WeWent @ Learning Technologies 2019 – What we learned

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Key Insights from the Learning Technologies 2019 Exhibition

There are many ways for entrepreneurs and new businesses to explore the latest advancements and developments in their industries. Networking events, meetups, workshops are some of the examples. On a bigger scale, on the other hand, conferences, exhibitions, and fairs offer more opportunities in terms of learning, networking, getting some inspiration and learning from the best. And, we are totally aware of the importance of taking a part in such big events as a team. That’s why we attended Learning Technologies 2019 in London between February 13-14th.

Being part of the Biggest Workplace Learning Exhibition

Learning Technologies is one of Europe’s biggest workplace learning exhibition and conferences series. It consists of a set of conferences, exhibitions, free seminars, and hosts a wide range of exhibitors who focus on learning and development activities. Also, it is a huge event that welcomed over 8,500 visitors, over 200 free L&D seminars, and over 200 exhibitors in 2019.

Being a part of Learning Technologies 2019 had been a great experience for WeWent as well. We met awesome people, had a chance to hear their reflections, got inspired. An inevitably, as the name tells, we learned a lot from the industry’s best practices and the state of L&D. Let’s together take a look at what we have learned from Learning Technologies 2019.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

It is not possible to think of any business area or function without the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) nowadays. The providers and the users of those technologies became more widespread. Therefore, it didn’t take too much time before L&D departments started to employ them. We were amazed by how the increasing number of companies already employed those technologies successfully.

Some companies are already using AI and ML to tailor the best possible pieces of training for each individual employee. Moreover, some companies take one step further. They track the efficiency of the training thanks to various algorithms after an individual completes the training. Various algorithms and frequent feedback from the employees enable this. Beyond training, some companies are successful in implementing those technologies to improve their employees’ efficiency and performance and optimize business processes.

For further reading, we suggest this article to understand better the future of AI in L&D.

Digitalization of Learning

As we already observe and experience, learning has changed and it changed for good. It is true that the old brick-and-mortar classrooms full of desks and teachers still exist. On the other hand, virtual and individual classes are rapidly growing. Individuals already started to learn virtually at your own pace and in your niche interest area. This is especially important in a business context since there is not training that fits-for-all and not everybody can learn as quickly or as efficiently.

Thanks to developing e-learning platforms, businesses are able to assign training to their employees. They also can efficiently track the progress of their employees. From what we observed from Learning Technologies 2019, e-learning platforms offer more tailored solutions to employees and better tracking tools for senior managers. By this way, the efficiency of training increase that benefits both the employees and the businesses.

Let’s not forget Virtual Reality (VR)

We believe that VR desires a mention. The advancements in Virtual Technology are in sight, especially in the entertainment industry. Nevertheless, smaller companies started to offer VR learning experiences as well. It is believed that VR technologies will be employed more in the future for scenarification and virtual classrooms.

As two successful examples, we strongly suggest you visit VRE and DNA VR‘s events on our website.

Insights from WeWent’s Stand

Exhibiting at Learning Technologies meant for us competing for attendees’ attention with well-known giants, high-tech solutions and many Learning Management System (LMS) companies. By the way, a great company, to exhibit with. What comforted us, was actually a confirmed need for the face to face development, and access to a unique and diverse portfolio of workshops. We had some really interested visitors and are looking forward to taking our conversations to the next level.

Is L&D and Talent Development at the Tipping Point?

Source: LinkedIn Learning 2019 Workplace Learning Report

It was very eminent at the Learning Technologies that the L&D function is finally catching up on the technological progress. What’s currently happening in the talent development space was compared to the “tech evolution” of talent acquisition from a few years back. Hence, more and more often L&D function works closely with the IT departments.

Focusing on LinkedIn Learning Workplace Learning Report

We particularly enjoyed the presentation by LinkedIn Learning’s Ian McIlwain on their 3rd Workplace Learning Report. Ian talked about talent development leads being invited to the executive table. And we want to say, finally! But it requires of them strong business understanding and strategic thinking.

Secondly, the emphasis is put on understanding skills gaps, still mostly with internal skills gaps assessments. However, there is an encouragement to tap into technology in that space.

Source: LinkedIn Learning 2019 Workplace Learning Report

Thirdly, the L&D professional needs to think like a marketer. The business schedules are tight and there is almost an overflow of learning content. So it’s important to communicate well what’s available and what purpose it serves.

Lastly, L&D needs to engage all generations into learning. From Gen Z that is currently starting to enter the workforce, and Millenials who are dominating it, to Boomers. Tapping into the potential and preferences of all learners is key to employee engagement.

Back to work. Richer in insights

To conclude, we are very grateful for the experience, insights, and connections we were able to bring back to our team, out of the Learning Technologies Exhibition. And we believe that it’s one of the most exciting times, to be in the space of talent development and employee engagement. So excited to continue our journey creating technology and data-driven solution for human connection.

This article has been prepared by Can Kumru, the WeWent UK Business Development Lead, and Aleksandra Potrykus, the Co-Founder and People Lead at WeWent who both represented WeWent at our stand.