eLearning Conferences - Which to choose?!?

Jul 02, 2012

Hello all -

There are so many eLearning conferences out there lately!  If you had the opportunity to go to only one eLearning conference anywhere in the world, which one would you attend and why?

7 Replies
Jenny  Thompson

Hi Chris,

DevLearn is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a comprehensive educational program, a highly focused expo, and a knowledgeable community of professionals sharing their ideas, experience, knowledge, and expertise. If one registers as an eLearning Guild member before July 27 they can register for as low as $996.

Visit: http://www.elearningguild.com/DevLearn for more information about the event. 

Guy Greenbaum

Related to Tom's response, I think the key to finding the best conference is focusing on what you want to learn and thinking creatively.  This is particularly true when it comes to emerging trends and technologies.  For example, this year's mLearnCon was amazing - "historic", according to Learning Solutions magazine:


You might also evaluate conferences by researching the sponsors and presenters.  Think up some juicy questions and conversations you'd like to have.  If you are excited about it, chances are it will be a fun and valuable experience.

Hope this helps.


Todd Thornton


My suggestion would be to try them out online before deciding which to attend. (Unless you have an unlimited budget) It's always seemed a little disingenuous for people in e-learning to focus too much attention to "physically attending" conferences. There's no doubt there's benefits to attending, but when you factor in travel, I tend to attend fewer conferences in person now unless I also want to vacation in that location. I do however keep track of what's going on. Here's my procedure.

1) Identify conferences with information that might be relevant and place on the calendar

There are various lists online, but here's one resource. I'd recommend keeping an open mind. I've even thought about attending one of the writers retreats although most would not consider that e-learning.

2) One month before conference, visit their online exhibitors list. Devlearn 2012 Example

You'll want to look for companies that are new and find those that might introduce new software/programs. If there's a beta going on, you can potentially get involved before they make an announcement at the conference. For instance, with this last mobile conference it was clear Tin Can was going to get a lot of play.

3) The Day Before the Conference Contact Anyone You Know Attending

I typically do this the night before after most people have arrived. Connect via Twitter/Facebook (you'll know if anyone is attending via their own messages) and just ask them to send me a heads up of anything really cool. This can also be helpful if you need a discount code for a particular conference attendee offer.

4) During the Conference, Monitor Facebook/Twitter/Back Channel/

Of course a lot of conferences even have an "official" back channel" now so you can follow what's going on pretty easy. Whether it's downloading handouts or watching posted videos, etc.

5) Week After the Conference, Look for Follow Ups from Presenters/Vendors/Attendees, etc.

I tend to really try to catch the "lessons learned" blogging from people who attended the conference just to verify I haven't missed something I need to investigate further.

Those are 5 steps which have worked pretty well for me. Granted you don't get to meet face to face with attendees, but at least you get the gist of what's going on. I enjoy traveling for fun, but for me a conference has to almost have "historic" potential before I'll consider attending in person. (Or at least in a really cool place that I've never been before so the trip is tax deductible. I'm sure Bolivia has some type of e-learning conference)


Kevin Dowd

Great suggestion Tom!  Does anyone know of any short (compressed 2-3 day -  like a conference) certificate programs?  The ones mentioned here: http://community.articulate.com/forums/p/821/161221.aspx#161221 seem to be closer to the length of masters degree programs. 

I know the eLearning Guild does certificate programs before DevLearn, and Cathy Moore's blog mentions “Designing Powerful Elearning” in Atlanta.  Does anyone know of any others?


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