My thoughts on getting the most from #CIPDLDShow 2016

I’m currently away.. on holiday.. in St Ives.
It is a beautiful part of the UK, very peaceful and calm.
I have lots of time this week to relax and reflect.
I’m here for eight whole days… Bliss!

Whilst reflecting, my mind wandered to thinking about the busy week I have on my return to London next week.
You see I am part of the Blog Squad for the CIPD L&D Show this year. It is my first time being part of this group of passionate individuals, who work super hard to share in real-time the messages and discussions coming from the conference and exhibition.

As I think about the L&D Show I get excited, it is an event I’ve attended as a learning and development professional many times in my career. I always get so much out of the two days.

I recall how I enjoy my time there with the opportunity to learn, grow my knowledge in new areas, to hear thoughts from voices which are new to me, to meet new people and of course to spend time with those lovely people I know so well already.Collage of beach and sea photos from St Ives
I also start to think about how it will be very different to my week so far here in St Ives, almost the opposite in fact!  It will be super busy, there is a timetable of sessions, scheduled workshops and a packed out exhibition hall.

It is an interesting and often eye opening experience to hear from experts, other professionals in our industry and those people we randomly get chatting to at these events, over the two days. But we must remember the importance of taking time to reflect on what we’re hearing, ask questions as often as possible and ensure we make sense of what is being shared with us.
Now I’m obviously not saying everyone should plan a week away in St Ives to do this (though I definitely recommend it as a UK holiday destination!).

What I would recommend is that you consider in advance of next week how you plan to reflect and make sense of what you are hearing. Working out the importance of taking time to come away and think about what is being discussed, what it means for you and how you are going to apply it into your practice.

Some ways I do this, which might not be for you, but might spark an idea to two:

  • Find a quiet space to think
    Granted, this is often hard to do at a busy conference and exhibition! But there will be pockets where you can stop and reflect. A very short 3 minute walk from Olympia is Marcus Garvey Park, take an opportunity to have a change of scenery, reflect and think in a different space.
  • Walking
    Go outside, walk around the local area. Through the park (as I mentioned above) or a slightly longer 10 minute walk will get you to Brook Green.
  • Writing
    Reflection by writing. We will often write lots of notes when sat in a session or workshop but then not take time, immediately or soon afterwards, to make sense of them. So find somewhere to sit and do that, summarise your notes or highlight the key parts that were interesting to you or that you want to do something with.
  • Talking about it
    Find someone to share your thoughts with to help you reflect and summarise your learning. They could be someone who was also present in the session you attended or not. Sometimes it can be useful to have someone to talk to who wasn’t there, they might ask you questions that can help shape your thinking.
  • Finally, give yourself permission to take the time
    Time is precious, any time given to learning is great. But remember it can be a lot to take in and sometimes overwhelming. Remember it isn’t solely the ‘attendance’ in the sessions or time walking around the exhibition. It is the time in between and afterwards that are important too for learning.

I hope my thoughts above have been useful. I’m attending the L&D Show on both days, so far I am planning to attend the follow sessions:

Day 1
A3: Align L&D to your business strategy
B1: The secret to learning design
C1: Supporting social and collaborative learning in the workplace

Day 2
E1: Using cognitive neuroscience to maximise learning
G3: Learning by doing: motivating your learners through gamification

If you are planning on attending these sessions then please do say Hello if you see me. I’ll be the one tweeting away at the back of the room!
Alternatively *wave* to me on Twitter over the two days, and let me know what your thoughts are from what you’re hearing. Follow me or the hashtag #cipdldshow on the day! 

Wherever you are I hope you enjoy #cipdldshow 2016!

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  1. Tracey Rotsey-Reply
    May 10, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Great article Fi! I’m hoping to be there if not I’ll be tweeting! Thanks for this.

    • May 10, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Thank you Tracey. Thank you for your comment. I hope to see you (obviously!) but wave to me online of you don’t manage to attend. Fi

  2. Ursula Day-Reply
    May 10, 2016 at 9:57 am

    My first time attending the conference since moving into L&D and very much looking forward it. Thanks for the great hints and tips for making the most of the day.

    • May 10, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Ursula, thank you for your comment. I’m pleased you liked my blog and suggestions. I really hope you enjoy your 1st CIPD L&D Show. Maybe we’ll bump into each other at some point! 🙂 It would be great to hear how you found it afterwards.

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