eLearning people have noted online that there are just too many conferences from which to pick. Here are some things to think about when you are deciding which conference to attend this year. Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is there a pre-conference workshop I would like to attend?
  2. Do the keynote speakers interest me?
  3. Review who is speaking at the concurrent sessions. Do they interest me?
  4. Where is the conference located? Should I plan for a conference on my side of the country?
  5. What are my affiliations? Corporate? Academic?
  6. Where am I on the food chain? Designer? Programmer? Manager?

Here are my opinions on various conferences:

  1. ASTD TechKnowledge–Are you a member of ASTD? Do you have a local chapter? If so, you should support their efforts. This is ATSD’s conference that has a focus on eLearning. The quality varies from year to year because of volunteerism levels.
  2. eLearning Guild—provides annual conferences that achieve a high energy level and collaborative feeling – both the Annual Gathering and DevLearn. Guild conferences are highly rated and well attended. The proletariat (workers) of the eLearning industry.
  3. Training Magazine’s training conference has eLearning topics, but is more of a generic “trainers” conference than an exclusive eLearning conference. This conference is similar to the ASTD national conference.
  4. Elliot Masie Conferences—His conferences do not generally use session speakers. The conference is built on collaboration “round table” style interaction between conference attendees. Elliot speaks a lot during his conferences. On his website you will see he has a consortium made up of corporations. If you work for one you might consider a Masie conference. The elite participants within the eLearning industry.
  5. Conferences affiliated with universities like UW Distance Teaching and Learning tend to lean towards the “higher education attendee”. The thinkers.
  6. Tell me about your favorite conference!