I know, I know, “learning events” is pretty vague. But I wanted a crisper title than “an idiosyncratic list of face-to-face professional-development opportunities for people in the training / learning / performance improvement field.”
I don’t get to many in-person learning events. This year I did go to the Innovations in eLearning Symposium (which was 40 miles from my house), and two years ago I made a presentation at a CSTD event in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The idea of presenting to your peers is a bracing stimulus, a strong incentive to reflect on what you do, what you’ve learned, and what you can share that’s useful to someone else. Not that I always have to present, but I think sharing what you’ve learned with your colleagues is an opportunity you’d do well to embrace.
I find it hard to keep track of what’s happening where (and especially when) in terms of conferences and similar events that I might like to attend. That’s why I’ve created a calendar of learning events. It’s a spreadsheet on Google Docs that lists these things in chronological order.
In addition to providing a link to the event’s site, the list includes events that have already taken place; dates in the past appear in gray. The idea is to retain them for a year. I figure that will help me estimate when the event will take place next year, even if the organization’s plans aren’t yet available.
I did find a few similar lists, but none of them had a feature I really needed: events sorted by the due date for proposals:
I might ask myself why ISPI needs an eight-month lead time for proposals, but at least this way I know that’s their lead time.
I thought a list like this might be useful to others, which is why I’ve put it on Google Docs and why I’m sharing a bit.ly link ( http://bit.ly/k0YOvw ) instead of Google’s 136-character URL.
The document actually has several sheets that you can view (not including a couple of other sheets where I hide the machinery that makes the lists work):
- A welcome page with contents (links to the other sheets)
- The list of events sorted by start date
- The list of events sorted by due date for proposals
- The (unsorted) master list that the other lists work from
If other people find these lists useful, or if they suggest events to include, I’ll be delighted. That’s part of the reason for the rambly “about this calendar” page: to say more than you’d want to read here about the kinds of event I think would fit and the kinds that wouldn’t.