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Jon Kennard


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Learning Live: Three tracks explained


We caught up with managing director, Ed Monk, and CEO, Colin Steed, to find out about the format of the upcoming event.

How is Learning Live structured?

CS: Originally it was just a single-day event. As it became more popular and successful we inevitably faced the conundrum: do we go for larger and larger venues or do we add a second day? Because interaction is such an important part of the event's success, we added the second day and the networking evening dinner.

EM: It’s a balancing act between having a good level of content, in a manageable number of sessions, at a venue where people don’t feel they are getting lost in. Attendees tell us every year that the reason they come back is because it’s uniquely engaging. One can often feel anonymous, even overwhelmed, at larger events, whereas here there's genuine engagement with peers and providers.

CS: There are 25 sessions, all high-quality and hand-picked to make you think about the content. The sessions are all designed to be practical. It’s not just a series of lectures. We want attendees to be empowered by what they hear and return to their workplaces inspired and ready to make changes.

What do the conference tracks represent?

CS: The tracks are named 'The Real World', 'Our Future' and 'Performance Improvement'. They represent the three main areas all L&D professionals should be focusing on: what is working right now, what changes might occur in the near future and how you prepare for those changes.

EM: 'The Real World' presents actual work going on in organisations, with some great case studies that delegates can reference in their own place of work. 'Our Future' attempts to understand trends and technologies that are becoming imminently important. We’ve recently seen Big Data, BYOD, storytelling etc. – so what’s around the corner?

CS: 'Performance Improvement' is the track that ties these two together. How does the L&D organisation adapt to change? How can it become more agile and relevant? How does it provide measurable business value? We want L&D professionals to think about performance not in terms of how many people they’ve trained but how many dollars they’ve added to the bottom line.

And finally, what inspires you about the event?

CS: There’s a lot of great content, even if it’s been quite a challenge to include everything we want and also keep the event to a reasonable size. Learning Live provides a platform for people who have something to say and attendees can take that content back to their workplace and use it.

EM: Also, as a not-for-profit organisation, we really appreciate the significance of our sponsors. This event couldn’t happen without them.

For more information, the conference programme and tickets, visit

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Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard

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