May 5, 2014

This is the week (May 4-7) of the ASTD International Conference and Exposition. ASTD is expecting nearly 10,000 attendees to gather at the Washington Convention Center. 25% of that number will be international visitors (a remarkable percentage that indicates how global the appeal of training has become).

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) is the largest training society in the world and hosts the largest collection of training vendors and suppliers gathered under one roof.

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. It is a unique opportunity.

Best of all, if the Expo is of primary interest to you, it is not necessary to pay the conference fee. Just request any vendor to supply you with a free Expo 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.

The actual conference sessions have lost some of the broad appeal they once had as they are now dominated by the white collar trainers and HR influence. A better choice for those who want to more fully understand both the current and future trends in all aspects of learning, the SALT (Society for Applied Learning Technology) conferences are a better choice. Two are held each year — one in Orlando (February) and one in the DC area (August).

But, for now, let’s focus on ASTD and its glorious Expo. If you are one of the fortunate trainers coming to DC this week, please stop by and say “hello.” I’ll be in Booth 110.

More next Monday after the Conference – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning