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Home / Resources / Get ready to be inspired at LT18

Get ready to be inspired at LT18


All roads lead to London this week, as Europe’s biggest L&D event, Learning Technologies 2018, comes to town.

More than 8,000 visitors are expected to attend the conference and exhibition at Olympia on 31 January and 1 February 2018, making it the most popular show in its 18-year history. In fact, Learning Technologies, incorporating Learning and Skills, is now the best attended and fastest growing L&D show in the entire learning sector.

So what can people expect? There’ll be over 200 exhibitors, 150 free seminars across 10 exhibition hall theatres, and renowned learning experts sharing their knowledge in the conference rooms.

Event organiser Mark Penton said: “There is so much to see that many organisations now send their whole team to the event. They find that the event is a great way to motivate, educate and unify a team and to have fun.”

With so much going, on pre-planning is essential.  We’ve highlighted some things not to miss at Learning Technologies 2018, plus our own 'insider' tips.

"They find that the event is a great way to motivate, educate and unify a team and to have fun.” Mark Penton Event organiser Learning Technologies 2018

Conference picks

Learning culture

This session looks at what it takes to build an organisational learning culture. The three speakers include Tom Bailey, Learning Experience Manager at AXA UK. He’ll be talking about how AXA worked with Sponge to successfully shift from a training to a learning culture with a programme that won gold at the Learning Technologies Awards.

(13.50-15.00, Jan 31, Conference Room 3)

Simulations and games

Chaired by Sponge’s Head of Learning Strategy, Julie Wedgwood, this session discusses a games-based approach to organisational learning, and structuring simulations for real-world results. It looks at what’s being made possible by technologies and asks: “Is there a better way to learn, than by doing?”

(13.50-15.00, Jan 31, Conference Room 5)

Julie is also chairing two other sessions on practical learning frameworks for the modern workforce and setting up your L&D department for business success. 

The Transformation Curve

Not-for-profit organisation Towards Maturity are launching a new study that they promise will “transform the way that L&D adds value to business and the way that the business values L&D”. They have applied new data analytics to reveal the most effective combinations of actions, tools and strategies. During the 45-minute launch, Laura Overton, CEO at Towards Maturity, will be explaining why 2018 could be “the year for transformation” for L&D. Advanced booking is advised.

(17.00-17.45, Jan 31, Conference Room 4)

The Truth About Digital Learning

Fosway Group (Europe’s leading HR Analyst focused on Next Gen HR, Talent and Learning) will be revealing brand new data from the 2018 Digital Learning Realities research. They’ll be discussing which technologies are really working in L&D. David Wilson and David Perring from Fosway Group aim to help L&D make informed decisions about digital learning solutions and investment.

(12.40-13.20, Feb 1, Conference Room 2)

Full details of all the conference sessions can be found here.

Must-see keynotes

Rohit Talwar

Founder & CEO at Fast Future Research, opens Learning Technologies 2018 with “Emerging Technologies: How advances in science and technology could transform the ways we live, work and learn”. Talwar, a futurist and advisor to global businesses, has a reputation as a provocative speaker.

(09.30-10.40, Jan 31, Conference Room 1)

Ulrich Boser

Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, is the keynote speaker on the second day with “The key commandments of ‘learning to learn,’ or how to become an expert in just about anything”. In his new book, Learn Better, Boser, examines what he terms “the new science of learning”.

(09.30-10.40, Feb 1, Conference Room 1)

Free seminars

“It’s a winner! How to create an outstanding learning campaign”

In the first, Head of Innovation Kate Pasterfield looks at how to drive performance and make a tangible difference to both employees and company results using learning campaigns. Based on the gold award-winning project with the global insurance giant AXA, Kate will be sharing:

  • What a learning campaign really is
  • The key components for success
  • The importance of human-centred design
  • How to mix technologies/approaches to maximise impact
  • How you can adapt this winning formula in your own organisation

(12.30-13.00, Jan 31, Exhibition Theatre 5)

“How microlearning is now a game changer for improving business performance”

In the second free seminar, Sponge’s Julie Wedgwood and Christine Tutssel, Co-founder and Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Axonify, will be revealing case studies where microlearning has led to transformed results. Attendees will learn:

  • How learning methods based on brain science are changing the way employees learn
  • How personal analytics can support employees to take responsibility for their own learning
  • How spaced learning and retrieval practice can improve employee confidence

(13.15-13.45, Feb 1, Exhibition Theatre 5)

Other seminars include:

“Disrupting eLearning: a futurist’s vision for the L&D industry”

Docebo CEO Claudio Erba presents his vision for how elearning will evolve with technological advances in artificial intelligence, electricity, genetics, and disruptive technologies.

(15.30-16.00, Feb 1, Exhibition Theatre 8)

“In the long term future, will Artificial Intelligence negate the need to learn?”

Toby Barnard of IBM discusses the implications of a world where AI tech replaces jobs that are repetitive or process-based.

(10.15-10.45, Jan 31, Exhibition Theatre 9)

Full details of all the conference sessions can be found here.

Learning legends

David Kelly, Executive VP and Executive Director, The Elearning Guild.

David makes a number of appearances, including as a speaker in the Emerging Technologies session, “What’s new and next in learning technology?” (11.10-12.20, Jan 31, Conference Room 1).  He is also chairing MOOCs session (13.50-15.00, Feb 1, Conference Room 4). And you can catch him at the Towards Maturity Stand H15 (12.45-13.45, Jan 31), where he’s taking part in the LT 2018 Exchange Programme.  

Patti Shank, Award-winning author and internationally-renowned learning designer and analyst.

Patti will be speaking in the Future L&D session, “Making the difference: L&D's role in today’s ever-changing world” which will be asking: “What does ‘good’ L&D look like today?”

(11.10-12.20, Feb 1, Conference Room 1)

Dr Will Thalheimer,  Renowned researcher, best known for his work on learning reinforcement.

This year, he’s speaking on the theme: “How do you show the value of learning?” where he’ll be examining how to successfully evaluate learning programmes.

(11.10-12.20, Feb 1, Conference Room 5)

Steve Wheeler  Expert in learning technologies, author and blogger.

Plymouth-based, Steve joins in the Emerging Technologies session with his take on what’s hot and what’s not in the world of technology, and the implications for learning in the future.

(11.10-12.20, Jan 31, Conference Room 1)     

Get hands-on and meet people  

Discover if you’re a learning tech guru by having a go at a new learning game we’ve designed exclusively for Learning Technologies 2018. Test your learning technologies knowledge – we’re even throwing in a competitive element with a Top Gear style leader board! 

And why not try our latest in virtual reality (VR) for learning? Also, at our stand, you can discover how Axonify microlearning technology can build and sustain workforce knowledge.

(All day, both days, stand C7)

Docebo have a drinks and demo event, where you can enjoy a glass of bubbly and get some tips on how to accelerate learning.

(15.15-16.15, Jan 31, stand 01)

If you’re looking to network, head for the eLearning Network to connect with peers from across the industry.  Find them at stand Q1.   

"Go with an open mind, but also a clear goal of what you want to get out of the event." Sam Yates Senior Learning Designer Sponge

Insider tips

With so much going on you’ll definitely need a strategy (not to mention plenty of energy) to make the most of Learning Technologies 2018. Sam Yates, Senior Learning Designer at Sponge, LT Awards judge and veteran of many LT shows, has this advice:

“My top tips are planning, planning, planning! The event is so big that it's easy to end up walking around in circles for hours. Use the website and the schedule to plan your top three vendors, top three sessions and top three networking opportunities. Then, use the exhibition map to plan your route.  Go with an open mind, but also a clear goal of what you want to get out of the event.”

Come and meet the Sponge team – you’ll find us at C7. See you there!