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L&D agility and impact, Virtual Reality and apprenticeships among key themes at World of Learning

Tracy Shah

Inspiration, advice and the latest technology are in abundance at the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition taking place on 17 & 18 October at Birmingham’s NEC.

A highlight in the L&D calendar every year, World of Learning combines a world-class conference with an extensive exhibition of providers, the Technology Test Drive, Apprenticeship Zone, Learning Design Live, Virtual Reality Suite, live workshops, one-to-one consultations and free seminars.

As well as showcasing 100 L&D providers, the World of Learning Exhibition offers a comprehensive programme of free seminars.

A range of speakers will cover topics from the application of Virtual Reality within a learning environment to how digital technologies can support apprenticeship programmes.

Tracy Shah, Director at Venture Marketing Group, who organises the show, comments: “The exhibition seminars promise to showcase some excellent examples of L&D innovation and practice delivering business value.

“One thing that’s been interesting to see is the headway that Virtual Reality has made into the L&D environment. We’re no longer just talking about theoretical applications.

“Interest in the potential offered to L&D from increasingly sophisticated immersive learning experiences is high, and at the show we’ll have excellent examples of VR delivering demonstrable results.”

The main programme of free exhibition seminars will see Chris Andrews, Director of Learning Solutions at Babcock Learning Solutions, sharing insights from his work with Siemens as it deployed virtual reality hand terminals to train some of its engineers.

Chris Scott, Director at Acceler8 Training, will examine the pitfalls of traditional induction approaches. He comments: “I don’t believe anyone has ever created an induction programme to deliberately disengage a new colleague but often this is an indirect result when tradition gets in the way.

“We need to move away from boring organisation-led inductions to more engaging, emotions-led experiences.” In his presentation, Chris will share alternative ways of engaging new starters as part of their on-boarding experience.

‘Learning transfer from classroom to workplace’ is the subject under scrutiny by Paul Matthews, Managing Director at People Alchemy.

Paul comments: “We still don’t realise how much people already learn in the workflow. If informal learning stopped in your organisation today, your organisation would probably be on its knees within a month, unable to operate effectively. Thankfully, you can’t stop people from learning informally.”

The popular programme of fringe seminars this year includes motivational speaker Richard McCann, who will share key tips with visitors on how to communicate with impact, while author Liggy Webb will explore mental health at work.

Also on the fringe programme, Vanessa Short, ex Global Leadership & Cultural Change, HSBC, will challenge audiences to give the culture of their organisations a health check so they can prevent or respond to organisational crises using ethics.

A ‘must-attend’ for anyone involved in learning technology design, the popular Learning Design Live conference returns to offer a programme of seven seminars and the chance to network with learning technology experts.

Presentations will cover subjects such as ‘Designing digital learning for the post-SCORM world,’ ‘Designing an effective VR learning programme,’ and Toby Harris, Solution Architect at Filtered Design, will present ‘Hacks to drive a learning culture.’

Julian Stodd of Sea Salt Learning will share insights and tips on how to build an engaged learning community, and John Curran, Director, Designed for Learning & eLearning Network, will present on delivering learning at the point of need.

The Apprenticeship Zone returns to the exhibition for its second year as an important feature for anyone concerned with how best to deliver apprenticeships within their business. Experts will help visitors fully understand the recently launched Apprenticeship Levy and advise on how to run a successful apprenticeship programme to support business goals.

New to the show this year is the Virtual Reality Suite, a designated area for those keen to witness immersive learning experiences first-hand. Brought to the event by eLearning Studios, this will give visitors a chance to get hands on with VR technology and to experience some virtual learning scenarios for themselves.

Within the exhibition, visitors will also find several Inspiration Zones where they can explore mindfulness, team-building and resilience, while interactive bite-sized skill sessions on key areas including 70:20:10 learning can be found in the Experiential Learning Zone.

The renowned World of Learning Conference runs alongside the exhibition. It boasts an exemplary line-up of speakers, described by Robin Hoyle, conference Chair, as “a great mix of futurologists and ‘doers’ who have gone beyond theory into using innovative approaches to deliver results for their organisations.”

Connecting those at the forefront of L&D innovation with an audience of senior-level L&D stakeholders, the conference programme covers key areas impacting the L&D industry today, from organisational agility to embedding learning within the culture of employers.

Tracy Shah summarises: “L&D is at an interesting juncture – agility and impact are demanded more than ever – but this comes at a time when the potential of learning technology to support these demands is increasing rapidly.

“This year’s World of Learning will enable visitors to explore, understand and act upon the latest developments in the sphere of L&D in order to support their organisations more effectively and visibly than ever.”

For more details and to book the World of Learning Exhibition 2017 visit learnevents.com or call 020 8394 5171.

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