Learning Technologies 2018 – videos and more!

Learning Technologies is a huge free exhibition and paid-for conference in London every year. I’ve been going for more years than I care to remember and it gets better every year.

You can see the conference programme here.

You can see all of the tweets on #LT18UK. The back channel is a great way to get involved with an event if you aren’t there in person.

Day one exhibition walkabout

Ar Deputy Editor of TJ, I thought doing a live Periscope video broadcast at the exhibition might be a great way to get the message out from some of the exhibitors, as well as highlight the event to people who aren’t sure about coming, or can’t make it.

This walkabout included:

There was some great feedback on the exhibition walkabout, so we decided to do more on day two!

Quick reflection

Towards the end of day one Jon Kennard, Editor of Training Journal, and I did a quick review video:

Towards Maturity research launch

L&D research company Towards Maturity exclusively launched their latest annual benchmark report at LT18 and I was proud to do the Periscope live video broadcast of it from TJ. This was delivered by Laura Overton and Genny Dixon.

Day one reflection with Mike


  • David Kelly and Steve Wheeler
  • Charles Jennings
  • Sukh Pabial
  • Towards Maturity and Laura Overton
  • And more

Day two walkabout one

Walkabout two

The final walkabout

#LT18UK second day reflection with Mike

Mike and I reflection day two, talking about:

One of Mike’s tweets was included in the DPG Storify round up too!

Ross Garner from GoodPractice did a great “1 second a day” video, which gives a lovely insight to activities:



Learning Exchanges at Learning Technologies Exhibition

Jo and Sunder Ramachandran after the Learning eXchange at the Learning Technologies Conference

Another year, another Learning Technologies conference and exhibition – and more Learning eXchanges!

The Learning eXchanges are an opportunity to have a more intimate and informal conversation with Conference speakers, on the free exhibition floor.

These conversations are always hosted on the Towards Maturity stand and co-facilitated between TM and Training Journal.

Read more about the 2018 eXchange programme here.

And on Twitter you can follow these specifically with #LT18ex this year.

Want a flavour of what to expect or if you should bother to sign up? Read more below from me on previous years 😀

ATD Euopean Summit conference

This is a “storify” type blog post with tweets I’ve curated from the ATD European Conference that took place on December 13th and 14th 2017 in Amsterdam.

I was due to be there, but sadly had to cancel. However I took advantage of the #ATDme hashtag on Twitter and got involved via the back channel.

Rather than adding my comments on this blog, I’ve tweeted them and curated my own tweets (which is a bit weird…). I’ve also updated this a couple of times with tweets from further conversations that have come up!

This looks like a long blog post, but it’s quick to read as it’s lots of tweets and pictures. Perhaps add your thoughts to the individual tweets, the hashtag or in the comments below.


In the beginning


Future of learning and work


Learning Transfer


Neuroscience panel discussion


Employee agility




Workplace learning



Inspiring end of the day!


And some lovely comments, thank you!

Webinar World Conference learning points


ON24 is a webinar based marketing platform. Each year they host a large event celebrating and understanding everything Webinar based. They use the the hashtag #Webinarworld and a world all about webinars was exactly what I got from the day!

The event was held for one day in London on the 12th October 2017 and you can get all the details here.

Speakers and agenda

With a huge array of talent on display it was hard narrowing down my choices for who I wanted to see, as is usually the case at conferences.

The agenda was ram packed with great sounding seminar based events, as you would expect there were lots of sessions for how to market your webinars and others for keeping up a high level of engagement with repeat signups.

Session 1 – Driving Webinar Registration

With Lightbulb Moment running free webinars the title of this event was exactly what I was looking for. The speaker was Mark Bornstein @4markb the Vice President of Content Marketing at ON24.

I chatted with Mark after the session and you can see the periscope recording in this tweet!

The session was full of really useful information for getting people into your webinars in the first place, such as having a longer marketing campaign leading up to your webinar. This is something at we need to do better at Lightbulb Moment, as we’ve only really focused the week leading to the webinar. Learning point one already!

Another great tip to actually get people to finish the process of showing interest and click register is to reduce the form length to sign up. Other ideas included having a video on the sign up page.

Some quick notes on what I got from the session:

  • Title of the webinar should be action oriented
    • e.g. How to / 10 common <topic> mistakes / 5 best practices to xxx / 7 keys to successful xxx
  • Email subject line – should be promotional and not just the name of the webinar
    • Could be disruptive / specific need / promise change / tease or titilate / short and concise / read well and phonetically interesting / feel personal
  • Always a day of webinar promotional email for 25% of your signups (not the same as the link reminder email)

The session was great and I was filled with positive plans to take away. It was a pleasure to speak to Mark after the session. If you did not see the live video interview above I recommend you do, it was a really interesting chat from an expert.


Session 2 – Buying Cycle

Once again with Mark Bornstein. This time he was taking the next step from getting people on your webinars to getting them to buy what you are selling.

He spoke a lot about your funnel of customers. That’s a newer piece of marketing terminology for some people and refers to the people you have from vaguely aware of you through to about to sign on the dotted line. You have different levels of potential customer in that funnel.

There were strategies for where to start when thinking about designing your first webinar campaign. I’ve been running lots of different webinars and speaking at conferences and that gave a starting point, it’s still hard even with that!

I came away with quickfire understanding of not just having a funnel, terminology I’m using much more now, but understanding the different levels people might be at in my funnel plus how to keep current clients engaged.

Session 3 – Webinar Driven Campaign

Lev Cribb was the speaker for this session and was bringing his experience in marketing.

The session was a real mixed bag, the speaker obviously had a lot of experience, knowledge and passion but I found it hard to follow his message.

What was also interesting was the lack of tweets about this session. Is that because there was a lot of interesting information and data that people did not get a chance to tweet or was it that they felt there was not much to tweet?

Closing session – future of webinars

All in all a great day, lots of learning and I look forward to next year!

What is it like to facilitate a live video broadcast?

I’ve worked with the Charity Learning Consortium for a little while and whilst chatting with CEO and Founder Martin Baker, we somehow came up with the mad idea to live broadcast the presentations from a members meeting in London, up to the members in Scotland, so that everyone is included without the time and cost of travel.

You can read here about some plans we had before the day.

Fast forward a lot of work from a lot of people, and we were D-day!

The live streaming broadcast was TV quality and provided by Colin Steed of Learning Now TV.

I flew to Edinburgh to be the local facilitator. This is an important role to make sure that both geographies were connected. In an ideal world, we would get the full experience of the speakers in London. If all failed, it was my job to make sure that the Scottish members still had a great learning day. No pressure!

It’s not just me and the CLC that were excited, the Scottish members were too!


Setting up the technology

It’s a separate blog post to focus on the specifics of the technology we used, how it worked together (or didn’t!) and the various plans we went through before it was working.

Whilst we had planned, discussed, researched and tested, obviously when you are at the venues with all the variables, things are different. There were also bits of technology we weren’t able to test before hand as well as assumptions made that we didn’t realise about – as always!

It took about 90 minutes or more to get both London and Scotland events set up ready for the live stream. This included Colin recording and the live stream, the communication between Scotland and London, and the connection Scotland to London.

In London we had the CLC’s Harri Le Claire on to be our Scotland voice. In Scotland there was me to facilitate with everyone as well as setup all of the technology. Louise Houston was the CLC representative as well as supporting me in the facilitation and communication with Harri. Complicated? A bit. The important part was the right communication all round.

Long story short – whilst the live streaming from London to Edinburgh was working, we couldn’t get decent video and audio the other way round. As I say, that’s another blog post on what we tried, learned and what we could do next time.


The streaming experience for attendees

I think I meant a “quick” brain quiz!


Facilitating the streaming experience

Again it’s the topic of another blog to go into the detailed nuts and bolts of how I facilitated the day. At it’s best, I was there to smooth the ride between the live streamed sessions and make sure that the technology kept working.

However we all know that technology doesn’t necessarily behave!

When there was enough bandwidth at the London venue the streaming worked brilliantly – the LNTV broadcast visual and audio were excellent. The audio we had in the Scotland room was set up really well so it was good quality.

I had local copies of the slides and a second computer/screen setup to display those for the local attendees. When Colin was first filming the speakers he was focusing on their upper body and face, so we got a got quality picture of them, which was great. However as we didn’t have any technology that allowed mirrored slides (so that when the speaker clicked next in London, we saw the same in Scotland) I had to do that locally. And I couldn’t always see when they changed slide!

Once we realised this, we got Colin to zoom out. The attendees in Scotland really appreciated seeing a bit more of the context and I could follow on better too. There are technical options where we could have done this. However what we decided to do, knowing this was a huge first, was to focus on doing a couple of things well and not over-complicating the use of technology.

There were some other challenges with the slides – such as speakers changing them last minute and me not having the right slides. I also had some local problems in showing them, which was entirely due to me trying to do two or three things on one laptop. Eventually I dedicated one to just slides and it worked much better.

When the live stream failed, which it did, it was my job to keep things going in Scotland. As I jumped up I joked the first time, “this is where I earn my money”.

I had the slides locally and had prepared beforehand, so I knew what was being covered. Also we planned ahead on all the activities so not only did we have the right materials in Scotland, but I also knew how to facilitate them and we could feed back to London too.

The local facilitation model we used worked really well. The delegates said that, had they been at home/work and just watching the live stream, after a certain number of problems they would have logged out. By having me and Louise from the CLC all in a room together, not only could I continue delivering the content, but also we could have conversation together.

This was a significant challenge for me as a facilitator. We had speakers covering topics on engagement, internal communications and neuroscience, as well as shorter lightening talks on a variety of subjects, and some CLC member specific updates. I had to be prepared to step in on any or all of these and deliver value. I couldn’t have done that without Louise, as she knew the CLC-specific material, whereas I focused on the L&D elements.

There was only one presentation I felt I didn’t cover well when we had more serious streaming issues in the afternoon. Whilst I had prepared and looked at the slides, I hadn’t done the extra research that meant I was super confidant.

We got through it fine, it certainly wasn’t a failure, but it highlighted how important this role is to be prepared in depth and breadth. Louise and I thought that, next time, the CLC staff member would concentrate more on the shorter presentations and the facilitator on the larger L&D topics, so both played to their strengths.

Several of the delegates said a version of, “we’re all trainers; none of us wanted to be standing where you were!”. That made me feel better.

Whilst the day as a whole was a stressful one and I had to keep many plates spinning, all of which were wobbling, there was only one moment where I truly started to hyperventilate. The live stream of the neuroscience session failed, so I had to start that off. I knew the speaker, Gary Luffman, so I could do him a certain amount of justice as an introduction. Whilst I’m no brain expert, I know enough to facilitate a session.

The hyperventilating started when even my local slides failed on me and I had nothing to refer to and nothing for the delegates to see. Whilst PowerPoint slides aren’t everything, in the moment, it was one fail too many! Luckily breathing kicked in, I made light of it, realised what the technical issue was and got that fixed very quickly, and then the live stream started working again. And I sat down and relaxed!

All my webinar, live event hosting, technical knowledge and facilitation experience was drawn upon that day!

At the end of the day we did a short Periscope live video broadcast with some of the Scottish attendees on what they thought:



Were there technical issues? Yes, of course. The live streaming from the London venue was troublesome due to bandwidth and other technical issues, despite our work with the venues ahead of time.

Were there local technical issues in Scotland? Again, yes of course! You can plan and prep all you like, but then in a different venue and doing it live, it’s always different.

Was it stressful? Hell yes! But, it was also fun and a great learning experience and I enjoyed the challenge of bringing it all together.

Did people learn something and get value from the day? Also yes. There was an acceptance of the experimental nature of the live broadcasting we were doing. People were just happy that they didn’t have to travel from Scotland down to London. Not only did that save people effort and time (I basically had most of the day before getting to Scotland and got home very late the night we delivered), but it saved the cost and time out of work/life too.

Delegate feedback from the Scottish attendees about yours truly:

  • Having Jo and Louise available
  • Having Jo and Louise here to fill in when IT was an issue. Still felt part of London event
  • Jo was great to make the conference more ‘real’ and keep us engaged
  • Jo was fabulous as always – both as a facilitator and managing the tech
  • Jo’s facilitation was fab x2
  • Jo the facilitator was fantastic, kept the event lively + discussion going despite the tech glitches – well done!
  • Good but IT failed 🙁 Jo was great 🙂
  • Jo the facilitator was fantastic, kept the event lively + discussion going despite the tech glitches – well done!

And lastly, Louise Houston and I had an exhausted but happy journey back down south!

Is L&D shellfish with regards the modern learner?

Sorry about the fish joke, though it does make me halibut… But this post is about the “fishbowl” event focusing on discussion of the DNA of the Modern Learner, so there had to be some fishy references… Read an intro about the event here.

Despite a 5.30am alarm I didn’t make it into the London event due to train issues. That was very sad, but nice to know I was missed!

However whilst getting home I followed the back channel (the #PSKevents hashtag on Twitter), here are some highlights and thoughts:

Ger’s tweet with a Periscope video shows the layout of the event:


Some discussion about the event setup:


And pics to get a sense of the room from afar:


Starting off the conversation:

This is key in organisations now, not just for L&D to understand their “learners” but for a business to understand their staff – how they can work more efficiently and just get the job done to everyone’s satisfaction.

Niall, also on the back channel, picks up the language issue:


Thoughtful question from Ger Drisen:

It’s got to be both, with social change, technology, economic climate and much more. It is interesting to think if one led the other at all.


Some L&D improvements needed:

This is such a key, to understanding that people don’t want to wait for a one day course when they want to learn something new. This is something that L&D departments still do a lot, the “menu of training”.

It’s not a blame game, there are many reasons why trainers and departments still do this, especially when something is so big and ingrained in the company understanding and culture. The larger the ship, the bigger the turning circle.


Modern learning is…?

I definitely like the idea of resources not courses and I’m building up Lightbulb Moment this way – to make sure people have access to documents, templates and learning nuggets when they need them, as well as access to their peers to learn from.

Google it and there’s plenty of research about how manager’s have a huge influence over their staff’s performance and therefore their learning. So for embedding learning, or learning transfer, they are essential.

An excellent point from Kim. One of the struggles I often have with trainer’s new to the virtual environment is that they don’t feel that they can ‘control’ the room the same way that they do face to face; they can’t see if people are in their email or away from the screen.

Another element of this with modern learning design is that my experience of people in the organisation that are rolling out learning and performance initiatives is that often they don’t want to relinquish the feeling of ‘control’ of knowing people have attended a class – face to face, e-learning or virtual. There’s a hunger to do learning better so that people can do their jobs better, but the idea of letting go and trusting people to learn in “new” (organisationally-speaking) ways is alien to them.

Trent Rosen shared a link to this article that gathers some research into modern learners, including an infographic.


At the end of the event I asked the back channel:

On a separate note, Niall tweeted this:

So a learning point about a live event which has promoted a back channel is that it’s not just marketing, but people really are engaged and thy need thought and planning too so as not to feel left out.


Hot seat too hot?

They way I understand a fishbowl is that people jump in and out of the conversation.

Maybe no one got into the hot seat as planned, but at least people in the audience joined in.