World of Learning 2020 roundup

Find out what went down at the World of Learning Summit 2020.

Written by Helen Essex
Published 15 December 2020
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World of Learning 2020 roundup
Who would have thought, back in January 2020, that the year ahead would see us hosting L&D summits with thousands of participants, live seminars, and an exhibition hall – all virtually?

I bet if we were asked, back then, to imagine what a “virtual conference” would look like, we’d come up with futuristic descriptions of holograms and Black Mirror-style conversations with robots at exhibition stands.
Simply put, the concept seemed lightyears away. How wrong we were.

Setting out our virtual stall  


Pitched as “a ‘one-stop-shop’ for L&D professionals looking for a complete blend of learning solutions and inspiration”, World of Learning went digital for 2020. And Emerald Works was proud to be a part of it.

In the run-up, seeing our virtual stand come together alongside other exhibitors from across the spectrum of L&D providers stirred a sense of nervous excitement.

But from the outset, it was clear that the team at World of Learning had worked tirelessly so the two-day event was as close to the real thing as possible.

The platform was simple and straightforward to navigate, with all the areas you’d expect from an in-person event.

As a team, our mission was simple: to offer visitors a demo of the new-look-and-feel Mind Tools toolkit.

With 2021 fast approaching, evidence shows that blended learning is fast becoming the norm. So, we talked with people about how our on-demand learning resources can help their people gain essential management, leadership and personal effectiveness skills. Wherever, whenever.

World of Learning highlights


What was remarkable at World of Learning 2020 was the learning opportunities available. This, to me, was the part that most closely resembled what we learn at real-life summits. (There were even alarms to notify you a new session was about to start!)

The itinerary was action-packed, and while I was busy on the stand most of the two days, I was lucky enough to join Nigel Paine’s keynote speech: Five Shifts: The Game Changers for L&D.

I was fascinated by Nigel’s identification of the five shifts that L&D teams must take to establish a learning culture in their organizations. I also loved the way he described the differences between fixed and growth mindsets, and that those with the latter “believe in their ability to learn.”

A lot of Nigel’s theory aligns with the findings in our Learner Intelligence Report, including the importance of self-determined learning and creating a curious workforce.

Better online?


During the session, I considered how much different the Q&A’s feel on online. The “chat” functionality of video call was constantly abuzz with conversations around the issues Nigel raised.

And I wondered whether this allowed more instant connections to be made than the “polite” face-to-face setting – where questions are typically a structured part of the agenda.

Putting learning into practice


At Emerald Works, we were pleased to contribute to the exciting on-demand seminars. Gent Ahmetaj, our Head of Research, led the session on Addressing the Disconnect Between Strategy and Practice.

In it, he discussed the importance of a high-impact organizational learning culture – and talked about how to create one.

Gent also covered the impact of COVID-19 on how employees learn. And touched on the key elements of self-determined learning – and how to drive it in your organization. 

If you missed it, you can catch the session here, or download the Learner Intelligence Report which dives deeper into the findings Gent discussed.

Last call for the Learning Health Check


We also chatted with delegates about their experiences of taking part in our Learning Health Check (LHC).

It’s the most comprehensive review and benchmarking tool on the global L&D market. Each year, the LHC provides our research team with data and insights about the L&D space. It lets participants reflect on their learning strategy, highlight areas to improve, and shows how they compare with the competition.

You still have time to take the Learning Health Check for 2020 before it closes on 31st December. We need to capture as much information as possible about this extraordinary year – so don’t miss your opportunity to have your say!

Looking forward to 2021


Our team missed the opportunity to connect in-person with our clients. But we welcomed dozens of delegates to our stand across the two days, and we’re looking forward to connecting with them again soon to better understand their L&D requirements.

In conclusion

Thankfully, no robots!

World of Learning 2020 was perhaps a little quieter than an in-person event. But it was a wonderful opportunity to connect with the L&D community we’re proud to be a part of.

If you’re interested in booking a demo of Mind Tools based on what you’ve read today, you can do so here.

In the meantime, hopefully it won’t be long before we’re truly face-to-face again.

About the author

Helen Essex

Helen Essex

Marketing Manager - Europe & Australia
Helen has worked in B2B marketing for over eight years, and is continually looking for ways in which to bring Emerald Works's story to audiences across Europe and Australia. She enjoys working closely with clients and teams right across our business to understand how L&D is shifting and developing and incorporating this information into creative, dynamic campaigns.

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