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Training Solutions and the H.O.T. conference – news and features round-up


Training SolutionsH.O.T.

The Training Solutions show, one of the key events in the UK training calendar, takes place this week at the NEC in Birmingham. Last year, more than 4,000 people visited the exhibition, which showcases much of what's new in the training world this year. As well as a range of stands to visit for information about training service providers, there are live demonstrations, interactive features, free training seminars and masterclasses to attend. Attendance at the exhibition is free of charge. TrainingZONE and HR Zone are exhibiting, so do come along and visit us on stand E100. More information about visiting.

Running alongside the show this year for the first time is the Hands on Training (H.O.T.) conference. Co-sponsored by TrainingZONE, this three-day event promises to be one of the most interesting and innovative this year, with a whole range of speakers bringing practical experience across a range of training subjects. Key themes from the HOT conference.

We'll be publishing news about both the exhibition and the conference live from the NEC this week - read on for a round-up of what's new:

Tuesday 26 June

Exhibition news

The start of the exhibition began with bubble-blowing, which brought back memories of last year's merry-go-rounds and muppets! We'll be reporting back on the other gimmicks which come to light over the next few days. 1,600 people are here, according to Show Director Frazer Chesterman, but it seems more subdued than last year. Gone are the muppets and merry-go-rounds, but there are car simulations, courtesy of XR Associates, and blue painted men offering a cut-down version of Gladiator, courtesy of Blue Beetle. There are a number of companies demonstrating their e-learning in presentation areas on their stands, and many familar names are here, including Corporate Learning, Blue U, Easycando, the Institute of IT Training and Happy Computers, among others. Some newer names to the show include Blessing White, US providers of e-learning for leadership, and LE Consultants, who specialise in corporate image consultancy.

Conference news - Innovation Day

TrainingZONE's very own Tim Pickles launched the start of the H.O.T. conference with a challenge to trainers to audit their own knowledge and skills. The H.O.T. conference, said Tim, was being run to enable those working within the training world to catch up on the latest developments in what has become an increasingly fast-moving world. The conference is designed to be a new style of conference tailored for delegates - a 'pick and mix' of sessions for training professionals to dip into.

With that, former Olympic Swimmer and Bobsleigh champion Duncan Goodhew kicked off the conference with a presentation based around his new book, Sink or Swim.

A fascinating comparison of professional views emerged at this morning's session of the H.O.T. Conference when two top name speakers - Michael Breen and Dave Snowden presented very different experiences of organisational culture.

Conference highlights today include:

11:00am - 12:00pm. Michael Breen, McKenna Breen: 'The Heart of the Matter: What are you training for?'
Read a pre-conference interview with Michael Breen.

Wednesday 27 June

Exhibition news

Last night, stand organisers gathered to hear the announcements of the prizes for the best-dressed stands. Winners of the best small stand were Totem Training Events, who offer woodland-based team-building events, which could involve creating Mongolian Yurts or Trebuchets (whatever they are!), as well as totem poles. There were plenty of examples in evidence on the stand, at least. Winners of the best large stand were e-learning providers Fuel, with their distinctive pink stand, materials and logo. Fuel were announcing the launch of a dedicated gaming division at the show, a devlopment aimed at adding to their existing e-learning offering.

A quick round-up of other new developments being announced at the show:

  • Xebec McGraw-Hill is showcasing its new e-learning course offering, which has been increased by a collaboration with Element K, developers of courses on Office Productivity, E-Commerce and Project Management. Xebec also have a presence in the Soft skills demonstration theatre here, where they're presenting a case study on Lloyds TSB's diversity course Xebec put together for them.

  • Runners up in the best stand competition, The Mind Gym offer what they call '90 minute workouts for the mind' - short sessions delivered face to face to tackle creative problem solving, dealing with information, communication and relationships.

  • Training and software providers John Matchett Limited are launching a new Learning Management System.

  • Training developers Soft Options say: "We are able to take any paper-based material and turn it into an exciting Interactive Multimedia experience". We haven't been able to check their claims out for ourselves as yet, but their website provides more details. Having worked primarily in the FE sector so far, Soft Options are looking to expand to a wider audience.

  • Qwiz, providers of online competency assessment and evaluation, have just announced a new development allowing assessments to be administered online at . Immediately available are competency assessmentsin Office Software Skills, Secretarial/Clerical Skills and PC skills certification in the form of the European Computer Driving Licence.

Conference news - Changing Face of Learning Day

Conference highlights today include:

9:30-10:30am. Mary Benwell, Director of Learning, Ufi: 'The Challenge of going Online for Lifelong Learning'
Read a pre-conference interview with Mary Benwell.

12:15 - 1:15pm. Jim Flood, Academic Operations Director, COROUS: 'E-learning as a Driver for CPD: How national and multi-national companies are collaborating with universities to open up access to higher education.'
Read a pre-conference interview with Jim Flood.

Over the last few days, seminar sessions have been taking place each afternoon. Yesterday's sessions included an entertaining hour on healthy learning courtesy of Oddball Training involving lots of physical activity!

Thursday 28 June

Exhibition news

Local office supplies company Lyreco toast their success after winning the TD2001 awards, sponsored by Training Magazine.

Conference news - E-learning Day

Conference highlights today include:

What promises to be a stimulating debate takes place this morning in the form of an e-learning forum. Panel members will include Professor Stephen Molyneux, David Wilson of Elearnity, Paul Kearns of Personnel Works and Geoffrey Stein of Thinq.

12:15 - 1:15pm. Paul Kearns, Personnel Works: 'Developing a clear business case for e-learning using Return on Investment.'
Read a pre-conference interview with Paul Kearns.


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