#LT13UK Honest review 

I decided unlike others to knee jerk a blog out about #lt13uk this year until I had a few days to gather some thoughts.

The day after I attended an International Think Tank meeting hosted by the LPI and then Friday I walked the floor at BETT (another post).

So hear I am, thoughts gathered and ready to hit the keys. (new pen to paper?)

Three shows in one. Learning Technologies, Learning and Skills and The Cloud. Oh yes and a conference upstairs.

Very few of them at the conference ventured down to the exhibition floor. Well excuse the pun but it was below them (two floors). The most expensive conference on the circuit and sold out. Many however spend £1000 to attend but won’t spend the same £1000 on their staff as they have no budget! That’s not me being controversial but a reality. Shame really.

So to the exhibitions. LT first.

First day was very busy, second not so much. First impression was that the stands were far bigger, much more self build extravagance and to be honest, to much ‘ours is bigger and better than yours’ for my liking.

Networking around the floor was great. So many good conversations over two days. Lots of upbeat life in the market but little expecting to spend any real money on anything. Great to look to see what’s new said many. But they also said its hard to find anything new.

Responsive web design seemed the big theme with a very limited talk of xAPI (Tin Can). Those I met were interested in seeing what I had produced in xAPI as it was not talk about it but the chance to see it. I found only two vendors with anything to show and to be honest they were not good examples. More if a replacement for SCORM. Since the show I have been asked are there any case studies I can provide. Well the spec does not release till April, so a bit early I would say for a case study of any worth. Early adoption is probably a better way to look at it.

There was mobile mobile mobile on every stand. However, it was very clear from the vast majority of corporates that they have no mobile strategy at this time and for many it’s not on their radar! Maybe that will be the biggest change if the show has any influence on the market.

All in all LT was a good exhibition, the stages were well attended but they were very much sales presentations. If I am honest I think there were too many stages. All back to back and very noisy.

Onto Learning and Skills.

Whoa, what a difference 20 yards into the red zone makes.

The stark difference as you walked out of technology sales and into the real nitty gritty learning and training and skills world. This is what training and learning is all about, no?

The big stands were gone, shell scheme everywhere and so many who need a lesson in how to promote themselves. Hand drawn pictures stuck poorly on the walks, messy tables, unclear statements. People in stands clicking on phones not even noticing the punters walking by. Many less people, stands closer together and it felt like you were walking the gauntlet in every isle.

Henry at Happy Computers grabbed me and gave me a copy of his book, thanks Henry will read it this week.

I was offered 5 types of post it notes, and lots of trainer props. Oh and of course the hotels and conference centre people all want to do you a deal.

I am not completely sure I got this section of the show at all. It did however have the quietest coffee area and I met a number of people there to talk.

Did it promote anything new to me about learning or teaching skills? Err no!

Onto The Cloud

Feet now killing me after two days I ventured down to The Cloud. I think it was the same organiser, hence you got free entry. But it really was a different exhibition.

Down a long staircase and into the great hall of Olympia and this was a huge exhibition selling you…. The Cloud!

I am sure there was every major exhibitor here. The theme? Data farms, data storage and app delivery from.,. You guessed it, The Cloud.

200 exhibitors all selling me the same thing. I started asking what makes your cloud better than theirs. I got a few nerdy answers about redundancy and networks and gigabyte throughputs but I am not better informed.

No post it notes here, but I got a couple of USB drives and free water. £2.50 a bottle upstairs.

Then I had a realisation. Big one!

If these people come upstairs are they going to see what I see downstairs? Loads of vendors some on huge stands looking to big to approach, all selling the same stuff?

If you are an upstairs vendor, think about this for next year!

Pedometer reported 10.7 miles in two days. No wonder my legs hurt!

Lots of people to follow up conversations with next week after two interesting days at Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills.

Next stop, Singapore for Learning World at the end of the month, then looking forward to Learning Solutions in Orlando. This for me is normally the best conference of the year. Time to start getting excited.