I enjoy going to conferences. I find them to be an excellent resource for my continued professional development. For a few short days, I get to immerse myself in best practices, emerging trends, and skill building without the distractions of day-to-day activities. Conferences also provide me with the opportunity to connect face-to-face with members of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) that I usually interact with virtually, and to expand my PLN with people I connect with at the conference.
In short… I love participating in conferences. Even if I can’t participate in person, I find great value in participating via the conference backchannel.
I’m often surprised by conferences via Twitter, and by that I mean I am surprised to learn that the conference exists. It usually starts by noticing a hashtag in the tweet of someone I follow, and looking into it to discover they are tweeting about an event I was unaware of.
I try to keep myself in the loop on conferences that might be of value for learning and performance professionals, both for the possibility of speaking/attending the event, and for following and possibly curating the event’s backchannel. When I hear about an event, I try to put a notation on my calendar to follow the backchannel if I’m not able to attend.
That is, until Lanyrd introduced a new feature. I’ll get to that in a second.
If you’re not familiar with it, Lanyrd dubs itself “the social conference directory”, and it’s the closest thing I’ve seen to being just that. It enables users to add events to the database that other users can view. It also enables users to flag events to say that they are speaking, attending, or simply tracking. I have used the service for a while to seek out conferences to attend or follow, and to create a personal listing of events I am tracking.
Lanyrd just introduced a new feature, which is the inspiration for this post: Guides.
When I log into Lanyrd I see a list of events I am tracking. This new feature enables you to create public lists (called guides) that others can view. I created a guide entitled Conferences for Learning and Performance Professionals.
When you create a guide in Lanyrd, you are by default set up as a curator for the list. What I really like though, is that Lanyrd allows you to set up a list so that ANYONE can join as a curator. That’s how I set up the Conferences for Learning and Performance Professionals guide.
You see… Tracking conferences takes time, and I still miss a lot of them. I’m sure there are many out there with similar thoughts. Anyone can create an event in Lanyrd, and now, anyone can add events to the Conferences for Learning and Performance Professionals guide. This collaborative guide enables anyone interested to know more, while doing less.
Please feel free to subscribe to the guide and add any events that you feel may be of value to others in the field.