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A world of learning opportunities


As we gear up for this year's World of Learning event, we take a look at what's in store for delegates.

As the economic downturn continues to shine the spotlight on the importance and contribution of the learning and development (L&D) function within organisations, the main concern for many L&D professionals now is looking at how far L&D is delivering against business objectives and playing a key role in ensuring that the organisation is able to flourish when economic conditions improve.

With changing priorities and often reduced budgets, L&D professionals are facing unprecedented issues and challenges  “In order to succeed, L&D must address the real challenges of business and deliver practical learning outcomes that are relevant for today’s busy professionals. The critical skills needed for the future will be the ability to understand strategic business drivers, develop innovative learning solutions to meet those needs, be able to build commitment from all stakeholders and demonstrate value back to the business," explains Laura Overton, managing director of Towards Maturity.

Overton is one of the high-profile speakers at the World of Learning Conference, which takes place on 30 September and 1 October 2009 at the NEC, Birmingham. Chaired by BBC news broadcaster and presenter Bill Turnbull, the conference programme features speakers from a number of high-profile organisations including Rolls-Royce, BBC, NHS Coventry, Keele University, British Red Cross, Marks & Spencer, Lloyds TSB, BT Group and Sony Electronics Europe.  

Dominating the agenda are the most pressing issues facing L&D professionals, including ROI, change management and driving performance improvements through learning. It also considers how L&D professionals can help their organisations continue to invest in the skills of the people they will need to take them forward out of the recession and provides a forum for them to learn the necessary skills to face the challenges of today’s pressures and demands.

Running alongside the conference, this year’s World of Learning Exhibition hosts an extensive range of companies to assist L&D professionals in finding out about the latest trends, products and services, as well as feature areas to aid further their skills development. These include:

A wide range of experts and providers

With such a wide range of L&D solutions available, from management development, coaching, instructor-led training and training venues to blended solutions, elearning, HR/learning management systems and social media, selecting the most appropriate method of delivering training can seem extremely daunting. At World of Learning, more than 110 major industry organisations will be offering the latest ideas and solutions, giving L&D professionals an opportunity to discuss their needs at length.

Free Seminars

The role of L&D in delivering real results in organisations and the skills L&D professionals need in order to be effective will be covered at the event in a series of free educational seminars. Presentations will include essential ‘nuts and bolts’ sessions and best practice guidance, as well as the latest learning solutions in action.

British Institute for Learning & Development (BILD) Advice Clinic

This free area is facilitated by experts from the BILD, who will be available to offer guidance to visitors on learning issues or questions through one-to-one appointments. The Advice Clinic is open to all visitors on a first-come, first-served basis – simply sign up on the day.

The Clinic also features small group skills workshops focusing on some of the key aspects of running an L&D function. Places are limited and must be pre-booked by calling the hotline +44 (0)20 8394 5171.

The Trainer Base

New for 2009 is The Trainer Base, a dedicated area that will offer advice on criteria to select a trainer, as well as providing the opportunity to meet trainers across a wide variety of disciplines.

Experiential Learning Zone

The Zone is a highly popular feature at the World of Learning, with short interactive sessions giving visitors the opportunity to learn about creativity, communication and leadership by participating in unusual and revealing activities throughout the event.

Serious Games Zone

The leading providers of serious games products and solutions will be demonstrating these learning techniques and tools in this dedicated area, which includes a programme of free seminars, and explaining how they can be implemented effectively.

Product Presentations

Visitors will be able to see the latest products in action from leading learning suppliers and establish how they could fit within their organisation and address their specific needs.

Energiser Zone

Learning techniques that can help improve health and wellbeing at work are under the spotlight in the Energiser Zone, with sessions that include workplace wellness, nutrition advice and reflexology.

TrainingZone Networking Café

Come over and relax in the Networking Café - it provides the ideal venue to meet exhibitors, colleagues and friends. In fact for all you Twitter fans, we are hosting a Tweet-up on the first day of the conference from 1.30 until 2pm - so pop along and say hello.

“The current economic conditions are placing new demands on L&D professionals as they strive to equip both themselves and their organisation with the skills to deliver what is required in order to survive and be successful," says Andrew Gee, senior project manager for World of Learning. "To assist them in this, we have combined our high quality conference and valuable educational features with a wide range of exhibitors in order to create an event of the highest possible value. The World of Learning remains the most time and cost-effective method of keeping up-to-date with the market and sourcing new suppliers," he concludes.

The World of Learning takes place in Hall 18 at the NEC, Birmingham, and is open from 10:00-17:00 on Wednesday 30 September and 10:00-16:00 on Thursday 1 October 2009. Delegates who would like further information or to book conference sessions should visit or call +44 (0)20 8394 5171.

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