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Jon Kennard


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Making the business case for L&D


The greatest challenge for L&D is making the business case, World of Learning survey reveals.

The pressure on learning and development (L&D) professionals to justify and demonstrate business benefits likely from proposed investments in L&D is highlighted by the findings of a survey recently carried out for the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition, the UK's leading dedicated L&D event, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham on 28 and 29 September.

'Making the business case' is the greatest challenge when purchasing L&D products and services, according to almost a quarter (24.5%) of L&D specialists who responded.

'Finding the time to research all the options' is the next greatest challenge, cited by 20.5% of those surveyed, while 'making informed comparisons between the options available' gained the support of 18.1%. 'Weighing up cost versus quality' was cited by 13.9% of respondents, closely followed by 'establishing an appropriate budget' as the greatest challenge for 13.2% of voters.
'Understanding the market place' and, perhaps surprisingly, 'Accommodating the role of procurement managers' were the least popular of the choices, each gaining only 4.9% of the votes.
"The results of this survey show that both cost and time are key issues for L&D professionals in today's market. In particular, that proving the business case is the greatest challenge is an interesting reflection of a trend in L&D that, I believe, has been accentuated by the recession," observed Andrew Gee, Senior Project Manager for the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition.
"That proving the business case is the greatest challenge is an interesting reflection of a trend in L&D that, I believe, has been accentuated by the recession"
"However, it is very clear that assessing the various options is also a major issue. Whether it is a case of finding the time to research solutions, understanding the difference between the options or assessing cost versus quality, navigating the L&D marketplace is obviously a huge concern for L&D professionals.
"This highlights the relevance of events such as the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition, where L&D professionals have the ability to review the options available from more than 100 potential suppliers all under one roof, as well as network, brainstorm, receive advice and hear about the latest innovations and ideas," continued Andrew Gee.

World of Learning Conference & Exhibition 2010

Now in its 18th year, the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition has a long history of providing industry members with invaluable insight into key issues, challenges and developments in the industry, as well as providing cost-efficient solutions for organisations of all sizes.
This year, the business case for L&D, the use of technology to deliver more efficient L&D programmes, tendering, leadership, informal learning and employee engagement will be among the many key subjects addressed. Event highlights include:

Free seminars

This year's World of Learning has the most extensive free seminar programme yet, with more than 20 insightful sessions taking place across two theatres throughout the event. Visitors will gain practical advice on the issues affecting them from a range of experts and advisors who will share case studies, strategies and experiences. Organisations presenting include Towards Maturity, Buffin Leadership International, Thales Training & Consultancy, The School of Coaching & Leadership Development and Thirdforce. The full free seminar programme is available here.

New specialised zones

As the business climate changes so also do expectations and demands on L&D. Therefore, the World of Learning 2010 has several new initiatives that have been developed to offer insight into evolving areas of the industry. These include: the International Zone, which gives visitors a unique opportunity to meet international buyers and decision-makers and leading suppliers of L&D products and services in a dedicated area; the Social Learning Zone, which will demonstrate how L&D professionals can capitalise on the potential of social media networks in learning; and the Professional Development Zone, which provides an invaluable opportunity for L&D professionals to consult experts on all aspects of their own career development.

Other valuable features

The thousands of visitors that attend the World of Learning will also be able to learn from several features that have proved popular in previous years. The Workplace Wellness Zone, the Experiential Learning Zone, the Trainer Base, Skills Workshops and the Business & Networking Lounge will each be open throughout the exhibition, providing L&D professionals with invaluable opportunities to consult the experts. More details are available here.

World of Learning Conference

A key feature of the World of Learning is the industry-leading conference which this year focuses on the new world for business and the resulting changes for L&D practitioners, leadership skills and the need to be able to identify and develop them within an organisation and maximising business performance through collaborative strategies.
Chaired by BBC news presenter Nicholas Owen, the conference programme features speakers from many high-profile organisations including the Chartered Management Institute, Santander, Roffey Park Institute, Priory Group, TUI Travel UK & Ireland, EDF Energy, Radisson Edwardian Hotels and Cable&Wireless Worldwide.
To register for free entry to the World of Learning Exhibition, or to book your place on the World of Learning Conference, visit or call +44 (0)20 8394 5171.

Author Profile Picture
Jon Kennard

Freelance writer

Read more from Jon Kennard

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