A Newbies Guide to the CIPD L&D Show!

To condense the past 2 days of talking, tweeting and taking notes into one singular sensation of a blog would just be blooming bonkers so I think you can look forward to a few more blogs winging their way into your Twittersphere over the next few weeks.

For those of you who didn’t know or weren’t interested (how very dare you) this week saw the @CIPD_Events annual L&D Show & Conference (#cipdLDshow) rock up at the London Olympia and totally blow us away with amazing companies to meet and amazing people to listen to. As you may have known this was my very first time attending the show; {insert cherry based pun here!} so I thought as a first timer I would write a little something that will help me to remember my experience and have something to look back on in the future. I also wanted to give those CIPD Conference newbies something that might help them prepare for their first one too so I give you my 3 #cipdLDshow top tips!

First thing to remember is this …

… You Will Be Knackered!

At the end of your CIPD conference experience you will wish that you had packed a sleeping bag for the inevitable nap you will have in the taxi home. Conference newbies; don’t underestimate what 48 hours of intense learning and listening can take out the most energetic of people. The opportunity of having such inspirational folk to listen to all day is just too good to pass up. You won’t sleep very well for the two nights because their words will be whizzing around your brain waiting for you to do something with them; this level of inspiration requires action.

I learned this next one by mistake but I am glad I did it because I don’t know how I would have managed otherwise; it is simply to …

… Take Notes!

Take simple notes, take notes of quotes, take inspiring notes and take mundane notes. No matter what the note is it will help you to capture the moment and keep the enthusiasm going when it is all over I am a listener and I’m generally really not that great at taking notes at things like this, I trust my memory a bit too much. It doesn’t matter how you do it, a notebook, tablet, smartphone, post-it note or just write the most inspirational moment down on your hand. Whatever you chosen method of remembering might be, DO IT! If you don’t, those moments of inspiration will disappear as soon as the next piece of genius is muttered (and they come fast and often, trust me). Twitter became the guardian angel of my thoughts for the 2 days, keeping a micro-blog of the sessions really mattered to me. I now have something meaningful to look back at and reflect on once the dust has settled and, most importantly, it allowed me to unwittingly collaborate with others at the conference and strike up discussions that I wouldn’t have had had I not been putting what I was hearing out there for all to hear and learn from with me.

On that note of collaboration I give you rule 3 …

Network, Network, Network!

Grab every opportunity to walk up to someone and say “Hi”. If you think they might be that person you love to follow on twitter then go and tell them, even if they don’t really look much like their profile picture. Be brave, it is absolutely worth it and if it turns out not to be the person you thought they were then you have just found someone new to follow and connect with and so have they. Come expecting to be amazed, inspired and encouraged by the people you meet and talk with. These conversations will open your eyes and reassure you that there are like-minded L&D folk out there too.

Remember, this is an experience you will get something from no matter what your passion, experience, background or industry. The CIPD conference will inject a sense of belonging and excitement into you, it will make you feel a part of something revolutionary but most importantly it will make you walk away wanting to change the world.

Go on then, what are you waiting for?? Change the world, but bring me and your new CIPD network along for the ride too … actually, on second thoughts,  let’s change the world together tomorrow instead, I am going for that nap I was talking about!


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