It’s been about 3 weeks since TLDC19. It’s time and even past time to reflect. This was my first TLDC conference. I have organized my reflection in a few buckets:
One of the best things about TLDC19 was the chatter. Just talking to people you may have chatted with online and may have just met. The size and culture of the conference were unlike the other big ones that can simulate human cattle calls, rounding people from one session to another with treats and beverages in between. From Sunday night through Tuesday, I participated in numerous conversations about whatever was on our minds. That was often L&D related, sometimes music, sometimes tech, sometimes current climate & culture. The community spirit of the attendees and their desire to just know each other was refreshing and aided in tamping down the conference fatigue that happens with the larger ones.
The presenters and in keynotes were accessible. You could chat with them and start/continue relationships with them. ATD had President Obama last year. I expect him to not be accessible. The TLDC team selects not the world famous speakers who may give the audience the adrenaline rush of a brush with greatness, but equally intelligent speakers with the ability to make you think. As much as I would have loved to have been in the room last year with Obama and 5,000 other people, I got to hear Trish Uhl and Kati Ryan give me a rush talking about disruption and personal brand (respectively). Trish’s disruption keynote is still rattling around in my mind. That’s a far better rush, IMHO.
Cognitive load was a topic in Tim Slade’s visual design session. Humans can only take in so much at a time–my point above! Slade said (not direct quote) that we can control extraneous cognitive load by controlling how we chunk and present content. I feel like that sums up TLDC19. I don’t know if Brent and team are doing this consciously. Speakers presented and the days were arranged in a way that I could have internal and external intellectual collisions, spark an idea, capture my ideas (for me in One Note), and mentally check-in and out of the conference as I needed.
There were times that something sparked in me an idea that I had to write down and I tuned out what was being said. During a few conversations with people, I had to pull out my phone and take notes. What they shared was either so brilliant or inspiring that I had to capture the thought.
I had a lot of ideas pop. I’ve acted on a few. Working and living with other ideas still. The most disappointing part for me is that I ended up leaving early on Tuesday. I was sick and declining (bronchitis and ear infection). I plan to catch the recordings of that afternoon. Even re-watch sessions I attended.
Thank you TLDC team and community for the best conference!