The Top eLearning Conferences of 2018

eLearning is always evolving and growing in new directions. You want your company to be at the forefront of your industry and a strong learning and development program is key to making this happen. So familiarizing yourself with the new eLearning trends for this year, will help you adapt and tweak your program as necessary. Once you know these trends, it’s important to attend some of the top eLearning conferences for 2018. You’ll learn more about these trends and then how to apply them to your program. So what are some of the trends for 2018?

Trends in eLearning for 2018

The eLearning Industry recently outlined nine trends to keep an eye on for 2018.

1. VR and AR:

Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality are new ways companies are implementing training. Virtual reality is great for teaching high-risk tasks while augmented reality can be used for just-in-time learning. And with the pricing of glasses and headsets decreasing, it will become more affordable for all-sized companies to invest in.

2. Intelligent assistants:

With the rise of iPhone’s SIRI and Amazon’s Alexa and Echo, intelligent assistants are making their way into our everyday lives. It’s only a matter of time before businesses begin utilizing this same technology on a regular basis. With company training programs, intelligent assistants may lend a hand with training areas like compliance or data protection even more than they did in past years.

3.  Gamification

Although gamification is not new in training and development, it’s expected to increase this year. Companies are always looking for way to keep employees engaged and motivated in training and gamification accomplishes this in a fun way.

4. Personalized learning

Since all individuals learn at different rates, learning should be customized per employee. This year there will be an increased trend in personalized learning. Employees can be pre-tested, judged on where they score, and then given just the training materials they need to improve in certain areas. This more targeted approach saves time and is a more effective way to learn. Plus, employees have been proven to retain more.

5. Microlearning

Microlearning is taking a subject and breaking it into small learning sessions. Vehicles to deliver microlearning may be infographics, videos or short games. This process is easy to implement, allows for fast learning, and is trackable to judge success rates.

6. Content curation

Companies are expected to look at how they store training materials for their employees in 2018. This trend involves looking at a company’s learning library and how to best organize it in order to meet the needs of all users.

7. Video

Just like video is increasing in areas like marketing, it’s expected to increase in eLearning. Video makes learning fun and also more interactive for all employees involved.

8. Getting social

eLearning is expected to become more dynamic in 2018. Just like employees engage in social networking sites outside the office like LinkedIn or Facebook, they are expected to communicate in a similar fashion when learning at the office. Training will have more forums, chat boxes and note sharing so employees can learn from each other in real-time.

9. Workforce enablement

The goal of learning and development is for employees to retain the information they learn. But the reality is employees quickly forget what was taught. Workforce enablement looks to increase consistent learning sessions so more information is retained post training and can then be applied to the job more effectively.

eLearning conferences to attend

Now that you know some of the eLearning trends for 2018, it’s time to talk conferences. These events will give you the tools and ideas to improve your training and development program this year. Here are our picks for the best conferences for this year.

CLO Symposium 2018

Dates: March 26 – 28, 2018 Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL Cost: $2,195

Conference highlights

The CLO (Chief Learning Officer) Symposium for this year will teach you new strategies you can implement when you return home. There will be plenty of networking time built in to bounce ideas off of peers and industry professionals from all over the country and beyond. If you are looking for more education, CLO is hosting a pre-conference workshop called the CLO Accelerator where you’ll get an interactive learning experience with key industry leaders.

There are also two opportunities to earn recertification. Earn up to 10 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. Or if you need professional development credits (PDC), this conference counts for 10 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information on these credits, visit the Society for Human Resource Management.

Notable conference speakers

Some of the speakers include Yale professor Zoe Chance, author Dan Heath, and Mike Prokopeak, editor in chief from Human Capital Media.

Learning Solutions Conference & Expo

Dates: March 27 – 29, 2018 Location: Orlando, FL  Cost: $1,695

Conference highlights

The Learning Solutions Conference & Expo will look at learning and development challenges and give the solutions for dealing with them. Another highlight will be on instructional design with over 100 sessions on this subject matter. And if you are one that learns better by doing than listening, this conference is for you. This year they will offer several expert-led hands-on activities to increase the skills you learn.

Another area of The Learning Solutions Conference & Expo is two trade show type components. The first is called DemoFest. In this area, you’ll see conference participants showcasing their eLearning examples. The second one is called Expo. This trade show experience will showcase the latest tools and services for the eLearning industry.

Notable conference speakers

The keynote speakers for this year’s conference include Kai Kight a classical violinist turned innovator, composer, and entrepreneur, Platon, an award-winning photographer for The New Yorker and a master storyteller and Nancy Giordano who is a strategic futurist and strategist.

ATD International Conference and Expo 2018

Dates: May 6 – May 9, 2018 Location: San Diego, CA  Cost: $500 – $2,500

Conference highlights

This international conference is the largest for talent and development professionals worldwide. It’s sponsored by the Association for Talent and Development (ATD) which is a member-based organization for those tasked to train and develop employees. Attend this conference and you’ll learn how to apply the latest trends, best practices, and new solutions to your business. Plus, the speakers will discuss industry challenges and how to effectively meet and overcome these.

Other reasons to attend this conference include over 300 educational sessions covering all aspects of the learning industry. Plus, it’s a chance to network with peers and industry leaders from companies like LEGO, Amazon, and Apple. There will also be an EXPO showcasing over 400 exhibitors with new industry products and services. And if you want to expand your learning library, attend the ATD 2018 Bookstore, This event features the latest learning and development books and their respected authors.

Notable conference speakers

A lot of conferences claim well-known keynote speakers, but ATD International Conference and Expo delivers on this promise. One of the most notable speakers at this year’s event is former President Barack Obama. Other keynote speakers include Marcus Buckingham, British author, motivational speakers, and business consultant and author Connie Podesta.

Realities360

Dates: June 26 – June 28, 2018 Location: San Jose, CA  Cost: $1,795

Conference highlights

New trends and technology are always evolving within the eLearning industry. This conference put on by The eLearning Guild, focuses on the latest industry advancements like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and simulations. There will be over 70 sessions covering this trio of learning technology. Some of these session topics include “Beginner’s Guide to Low-Cost, High-Impact Immersive Learning Strategies in Higher Ed” and “BYOD: Creating an Augmented Reality iOS App Using Apple’s ARKit.” If you come a day early, there will also be four pre-conference workshops run by industry experts on AR, VR, and simulations.

Besides the conference, make sure you check out The Technology Showcase. It will feature hands-on opportunities to test the latest AR, VR, and simulation products. If you want time to network, each day features several breaks and lunches to discuss successes and challenges with peers.

Notable conference speakers

This year’s main keynote speaker is Jaron Lanier, VR Pioneer, Scientist, Musician, Visual Artist, and Author. Mark Lassoff, Founder and President of Punk Learning, and Destery Hildenbrand, Learning Specialist of Rockwell Collins are two of the pre-conference workshop facilitators.

Connected Learning Summit

Dates: August 1 – August 3, 2018  Location: Cambridge, MA Price: $370 – $410

Conference highlights

This conference brings together three events: the Digital Media and Learning Conference, the Games + Learning + Society Conference and Sandbox Summit. Conference attendees will range from researchers to developers to educators. With that said, this conference does have a higher educational focus, but those who are looking to inject creativity and innovation into their learning and development programs will benefit greatly by attending. Plus, for a registration fee of more than half of other eLearning conferences, it’s easier to budget for.

HR Technology Conference 2018

Dates: September 11 – September 14, 2018  Location: Las Vegas, NV  Cost: $395 – $2,145

Conference highlights

If you’re in HR and you want to learn more about the technology market than this is the conference to attend. They have been the industry’s leading event for more than 20 years. Come to the event and learn about new HR systems and the latest technology for 2018. Besides speakers, there will be a large networking component to discuss what was learned and bounce ideas off of peers.

Another notable event for the HR Technology Conference is the HR Technology Expo which is the largest of its kind. Walk through this seven football fields sized event and visit vendors selling the latest HR technology products and services. This year there will also be an event called Women in HR Technology which will discuss gender parity in the workplace. Also new for 2018 will be High Tech Pitch Fest. This is an opportunity for start-ups to pitch their best HR technology solutions in just five-minute time slots!

Notable conference speakers

Some of the keynote speakers for this year’s HR Technology Conference include Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs and Randi Zuckerberg, entrepreneur, investor, author, and media personality.

DevLearn 2018

Dates: October 24 – October 26, 2018  Location: Las Vegas, NV Cost: $1,695

Conference highlights

DevLearn caters to the North American learning technology industry. Their aim is to bring innovative thinking and share the latest technology advancements with conference attendees. Since this conference covers a wide range of topics, no matter what your eLearning role is within your organization, you’ll find workshops and sessions personalized to fit your niche.

Other unique aspects of this conference are the Morning Buzz, BYOL, and pre-conference workshops. The Morning Buzz is for you early risers who want to attend eLearning sessions first thing in the morning. BYOL stands for Bring Your Own Laptop. These sessions feature a speaker format, but the ability to follow along on your laptop as their presentations on fold. Finally, there will be pre-conference workshops for those who are getting in before the conference officially kicks off. If you are looking for the latest and greatest eLearning products or services, DevLearn has an EXPO component too.

Expand your eLearning skills in 2018

Now that you know some of the top eLearning conferences of 2018, it’s time to sign up. You’re guaranteed to make new connections, learn from peers, and increase your knowledge. Plus the time out of the office will give you time to reflect on what improvements can be made to your eLearning program.

If you know of a great eLearning conference for this year not on our list, let us know. We’d love to hear what conferences you are attending in 2018.

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Kristy is a content writer for Continu and marketing freelancer. When she’s not working on her latest blog post, she enjoys tackling new recipes and destressing during yoga sculpt.