This week, I was able to attend the #ATD2022 International Conference & Expo in Orlando FL with about 5,000 talent development colleagues!! Organizations from every imaginable field from across the US and many other countries were represented, allowing all of us there to focus in on what we share across industries from the perspective of talent development, and even more specifically to roles and responsibilities within talent development--instructional design vs managing metrics vs virtual/blended/hybrid development vs internal & external marketing of TD vs managing within TD, and on and on!
It was fascinating to look at with a 30,000 foot lens and great fun to be in it at the ground level, connecting with people I've met through other conferences and national volunteering or who I follow on LinkedIn.
The keynote speakers were Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, Jay Shetty, former monk, author, and (really good) motivational speaker, and Bert Jacobs, Chief Executive Optimist at Life is Good! Each was engaging and interesting and generous with insights in her or his own way. Sara made us laugh with her confessions of gaffs and self-deprecation to "lift" Spanx to its position of top undergarment company. Jay shared beautifully accessible habits in TIMES--Thankfulness that is expressed, specific, and personalized; Inspiration expressed in our first and last thoughts of the day; Meditation and Mindfulness to be here now; Exercise to take care of these bodies that are carrying us around, ; and Sleep, same. And Bert closed us out in his Grateful Dude T-shirt, shorts, and bare feet, checking to see how TD professionals fare at Frisbee (we had a 0.500 average--pretty good for baseball) as he shared how he and his brother came to celebrate Playmakers--people who lift others up to make the world a better place.
Then, there were professional development workshops over the course of the conference and a huge expo with so many vendors with products to help our organizations and us. That was a lot coming out of the pandemic, but I survived!! :D Now, to process all that I've learned and sort to see what I can use most with my professional work and my volunteer work. #HowExciting!!
Next year, the conference will be in San Diego CA May 21-24, so mark your calendar as something to consider for your own professional development or maybe you'd like to present!