I did not go to TLDC 2016…and this is what I learned

November 01, 2016

Here’s a great post from eLearning Consultant and Developer, Craig Sybert. Craig wasn’t able to attend TLDC16, but found value in the event’s backchannel.  He has generously allowed us to repost his thoughts on following TLDC16 virtually, all originally posted on his blog HERE.  Thank you Craig! We’re looking forward to seeing you there next year! — TLDC

The first thing I learned is that I should have made my way to San Diego personally for TLDC 2016. A family injury and a new software release at work put a hindrance on my ability to travel that far from the D.C. area.

The second thing I learned is that with little effort, it is possible to still “virtually” be there. Someone (or multiple people) shared a feed of the keynotes, as well as some very interesting presentations throughout the week on Twitter and Periscope, among other platforms. If you track back through the feed for #TLDC16, you will find some great nuggets of information and even get a few laughs. On second thought, let me do that for you.

Note that this is my experience with the backchannel. There were over a 1700 tweets starting a few days before the conference and still running as of October 7.

The conference started before the conference. What does that mean?

@bizlearningdude gave us a quick hit teaser to the conference a few days before in a clever way. “It’s going to be a different conference than anything else you have ever seen.”


@trishuhl took part in a great pre-planning interview giving some insight on what to expect.


@katieStroudPro made an actual road trip out of it, traveling from Seattle to San Diego and documenting on the way.

Excitement was mounting!

Event host and L&D guru, @brentschlenker was on his toes on Twitter, Periscope, and Snapchat with updates and interaction on the backchannels the entire time. When he was not on stage, of course.


So the conference started off with an amazing keynote talk by @arossett. She talked of how to be happy at work, bringing happiness with you to a people job, and some tips on how to right the boat if you are not happy.  One of the key takeaways I got from the Twitter feed is that you need to promote happiness in your training.

The next presentation that was covered heavily in the feed was a talk on VR/AR by @TheMalia. It came complete with a musical intro by @snapsynapse and was chock full of fun and interesting facts about VR/AR, how it is affecting our industry, and where it is going to go from here.

Her insight to the VR/AR world is uncanny and she has a great view of where VR/AR fits into the new world of learning.


There were intermittent posts from presentations the rest of the first day, including presentations from @nickfloro, @stipton, @moehlert, @bizlearningdude, @michellelentz, and @andyhughes.

The second day brought a lot of chatter in the form of hype for the @isocialfanz keynote opening. The hype was real! From the hour of 9am to 10am, San Diego time, there were just short of 300 tweets alone, with close to another 100 before and after discussing things said.


Shortly after his inspirational and enlightening talk on Digital Storytelling, he joined a Video & Learning panel with @bschlenker, @snapsynapse, and @tomspiglanin.

I had a lot of work to do on the second day, so my attention was elsewhere. I did scan throughout the day and picked a couple of tweets out that were coming through.


Day three started with the amazing @julianstodd. I did not get to catch all of the feed on this one, but what I did was fantastic! There were a large number of tweets spread over the hour that talked to key points in his presentation to keep me intrigued.

I am on my way this weekend to catch up on the final panel on Mixed Realities and the Future of Instructional design, but I am sure it lived up to all the other presentations over the previous two days.

Throughout the conference, there were constant reminders to check out the #Reflection center. Here you can relax, refresh, and rewire your brain. It even contained a reflection wall where you could post what you would take away from this conference.


As I gathered from reading between the twitter feed this week, TLDC 2016 was a huge success. There were fun posts of friends reuniting and virtual friends coming together and even new friendships forged! A healthy amount of tweets were promoting the idea of “share what you are taking with you from this conference.”  It is endearing to see a general concern for what attendees were not only going to take away from this conference, but how they are going to change the way they approach learning development going forward.

I really feel that I missed out on a huge opportunity to mix with friends I have made in the learning field over the last 9 months, but the backchannel also made me feel like I was still there. There was personal interaction and enough posts of the key points to presentations that I felt gratified by the end of the week. My largest take away from visiting this conference on the backchannel in between work was how much we need to present what we do for others and not just what we do.


A special thank you to @bschlenker for waking me up to the Learning and Development world and all the people I was in direct contact over the three day period. A few of them came through when I needed to see or hear something in a big way! Also, a big shout out to the @pbouffleur for holding down the #notatTLDC16 fort with me. I WILL see you all next year!

By tldcom

Related Articles

Community Blog Roll: Add These To Your Feed!

Community Blog Roll: Add These To Your Feed!

It's more important than ever to stay focused on your productivity and stay disciplined about what you're paying attention to and where you're spending your precious time while in front of a screen. Below are a few links to TLDC Members and Supporter blogs that you...

read more

Subscribe to our Community newsletter


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This