Conferences / Learning / Newbie

Making Connections: The who, what, when, where of LSCon. Especially the who.

If you’re going to a live, face-to-face conference, it’s probably because you value personal contact and community.

In addition to the sessions I’m presenting at Learning Solutions, P02 410 and 807, I’ll also serve in the role of Docent.–expo–docent-program/ The purpose of the Docent is to welcome participants who are new to the event or new to their eLearning role, and help them to get acclimated. Just like at a museum, we’re the people who explain things!

Docent is my favorite role at Learning Solutions because I’m a trainer, so my job is to teach people about what they came to learn. I’m okay repeating myself as many times as there are people who need to know . My team members and best friends are people I’ve met at Guild events, but it took time to meet them and find personal and work connections. It’s especially important because I work mostly online, which can be truly isolating. I want everyone who attends the Conference to feel at ease here and be able to get answers to the questions that will ensure their successful conference experience. Also, I want to help people to start making those connections and building relationships with fellow Guildfolk. We are a tremendous bunch of self-proclaimed nerds and are well worth knowing!

I’ll arrive early for my whole-day pre-con Monday, but our Docent activities start Tuesday night at 5:00 pm ET. We’ll gather in International (North) for the Event Orientation and Docent Program Kickoff to meet the event programmers and the three Docents. There’s a structured bit about the program and then time for questions. Stick around for Presentation Roulette, where others and I embarrass ourselves playing the LSCon version of PechaKucha. I really hope it’s not being recorded, but if I know the Guild videographer, Mike Sloat, he’ll be there.

Folks are on their own for dinner, but groups are forming using a Channel on the LSCon app*.

We invite you to grab a coffee and join Stevie, Mark, and me on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for our Morning Buzz sessions for Docents at 7:30 ET. We’ll meet in International Ballroom (Center) for an overview and discussion of the events of the day, and we’ll answer questions and help identify best sessions and speakers for your needs, highlighting the Docent Schedule selections we’re sure you’ll find valuable. Participants are invited to introduce themselves and connect with others who have similar interests and goals for the event.

At lunchtime Wednesday and Thursday, locate your lunch ticket inside your name badge holder and stand in line in the Palm Ballroom to pick up your boxed lunch (for options, open the Lunch Agenda item in the LSCon App). Then, come and find the Tables Reserved for Docents between the pool and the Palm Ballroom building. We’ve invited guest speakers to come and eat with us to answer your questions and talk shop. Follow #Docents on Twitter and the LSCon app for updates on guest speakers. I recommend you daub on a bit of SPF 50+ (I’ve got some) and bring your sunglasses. It can be painfully bright out there!

If you like loud, social scenes mixed with awesome eLearning technology demos and some free booze, do not miss the Expo Reception Wednesday evening, nor LS DemoFest Thursday evening. Don’t say you don’t know anyone there; you know me. I’ll be there. Your email can wait.

In addition to the three Docents to help you choose sessions or answer questions about industry terms, Guild team members are standing by to assist during LSCon. Ask conference registration questions at the conference registration desk, and hotel questions at the hotel desk, and ask Guild staffers, who will be standing in the halls wearing blue shirts, your questions about room numbers, session times, facilities, and logistics. If they are running toward you with a panicked look, it’s best to just hold the door and let them through.

The best resource of all is the LSCon app. If you haven’t downloaded it, do. It’s easier then Facebook, so if you can handle that, you can handle this. You’ll have mastered it by the last day. I know it’s ironic that the social media app can be more effective in connecting us with our colleagues than just socializing, but it is. People speak more boldly, share more random thoughts, and ask questions when they might feel shy about those things in a closed classroom or the middle of a keynote. The app opens a backchannel in which many wonderful things get communicated. Watch, see, read, and listen.

The Guild team is featured here in a testimonial video for Double Dutch.

Learning Solutions attendees are already meeting, greeting, selecting sessions and shopping for lunch options and swag they can trade for points earned using the app. It is about to become a robust backchannel with the whole LSCon event community communicating. It’s something you’ll use all week and then forget until next year. It’s totally worth the download and the short learning curve to have access to all the conference information. The free t-shirt is just a bonus!

Follow #Docents on Twitter and LSCon app. Stevie Rocco @stevier, Mark Sheppard @marklearns, and Karen Hyder @karenhyder.

*You can install the LSCon app before you come to the event
Login: Use the email address you used to register for the conference. Password: learning

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