plus exhibitors, and chats at the Winners’ Café. The co-located Learning Leaders Summit (see p. 40) at KPMG’s Lakehouse offered additional face-to-face time and dialogue for L&D leaders in a small group setting.

Standing up for learning!

“Attending the Training 2023 Conference gave me access to a wealth of L&D best practices,” one attendee noted, while another declared, “I can’t wait to start using all the things I learned, not just at work but in life.”

May that Learning Force be with you and your learners—today and every day!


Matthew Luhn

“Story is king. Only 5 percent remember statistics that are shared, but 65 percent remember the stories told. It’s about evoking emotions. If you can inspire people so it moves them, they will remember it. This works for training, too!” Tips include:

  • Create a great hook: Something unusual, unexpected, action- or conflict-oriented.
  • Tell them how it will change them: Great stories are about transformation.
  • Connect: Find the right story for the right audience, and make it relatable.
  • Don’t be obvious: Never state the theme in a story.
  • Structure: There should be a set-up, build-up, and pay-off—problem, solution, success.

— Former Pixar Storyteller and Author Matthew Luhn

Sarah Eagle Heart

“As a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation,we pursue personal development through the Lakota Laws.” These include:

  • Howto Be an Ally
  • Howto Be a Good Relative
  • Howto Reclaim Spirit
  • Howto FollowIntuition
  • Howto Heal from Trauma
  • Howto Identify Your Calling
  • Howto Honor Your Sacredness
  • Howto Face Conflict
  • Howto Return and Reconnect

—Activist,Writer, and Consultant Film Producer Sarah Eagle Heart

Dr.Temple Grandin

“I think in terms of pictures instead of words.When you are training or working with visual thinkers like me, consider the following:

  • Never overload working memory with multi-tasking.
  • Provide a written ‘pilot’s checklist’ for tasks with multiple steps.
  • Stretch learners slightly out of their comfort zones.
  • Limit video games and replace them with mechanics.
  • Provide choices of hands-on activities.”

—Autistic Scientist, Colorado State University Professor, and Author Dr.Temple Grandin

Training magazine presented a donation to Creative Reaction Lab ( at Training 2023. This nonprofit organization’s youthled, community-centered mission combines education and civic engagement for racial justice and healthy living.


Kicking off the conference with an out-of-the-box experience.

Nowthis is what we call a “lunch ’n learn.”

Getting hands-on with the latest training tech.

Learning about the latest training products in the Expo Hall.

Cookin’ up ideas in the Innovations in Training Test Kitchen.

Who says learning can’t be fun?

John Chen is the tech master of the Engaging Virtual Production Studio, sponsored by Adobe Connect.


Seventeen (out of 25) 2022 Emerging Training Leaders attended an awards ceremony held on the Expo Stage. The Emerging Training Leader awards program highlights training professionals who are relatively new to the field (minimum of two years and maximum of 10 years) and who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, business savvy, and training instincts. To read about the winners, visit:


The Haskell Company nails the #1 spot.

Paychex, Inc., earns #5.

State Compensation Insurance Fund secures #4.

Rosendin nets #3, making it eligible for induction into the Training Hall of Fame in 2024.

Transworld Systems Incorporated takes #2.

Heartfelt Recognition

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, 2023 Training APEX Awards winners celebrated their passionate commitment to learning and development, learned their rankings, and received their crystal trophies at the I ♥ Training Gala during the Training 2023 Conference & Expo. Attended by 400-plus Training APEX Awards winners and Training Hall of Famers, the black-tie gala was sponsored by Adobe, Awarding You, Brainier, Brella, Seiko, and Training Orchestra.

The Haskell Company earned the top spot on the list of 105 winning companies. Some 29 new organizations broke into the Training APEX Awards rankings this year. Five winners also were recognized with Training APEX Best Practice Awards, and another five winners received APEX Outstanding Training Initiative Awards (see opposite page).

In addition, Birmingham Water Works Board was inducted into the Training Hall of Fame.


AAA Northeast for the GROW Coaching Program

Edward Jones for JonesSpark

The Haskell Company for Haskell Field Focused Safety-Based Training

HD Supply for GREAT Customer Experience Training

Long & Foster Real Estate for LAUNCH Sales Training

Transworld Systems Incorporated takes #2.

ESL Federal Credit Union for Zelle Overview

Veeam for Product Launch Enablement

WellSpan Health for the Inclusion Champion Program


AAA Northeast

Edward Jones

The Haskell Company

HD Supply

Long & Foster Real Estate


Ascend Federal Credit Union

ESL Federal Credit Union

Transworld Systems Incorporated


WellSpan Health


A love-ly look for the Gala ballroom.

A toast to training!

The glimmer of recognition.

Birmingham Water Works Board is inducted into the Training Hall of Fame.

Raising the roof on the dance floor.

Name that tune: a sing-along of “I Love L&D,” of course!

Band SMB keeps the crowd on their feet all night.

A table full of winning smiles.

Ready in red to strike a pose!

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.