By Gina Valenti, Marketing Co-ordinator & Dani Greening, Artworker/Copywriter

Our Day at the #WOL2016!

As newbies to GP Strategies, it’s been a whirlwind of learning everything from LMS, CMS, to setting up a simple voicemail system. Which is why when we attended the World of Learning Conference and Exhibition at the NEC, all of what our company stands for made sense, or at least some of it!


From 10am – 4pm, we were subject to a series of educational seminars, exhibitions, conferences, and even the odd magician and superman all trying to get across what they had to offer in the world of learning, excuse the pun. As we are new to the industry, it was a great way for us to absorb all of the ins and outs about the sector that we were about to enter, which if we’re honest, we didn’t really know a great deal about.


The learning and development industry

Many of the seminars spoke about the bare essentials of the industry, such as Talent Management and how you can use new innovations in technology to improve business performance. Later, we learnt more in depth about how to choose the right Learning Management System and how you should consider factors such as functionality, price, support, service, goals and objectives. We discovered how you should be specific with what you want to get out of your system, otherwise, you won’t be doing yourself or your clients any favours.

Jargon such as Vendors, xAPI, and Human Capital Management systems were being talked about in so much detail, that we needed a glossary to understand. Then as the day progressed, everything became easier to comprehend and we felt more confident in asking the right questions, well, kind of.

Be a leader and flourish

Although there was little to wow us at the exhibition - apart from the robot that could sing and dance, we felt that at the close of the day our minds began to change and we felt more enthused as we listened to the final seminar, held by Angus Ridgway.

Angus worked for a company called Potentialife, and spoke about what it takes to be a leader and how to ‘flourish’ in your role. He outlined 5 key elements of how you can achieve this, which was really engaging to listen to. His first point was how you should work on your strengths, eliminating your weaknesses by default. Then to consider how your health effects your performance. What we found most interesting was the topic on stress, as surprisingly we discovered that it is actually a good thing to have some stress in your professional life. Most importantly, he explained that the process of how you recover from a stressful situation is the pivotal part of flourishing.

Absorption was the third topic, whereby you take inward control and recognise that you need to slow things down, increase your awareness and become absorbed. By doing this you are able to raise your engagement level and make the ordinary extraordinary. Further discussion was around relationships, and how you can work with your colleagues, which we felt was an important factor starting out at a new company.

Something that intrigued us both was his talk on interacting with people and that you should always try and lead with a positive energy to the conversation, otherwise you are not working authentically. Which led him into the final point about having a purpose in any role you are doing, otherwise, the work that you do is futile.

The seminar raised many thought provoking notions for us and we left feeling very empowered and passionate about our new roles at GP Strategies. It was a great stepping stone for us to begin to understand all about the sphere of learning, and we felt confident in reaching out to the exhibitors to listen to their offerings, how we could develop with them, or collaborate as partners. By speaking to another business, we realised we were already working alongside one another on a client’s business, so not really competitors as we once thought! 

Empowering employees

On reflection, we entered the exhibition not knowing a great deal about the industry, and we left feeling very enthused and eager to learn more. If we were asked to pin-point the best part about the exhibition, it would have to be the last seminar on empowering your employees to become their own leaders and how you can flourish as an individual. However, we’re not one to refuse free chocolate and pens either!

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