Staying Connected from Learning Solutions 2013

Unicorn Chief Operating Officer, Jackie Kennedy, and CEO, Peter Phillips are off to Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2013 in Orlando tomorrow. Trying not to gloat about  the weather Jackie’s looking forward to getting to grips with sharing her experiences with those of us who won’t need suncream.

LearningSolutions2013I’m getting excited now, all packed and ready to go, it’s less than 24 hours before I head of on my travels to the Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2013.

More and more conferences such as this are now global events, played out on a platform of technologies and social media, with the delegates and speakers providing an online window into what is going on from inside the conference walls from their mobile devices and laptops.

This is so powerful as not only does it enable delegates to share the knowledge they are picking up instantaneously with our colleagues and clients back at home, but it also allows us to feel like we’re all contributing to part of a wider and more community debate. Everyone can have a voice.

So I’ve been doing some last minute checks…..

All electronic gadgets are laid out on the dining room table, all the various leads are being untangled, and I had a charging schedule on Thursday and Friday to ensure that everything is ready to go. At last count I have my iPad, Kindle, Laptop, camera, iPhone!

Now, I know what you are thinking….surely some of those double up?? But I have preferred uses for each, it is maybe the way my mind compartmentalises things 🙂

At the event itself myself and my colleague Peter will be tweeting some interesting insights and titbits so keep an eye out for tweets from @jkennedy2000  @PIPUNICORN and @unicorntraining  

This will be a ‘toe in the water’ time for me, using Twitter for more than just the occasional tweet, I am hopeful it will go well, so please bear with me!

In preparation I’ve done a bit of homework on tweeting at a live event. Thanks to Susannah Vila’s blog posting on ‘Learn how Twitter can help you make the most of your next conference’ I’ve identified these as being my five top event tweeting tips for Learning Solutions 2013.

1.    I will remember to use the conference hashtag – for this event it will be #LSCon #elguild – putting it at the end of every tweet about the event. This way, anyone following that stream will see my posts and identify me as part of that event.
Note: Of course, you don’t need to be at an event to join in on the hashtag stream. Many people follow and use the hashtag to share their thoughts about the event, even though they might be watching remotely as opposed to attending.

2.    Not everything said at the conference will be worth repeating, so I will be trying to choose highlights that come out of the live conversation. Things that might interest the people following, like poignant statement made by speakers, or people asking questions that I feel are worth relaying.

3.    I will start each session by including the speakers Twitter handle, then if they say something interesting, I can connect with them and it will allow an interested follower to immediately see the speaker’s bio, picture and website. It might avoid people taking a statement or idea out of context!

4.    The aim is to add some context to my tweets by including multimedia, in the form of links and photos. I can link to websites that speakers are mentioning or even take a picture. I am reliably informed Twitpic will help me with this one!  Watch this space!

5.    I will be taking note of the most interesting conversations that occurred during the event and can use them for a blog post later on. I have found out an easy way to do this is to ‘favourite’ the tweets that I see in the event’s hashtag then use these tweets to create a summary blog post after the event.

So who am I going to see?  Well my personal schedule is drafted. I say drafted as my choices are definitely not set in stone! Flexibility will be the name of the game 🙂 There are so many sessions, all looking equally interesting and thought provoking, maybe the keynote and featured sessions will sway my thinking.

Deciding which learning stage to visit inbetween the various sessions is proving tricky. Will it be the Innovation Showcase Stage or the Mobile Learning Stage? In both places my industry colleagues will be sharing their knowledge and expertise about visual creativity, developing media rich learning experiences and designing for a mobile world and I want to soak up (sorry, trying to stay away from the sun references!) all the information from both!

Exhibitors review – two exhibitors that I definitely want to have a chat to though are the guys below:
•    Allen Interactions – I came across this company a few years ago in Vegas, they were launching ZebraZapps at the time and it will be good to see what other new initiatives they have in the pipeline
•    Go Animate – they have a really cool use of drawn characters and settings to create quick videos that are such fun

Plus, I’m looking forward to bumping into old friends for a chat like iSpring, Raptivity, codebaby, articulate and Adobe to see what’s new on the horizon.

With so much to think about my mind is buzzing, that is without the thoughts surrounding sun cream, bikinis, oh and American pancakes (yummy!).

I am also heading north to Georgia after the event to visit friends for a couple. The last time I did that drive, it was 2am in the morning and I almost ended up due west in Tampa, that is thanks to my excellent my map reading and navigation skills, but that is another story altogether!

JKSignature