CIPD L&D Show 2016 – Reflection Blog

The CIPD’s Learning and Development Show is an annual event. It is the place to hear from inspiring speakers, suppliers in the world of learning solutions / technology and the opportunity to network with fellow practitioners.

I have been attending the L&D Show for a number of years now, sometimes attending the conference & exhibition and other times just the exhibition. I think it is important as Learning Professionals that we attend such events, to take time to step away from the busy worlds we are in and to grow our knowledge and understanding of the industry.

This blog is a reflection piece from me, my reflections from the two days.

What a great two days! I knew it was going to be good but it was actually even better. I tweeted my way through numerous engaging sessions, Periscoped around the exhibition hall and networked through the LnDConnect Tweet Up.

After a successful day two I joined the lovely Julie Drybrough (aka @fuchsia_blue) in the Hand & Flowers opposite Olympia for a glass of wine. We got to reflecting on what we’d heard and seen over the past two days. Julie happened to show me a pack of cards she had been given by an exhibitor. The cards are called Strengths Cards and are designed to help individuals articulate what strengths they value in themselves and others. Coaches can use the cards to help others to reflect on what is good in the people around them, using single words and images.

This got me thinking… what strengths would I use to describe the L&D Show this year? I decided on these:


Here are my thoughts on some of these in a bit more detail…

Engaging: The Show for me this year was engaging. In the run up to it we ultilised social media to start thinking about the show and what sessions were going to be taking place. Also with a number of the Blog Squad prompting us to think how we were going to get the most out of it.

During the conference I liked how various sessions used voting software to engage with their audience members straight away. The Exhibition Hall is a space which has really changed over the years and just gets better and more engaging. There were a number of excellent sessions you could attend for free; I particularly enjoyed the Street Wisdom session by David Pearl, and also Mike Collins session where he talked about Social & Collaborative Learning To Drive Innovation & Organisational Performance.

Challenging: There is a lot still to be done in learning and development. For most of us within our organisations, we are not there yet! We heard from amazing speakers like Nick Shackleton-Jones and Dr Itiel Dror. Whilst they are proving that learning can be better and more effective, this isn’t easily done for some of us. For me, being a freelance consultant, I am lucky that I have a choice and if I want to start implementing new ideas and approaches I can – it’s the joy of having your own company.

However, some L&D practitioners will need to go back to the office, to a manager, a team, a director needing to have a conversation, influence and get buy-in. That is hard and challenging – I’ve been there!

Proud: This is because over the two days as I listened, chatted, debated (and drank wine!) with peers in my industry. I realised we all had something in common. Everyone I spoke with or listened to was talking passionately about making learning effective, doing it right, challenging the norm and learning new things. That made me really proud.

Proud to be able to spend time with you all in the same space, proud of the commitment we are all giving and proud I can say I’m part of that.


Final thoughts

CIPD Press Badge

CIPD Press Badge

I have so enjoyed being part of the CIPD Blog Squad for 2016. It was such good fun and a learning experience all of its own for me. I want to thank Johanna Ratcliffe for asking me to join in, and my fellow Blog Squadders for being supportive and fun!

The show provoked a huge amount of discussion and content. Here are links to the stuff I think you can’t afford to miss:

A2 Developing the Right Leaders for Your Business and People by Jo Stephenson (@Jo_Coaches)

E1 Using Cognitive Neuroscience to Maximise Learning by Jo Stephenson

The secret to learning design by Ian Pettigrew (@KingfisherCoach)

All of the Blog Squad are on Twitter and for L&D Show tweets go to their Twitter pages: Julie Drybrough, Jo Stephenson, Ian Pettigrew, Jonathan Marshall, Rachel Burnham, Helen Amery and Giles O’Halloran.

Finally, Ian has curated a wonderful Storify of a variety of Blogs and Tweets from the two days, you can find that here.

Plus Jonathan Marshall has created ‘The Rough Guide to the CIPD L&D Show 2016′

I hope to be at CIPD Learning & Development Show 2017.

The dates (10 & 11 May 2017) are already pencilled in my diary!

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