Oh, What a Night—And Event!

Training's 2016 Online Learning Conference boasted a surprise appearance by blues great Buddy Guy at the Ttv awards ceremony, a Technology Test Kitchen staffed by All-Star tech chefs, and winners of the first Learning Design Challenge.

The stars were aligned for Training’s 2016 Online Learning Conference (OLC) and the 2016 Top Training Videos (Ttv) Awards Ceremony held in September in Chicago. And I mean that literally! Sporting a smooth fedora, blues great Buddy Guy made a surprise appearance and gave an impromptu performance with his daughter, Carlisle Guy, and her band during the Ttvs. The training stars of the night were the winning 2016 Ttv clips, which OLC participants viewed and voted on during an evening of good food, good music, and good company at Buddy Guy’s Legends club. Click HERE to see the article, photos, and a link to the winning videos.

At an Awards Luncheon the next day, Training announced the winners of our first Learning Design Challenge (LDC), which dared Learning and Development professionals to showcase their best practices in e-learning. Visit ldcgallery.com to see the winners and view videos from the competition.

The Technology Test Kitchen certainly played a starring role at OLC as it gave attendees an up-close look at the latest training tools, applications, and gadgets. Keynoter and “app-ologist” Robbie Melton owned the stage as she showcased a host of technological gadgets, including a Smart Pacifier, Smart Diaper, and Smart Suitcase (which, unfortunately, does not pack itself—at least not yet!). Other stars offering best practices and case studies included keynoters Google Ventures’ Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, OLC Chief Technology Officer Bryan Chapman, and Game Changer Chicago Design Lab’s Patrick Jagoda.

“You can’t say, ‘No,’ to technology anymore,” pointed out Melton, who travels all over the world to look at how people are using technology. With Millennials now surpassing Baby Boomers as the largest living generation, companies today need to find ways to engage and train these “digital natives” who don’t remember a world without smartphones and the Internet. Our cover story, “Future Focus,” on p. 22 delves further into this topic. I also urge you to check out our newest event, Innovations in Training 2016, to be held November 30-December 2 at the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation & Training in Orlando. Visit www.trainingmag.com/innovations to register.

For insight into the current state of the training industry, see our 2016 Industry Report, where you’ll find that overall U.S. training expenditures have remained flat at $70.6 billion. Check out our Annual Salary Survey, “Dip in Dollars,” to see how your salary stacks up to that of your peers.

As the cold days of winter approach, sometimes it may seem as if inspiration is in short supply. So I urge you to consider attending our Training 2017 Conference & Expo January 30-February 1 in San Diego, CA. In addition to 13 certificate programs, 100-plus breakout sessions, 15 hands-on clinics, Learning Leader Town Halls, a Future Forum, and five special keynoters who will provide a fresh perspective on learning, Training 2017 will offer a relaxing yacht cruise around San Diego Bay aboard the “Inspiration” (how appropriate!) as the event celebrates its 40th Anniversary. Visit www.trainingconference.com to register.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season! I look forward to seeing you in sunny San Diego, where we’ll dare to make a difference—together!

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.