You’ve been thinking about how you would like to go to the Adobe Learning Summit this October in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, you’re unsure your L&D manager will approve the request, after all, it is Vegas. She probably thinks it’s just going to be a company paid party at her budgets expense. Well, let me assure you that while I can guarantee you’ll have fun, you will come away with some excellent knowledge and skills. You see I’ve not only been a speaker at the Adobe Learning Summit since 2016, but I’m also an attendee as well.
Let me assure you that while I can guarantee you'll have fun, you will come away with some excellent knowledge and skills. You see, I've not only been a speaker at the Adobe Learning Summit since 2016, but I also consider myself an attendee as well. I'm not going to fly to Las Vegas, speak for one hour, and then turn around and leave. I want to learn from others, as well.
If you are unsure about attending a conference so far away, let’s consider the cost. According to CityExtremes.com, the furthest domestic big city from Las Vegas in the United States is Boston. Let's say you lived in Boston. Using Expedia.com, I searched for flights from Boston. Non-stop return flights started from $231. Adobe has negotiated hotel rates of $99 per night plus a $35 resort fee. Adobe's conference registration fee is $0. For less than half of just what it costs only to register at the other eLearning conference in town, you will likely cover all your expenses. Of course, I can't guarantee this if you spend too much time in the Casino afterwards. Oh, and by the way, Adobe will even buy you breakfast and lunch on the day of the conference.
If you are new to Adobe Captivate, I strongly encourage you to sign up and complete your Adobe Captivate Specialist Certification the day before the conference. The regular price to get certified is $799. However, Adobe offers conference attendees a reduced rate of $499. The Certification is a blended solution that starts with exercise files that you work through at home with video-based instruction provided by the world-famous Dr. Pooja Jaisingh. Usually, you have about two weeks before the event to complete these pre-workshop activities but don’t wait until the last minute to enroll as this workshop typically sells out. The certification is a bring-your-own-laptop event. Make sure you have at least the trial version of Adobe Captivate 2019 installed so you can work through all the activities.
During the workshop itself, you will arrive at the facilities, complete your registration, have a little breakfast and then assemble in your assigned classroom. As an instructor, I can tell you that you will have a rewarding but full day - come prepared to learn. There are four segments to the classroom instruction. There will be plenty of breaks and complimentary breakfast and lunch. Once we have finished the teaching, you will write your assessment. You will know right away if you have passed the evaluation. If you finish early, remember others might be still be writing their assessment, so celebrate quietly. The following day at the conference you will receive your certificate and be photographed by the Adobe professional photographer.
On the second day and the day of the actual conference, here is what to expect. First will be the welcome and opening remarks. Next, you will be in for a keynote from Julian Treasure. Not sure who he is? Julian is a five-time TED talk speaker:
...so you are in for a great talk just with Julian Treasure's keynote, but that's just the beginning.
Next, you'll learn what's new from Adobe. This talk includes the sneak peeks you might have heard about before. This session is where Adobe lifts the curtain just a little bit to reveal what features "might" be coming in the next release of Adobe Captivate. Attendees from previous Adobe conferences learned about virtual reality, interactive video and other improvements to Adobe Captivate months before everyone else. The What's New section is also where you find out about the latest features for Captivate Prime, and Adobe Connect.
Between sessions, you’ll have an opportunity to grab a hot or cold beverage and a snack. More importantly, make sure you have a pocket full of business cards with you. One thing about being an L&D professional is that there aren’t many of us. I’m a freelancer, so I often work in isolation, but even when I worked for an organization, I was often the only employee working on eLearning. I’m thankful I’ve built many relationships at these conferences. I can now reach out to colleagues and ask advice or share ideas. Use networking breaks to meet new people and build relationships. It’s certainly paid off for me.
Next will be the first set of learning tracks. The learning tracks are breakout sessions where you can select a session that best suits your needs. Perhaps you can involve your manager in deciding what learning track will most suit the needs of your organization. It's important to make management feel like they are part of the process. There are separate blocks of sessions divided into beginner, advanced, multimedia, LMS, and virtual learning, but you don’t have to stay within a specific track. For example, you might want to attend my session entitled “Mobile Learning using Ready-to-go slides and Fluid Boxes.” My session is from the Advanced Track, but you could also attend a session from any other track throughout the day.
After the first group of sessions, we will break for lunch. In the past, many of the session speakers like to sit together. No offence gang but I've met you all before. What I want to do is have lunch with a whole new group of people. If you follow my video tutorials on YouTube and would like to meet me for lunch, invite me to your table. I want to get to know you and hear all about the different sessions that I couldn’t attend. One thing I can promise is that the Mirage catering department puts out a fantastic lunch. You won’t be hungry or disappointed.
After lunch, will be the second set of sessions. The one I’m most interested in is “Creating Virtual Reality Walkthroughs using Adobe Captivate.” I’ve embraced all the new features in Captivate 2019, but I haven’t had much opportunity or experience with VR. I’m hoping Debbie Richards has some hints and tips for making really cool VR eLearning.
After the second set of sessions is another networking break, so again get your business cards out. During the breaks are usually the best time to stop me and say hello. I'm always happy to meet new L&D colleagues, especially if you're a subscriber to my YouTube channel.
The third group of sessions will be next. I’m interested in Josh Cavalier’s session on how to make use of the video-based features in Captivate. It's tough to decide because there are some excellent sessions at the same time as Josh’s.
In the final block of sessions, I’m very interested in Andrew Hughes’ session on making Compliance and Soft Skills eLearning. His description alone is worth reading. I bet anyone walking away from his session will have all the strategies to make some really engaging eLearning.
I can’t reiterate it enough. The Adobe Learning Summit, in combination with the Adobe Captivate Specialist Certification, is the best value in eLearning professional development there is. Even if you must fly in from as far away as Boston or in my case Toronto, you will walk away with so much more than when you started. If you want any questions answered about the conference or the certification, feel free to message me over on twitter. My handle is https://twitter.com/CaptivateTeachr, and I will be happy to answer them for you. Hopefully, I will see you soon in Vegas.