Putting On My Conference Lenses: How I Plan To Maximize This Professional Development Opportunity

The home page for the Association for Talent Development International Conference & Exposition (ATD ICE) explains how this conference may help you excel as a talent development professional. As the president of the ATD Detroit chapter, however, I read this page a little differently.

When contemplating whether to attend the conference this year, I wondered: would my participation add value to the chapter and its volunteer board members? Would there really be anything new for me, a learning and performance improvement consultant, to learn? Ironic questions, I know.

Of course, the answer to both questions is yes, and the benefits extend well beyond my ATD Detroit duties. Therefore, I’m viewing participation in ATD ICE through the following lenses:

  • Renew passion for talent development and board service: In his book Engaging the Head, Heart, and Hands of a Volunteer, Barry Altland offers “a simple guide for leaders to feed the passion of those who choose to serve” and encourages us never to overlook the human element of our volunteer organizations. For me, this means getting as many board members to attend ATD ICE as possible, not only to renew their passion for talent development, but also to help them develop so that they can add value to our membership. The ATD Detroit chapter will be represented at this conference by six board members this year!
  • Look for sessions that add value: In my work as a project manager and performance consultant at Innovative Learning Group, I support client accounts in several different industries and learning areas. Thankfully, the 300+ concurrent sessions align with these groupings, so I can target the topics that will add value to my daily work.
  • Learn from the gurus: Many of the 400+ speakers at ATD ICE are considered gurus in our field, so I’ll soak up as much of their wisdom as possible. Really, how often do you get to chit-chat with Ken Blanchard or ask questions of Bob Pike or Ruth Clark?

Looking through these lenses, I plan to attend at least three concurrent sessions in each time slot over the four days: morning sessions, and keynotes, and lunch-and-learns, oh my… Yep, it’s going to be an exciting, exhausting, and energizing conference this year! I’d love to hear what conferences you’ll be attending in 2016 and why they’re on your list.


What conferences have you attended or will you be attending this year?

  • ATD ICE (27%, 3 Votes)
  • THE Performance Improvement Conference (27%, 3 Votes)
  • Online Learning Conference (18%, 2 Votes)
  • Other (18%, 2 Votes)
  • FocusOn Learning (9%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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2 Responses

  1. Tim Aulph

    The goal is to go to one this year; however, job changes may limit that goal to an online workshops (which I go to anyway). 🙂

  2. Laura Vavrek

    Hi Tim! Time can be a big constraint. What online workshops do you attend/plan to attend?

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