April 24th / 25th played host to the annual HRD Conference and Exhibition, organised by the CIPD. Aimed at HR and Learning & Development (L&D) professions, the conference provided delegates with new ideas to tackle challenges met when training and offered insights from leading organisations across all sectors.
The event attracted a number of high profile speakers, including Jane Daly (Head of Learning and Development at Marks & Spencer), Mike Forde (Performance Director of Chelsea Football Club) and Stephan Thoma (Global L&D Director at Google). Delegates were versed on topics including Female Leadership Impact, Introducing e-learning and Mentoring in the Workplace to name but a few.
With L&D and HR professionals juggling multiple priorities in their day to day roles, the event provided a valuable opportunity to focus on introducing and improving L&D strategies. The event brings together individuals who are working on the latest initiatives within organisational development, encourages a collaborative approach to challenges and enables organises to benchmark their L&D provision against peers and the market offering. It was reassuring that the Learning and Development community is continuing to grow and diversify despite an economic backdrop that is forcing cuts to training and people development budgets.
The London based conference and exhibition welcomed thousands of visitors, all focusing on improving strategies for training delivery. Virtual College agreed with many of our fellow delegates that the exhibition showcased the very best latest developments in the training community and provided food for thought as both a training provider and an organisation with training and development needs. The event had a relaxed but professional feel and the exhibitors were open and inviting. A number of training themed competition prizes were also on offer from various exhibitors including team away days, a bespoke e-learning courses and coaching sessions, all of which were relevant and valuable to attendees.
With the 2014 event already in planning, the HRD event is a must for all professionals wanting to push the boundaries of learning and development opportunities in their organisation. By Kate Bolland