Four Key Takeaways from the ATD National ICE Conference
I was looking forward to attending this year's ATD National Conference, and once again, I was not disappointed. I always leave full of new ideas for how to improve my training skills, ready to implement innovative solutions to our training problems, and excited about great new friendships. One thing I learned from attending previous conferences is to prepare beforehand and arrive with a plan for which sessions to attend. There are so many choices, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you are not focused.
My Main Takeaways from the 2019 Conference
1. Sharing quality time with other Utah Chapter members. Thank you to all event sponsors!
2. Chapter Sessions
My three favorite sessions were…
“Solutions to Help with Member Engagement” (Chapter Leader Day)
This session focused on…
“Time Management” (Becoming Your Best Global Leadership)
This session focused on the following equation: Mindset + Skills = Becoming Your Best
“Good, Better, Best
Never let it rest
'Til the Good is better
and the Better is best."
3. Keynote Speakers
All three keynote speakers were wonderful—especially Oprah. During her talk, she talked about clearing our minds and waiting until we are ready to do what we have to do. In other words: Be patient. Another great insight was when she said, "Live in the moment so that you can make the next right decision." This touched me personally as I am dealing with some challenges of my own.
4. Leadership sessions
During these sessions, I strengthened my knowledge and skills to prepare our future leaders.
Overall, I loved the conference. The speakers were outstanding and the sessions were full of useful information. After attending the conference, I feel equipped to find solutions to our organization's challenges. I encourage anyone to attend this conference in the future (and be sure to wear comfortable shoes).
Utah Chapter President, Elias Adams, shares his strategies for Continuous Growth.
The Importance of Continuous Growth
"Growth is an important part of human development. If we are not growing our knowledge, skills, or abilities, we move backwards. If we find ourselves idle and not investing in growth opportunities, we become stagnant. If our growth is delayed or stunted, then others will pass us up."
Insights and Strategies
"I’ve tried to apply the principle of continuous growth in all aspects of my life. There have been times when I capitalized on growth opportunities, and other times when I haven’t. Often, we have to move outside of our comfort zone to grow. Personally, I find that continuous focus on personal and professional growth can be challenging and demanding. Two strategies that help me to improve are…
My goal is to be a little better today than I was yesterday. I want to be a better learning and development leader, employee, husband, and father. There are certainly days where I do not achieve my goal, but at the end of the day, I have to remind myself that tomorrow is another day, and that’s something I have control over."
What are you doing for your continuous growth?
Who are your mentors?
In what situations and interactions do you feel more confident in your ability to achieve?
Throughout my professional life, a hot topic has been how to get people more interested in training. Even when I did marketing for a software company, customer training was a key aspect of our marketing strategy. The more people know about a product, the more they will use it.
All good marketing starts off with the four basic principles: product, price, place, and promotion. While the number of “basic principles of marketing” is up for debate, these four are very solid. The underlying assumption of the four, is that you are centering it around the people you serve (or want to serve).
So, before you even start developing your training content, you need to think deeply about the people it is for (your target audience). What are their demographics, psychographics, and why should they care about your training?
Your training is your product, whether you charge for it or it is part of an employee development program. Keeping your target audience in mind, you need to consider the name, packaging, and different uses of your training.
Make sure there is a well-defined benefit for the learner whether it is promotion opportunities, saving the company money, safety, etc. This will help keep you on task and give the learners a reason to pay attention.
Is your audience open to humor? If so, make sure you sprinkle it appropriately throughout your training to keep them awake. As an added benefit, according to ATD, “When people smile and laugh at work, it increases employee engagement, retention, and likability.”
The packaging of your training should give the learners confidence in the content. A clean and modern design can give your content laser focus and keep the learners’ interest. Have you come across a website that was designed just five years ago? How quickly did you lose confidence in the company that website was representing?
The price of taking your learning content can be money or time, this commitment needs to correlate with the benefit. Don’t make people sit through a 60-minute web-based training that offers them no perceived benefit. This falls into the “check-the-box” training category, and you don’t want to be that person. Instead, be concise and keep tying the learning opportunity to a real benefit.
The concept of place refers to the distribution channels of your training. Where will people take the training or access the learning content? This is a critical time to consider the learners’ education, skill level, and culture.
Is the classroom, mobile, or desktop the preferred method of consumption? Are they tech-savvy millennials who like using voice, visual, or location to search? Or are they already too tied to their phone and you need them to interact IRL (in real life)? Consider how you can enhance the delivery of training to spark their interest and really make a difference.
Having a really great promotion strategy could make the difference between a sub-par completion rate and an excellent one. Promotional tactics determine how you will tell people about your training. Possible venues are email, social media, website, or word-of-mouth promotion.
According to the LinkedIn Learning report, talent development only spends 15% of their time promoting employee engagement with learning and 65% of talent developers use email marketing to promote learning.
The reason why email marketing to promote learning works, is because email marketers spend a lot of time thinking about the perfect subject line, greeting, opening line, and call to action to get the most opens and clicks. Using email marketing best practices to promote your learning can get more people engaged with your content.
To really make an impact, use emotion in your promotional materials. People are bombarded with emails and advertisements and you need to make sure your message resonates with your users.
According to Adam Morgan, Adobe Creative Director “When locking in a memory, emotions are critical. In neuroscience, there’s another expression, ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together.’ In other words, the more activity you have in a certain pathway, the more it becomes plastic…the best way to earn and hold customer attention is with a unique idea that’s emotional.”
As a marketing professional, I am always thinking about the best way to grab the right people’s attention at the right time. Using these principles in training will help you develop training that makes a real impact with greater completion rates. Which of these tactics do you use or plan to use in the future?
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