The Show Must Go On!

The sickening crunch of my ankle hitting what I thought was pavement but turned out to be black ice was the first indication of bad news.

The sickening crunch of my ankle hitting what I thought was pavement but turned out to be black ice was the first indication of bad news. Searing pain up my leg when I tried to put weight on it meant it probably wasn’t the mild sprain I was so desperately hoping for. The X-rays confirmed my worst fears: a fractured fibula in my left ankle one week before our Training 2016 Conference & Expo in Orlando.

“No weight on the ankle at all,” the orthopedist said, watching me struggle to balance on crutches wearing a hard cast that felt like it weighed more than me. “And I don’t recommend flying anywhere because of the potential for blood clots.”

Poof! There went my dreams of a Willis Reed impersonation on the Training Top 125 Gala stage.

But then I called my amazing Training team members, and they quickly rallied with innovative solutions and unfazed, “don’t worry, we’ll make it work” reassurance. Among many other things, Conference Director Julie Groshens spent hours with the AV team in Orlando and on the phone with me in New York to ensure I could be beamed into the Top 125 Gala via Skype to do the introduction, toast, and announcement of No. 1 while all dolled up in my new red gown. Conference Manager Leah Nelson hooked up the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame white paper meeting with a conference phone line so I was able to dial in and moderate the whole four-hour discussion. Publisher Mike Murrell ably took over some of my Gala duties and a keynote introduction. Our 12 Training Top 10 Hall of Famers—with some help from wrangler Marla Lepore—did a stellar job of emceeing the Top 125 Gala, running their Town Hall sessions, and handing out awards at two different ceremonies. My heartfelt thanks and utmost admiration go out to them and the many others who seamlessly—and graciously—took over my responsibilities and made sure Training 2016 was one of our best events ever (see “Orlando Magic” for the full Training 2016 Show Wrap-Up).

Speaking of events, we are in the throes of the next presidential election and inundated by coverage of the numerous competing candidates. But amid all the banter and backstabbing, there may be some lessons Learning and Development leaders can take from the presidential campaign, particularly as they, like the candidates, struggle to remain relevant and advance their agendas in a crowded environment. See “What Can L&D Learn from the Presidential Race?” for some political tips that also pertain to both the L&D and business world.

As we head into spring, I am excited to tell you about two upcoming awards programs. The submission form for our third annual Top Training Video (Ttv) awards is now available online and due June 20. We’re also launching the Learning Design Challenge in which participants—including learning technology vendors, learning design service providers, and individuals—will create and showcase their approach to a contextual scenario throughout the summer of 2016. Both awards programs will culminate with a grand event at the 2016 Online Learning Conference, September 20-22 in Chicago. Visit to learn more.

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.