Tara D Gray, MS, CPLP recently asked us this question: 

With over 16 years of experience in the Learning, Performance, and OD fields, I am looking to learn and develop myself beyond what I have experienced in other conferences which seem to be geared at less experienced people and/or more vendor / sales oriented.


Brent-Schlenker-Headshot-1Our Host/Program Manager Brent Schlenker replied:

Luis forwarded your email to me, and I’m glad he did. It sounds like you are the exact type of person we are targeting for TLDC.

We ALL feel the same way you do about other events. Luis and I produced some of those events of which you speak. We know events can be better and more impactful for attendees, and since we couldn’t get any of the big players to do it, we decided to do it on our own.

For many many years, I’ve heard from experienced professionals that there wasn’t anything new at events anymore. The only reason for attending was for the hallway conversations and connecting with colleagues and friends. Our goal is to create an environment that takes the sage off the stage and makes the attendee, and the entire group, the primary focus of the event.

You’ll notice that our schedule looks like some of the other events you are used to. This makes it feel comfortable to those who need that sense of context and structure. But the real value in TLDC comes in knowing that it is an event for L&D professionals created by L&D professionals. You will be among peers, all whom will NOT be talking down to you or anyone else.

We are focused on getting work done. Not just talking about solutions, but discussing the realities of the work we do. Sometimes those conversations don’t look all that sexy in a brochure. But in my experience, they end up being the most valuable conversations because I know I can apply the knowledge immediately.

I even selected some speakers from outside our industry. Because why would we want to learn about social media from an HR consultant? Let’s bring in the hottest social media millennial and learn from him. We have plenty of genius learning professionals that can help everyone translate his knowledge and experience into our industry. And that’s going to be the fun part. What many people don’t know is that Brian “isocialfanz” Fanzo was one of the first people I hired onto my training team four years ago. He understands what we do because he’s done it. And I’ve seen how good he is. Now he’s one of the most experienced social media practitioners on the internet. You won’t get this level of conversation at ANY other event.

The same holds true for Malia Probst. You might not know her name either. But she is a growing force in the realm of mixed reality. So, again, the idea is to look/listen to those outside of our industry to better understand where L&D will be heading next. I’ve crafted my entire career around this strategy, and it has worked for over 20 years. Malia is fantastic!

The entire staff of speakers will be available to everyone. This is another part of the event that is different. At other conferences, speakers can be elusive and difficult to meet. We want everyone to know that no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are everyone is both teacher and learner.  Together we all make each other better. So, all speakers will be on-site for all three days, except for Allison Rossett.

Allison is our anchor keynote; a familiar face and proof that we understand the industry. I’ve known Allison for many years. She is one of my favorite people. She was one of the earliest proponents of performance support and always has been ahead of her time. And she is hilarious and a fantastic personality.

Okay, so perhaps I’m rambling.  But I hope you can sense how excited I am about this event. It has been a labor of love for all of us, and it has come together beautifully. If I were to start a consultancy of superheroes in our industry, it would be with all of the speakers listed. They are among the best and brightest. But more than that, they are good people that I trust. I expect the community formed from this event will go on to become a strong force in the industry. Not a force of talking, but of doing.

I hope you decide to register and enjoy San Diego with us. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to connect with me.

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