In a month (May 16-19), Chicago will host the “ASTD 2010 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE & EXPOSITION,” The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) is the largest training society in the world. Individuals from more than seventy countries will attend.

While the actual conference sessions may be useful to some of you, even better conference choices, for those who want to understand both the current and future trends in learning, are the SALT (Society for Applied Learning Technology) Conferences. Two are held each year — one in Orlando (February) and one in DC (August).

However, my interest in writing about this subject today is specifically because of the EXPO held in conjunction with the ASTD Conference. It is, easily, the largest collection of training vendors and suppliers gathered under one roof — and, it only happens once in 2010.

Those of you contemplating training initiatives have a single chance each year to see (and, kick the tires) of almost all training products and services currently available. Vendors know that this is the one tradeshow they cannot afford to miss — so, almost all of them will be there.

And best of all, if the tradeshow is of prime interest to you, it is not necessary to pay the conference fee. Just request any vendor to supply you with a free tradeshow floor pass and you can wander the large hall all day. In fact, it’s possible to make it a day trip, with your only significant cost involving transportation. Actually, a free tradeshow pass will give you the best value of the year — assuming that you are tasked with either making current training initiatives work or developing new training initiatives.

And, if you do come, please stop by and say “hello.” I’ll be in Booth 211.

More on Tuesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning