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Dates and Venue

23 - 24 April 2025 | ExCeL London

17 - 18 April 2024 | ExCeL London

Learning Technologies goes silver: 25 years of Europe’s leading workplace learning event

Monday 11 March 2024

Learning Technologies goes silver: 25 years of Europe’s leading workplace learning event

Chloë Sibley
Learning Technologies goes silver: 25 years of Europe’s leading workplace learning event

We are delighted to announce that Learning Technologies is celebrating 25 years in 2024. The past quarter-century has shown a monumental growth for our leading event, which originally launched as an IT training show. We are grateful to everyone who has been a part of our Learning Technologies community – from our annual conference and exhibition to online webinar series and fabulous awards gala evening.

Over the years we have welcomed thousands of L&D experts and enthusiasts, world-class speakers, leading exhibitors and suppliers from all across the globe. We invite you to celebrate this special occasion with us this year at ExCeL London, which promises to be our biggest and best Learning Technologies Conference & Exhibition yet. 

Let’s take a look at what the past quarter-century has meant for Learning Technologies over the years, including the continuous growth of the learning and development industry. It’s been an action-packed 25 years, and we can’t wait to see what the next years bring…

 

Where it all began: The rise of IT training

Back in the 1990’s, Information Technology (IT) was all anyone could talk about. Following the sparked evolution of technology in the 1980’s, the 90’s saw a rise in tech implementation in almost every sector, and the power of tech was truly felt in many organisations for the first time. Using of computers in the workplace became more and more common, and with that, came IT training.

For most people, this was a brand new learning curve that not only affected jobs, but as we’ve seen over the years, would impact everyday lives. The rise of IT was a giant leap for workers in the 90’s, and out of the learning needs, Learning Technologies was born.

Things looked a little different back then! Learning Technologies made its debut as a gathering of learning professionals at Kensington Olympia The landscape was vastly different — e-Learning was in its infancy, and traditional classroom-based training still dominated corporate learning programs. However, even in its early days, Learning Technologies foreshadowed the transformative power of technology in learning. 

 

The good, the fads and the discoveries: How an audience shapes a conference

The name, location and size might have all changed – but the goal of Learning Technologies has stayed the same. The aim is to bring the L&D community together, explore the trends in the industry, utilise research to address challenges, and provide solutions to these challenges. With fads, trends and new discoveries changing all the time in the L&D industry, Learning Technologies had to keep up with all this and bring in the best experts to discuss the most relevant topics.

We've had the pleasure of hosting some of the best industry leaders, L&D experts and inspiring speakers on our stages. We are always proud to say the Chair of our conference is Donald H Taylor, a well-known figure in the L&D community, who's been behind the captivating conference programmes every year since the beginning. Our speaker cohort over the years has featured the likes of Laura Overton, Charles Jennings, David Kelly, Michelle Ockers, Donald ClarkLavinia Mehedințu, Kevin Yates, and hundreds upon hundreds more.

And did you know that Tony Buzan, inventor of mind-mapping, spoke at the Learning Technologies Conference in 2013? Watch this recording of his talk 'How To Make the Most of Your Creative Mind' for a learning throwback...

 

Expanding horizons: the ever-growing exhibition

Over the years, Learning Technologies' popularity grew and grew each year, so much so that it meant a move from Kensington Olympia to ExCeL London in 2019. This encouraged an even wider audience and bigger exhibition floor to showcase the latest products, solutions and innovations. 

We've been delighted to showcase so many leading exhibitors and suppliers on our exhibition floor over the years. The exhibition has truly become a vibrant, bustling space for people to learn from the Seminar Theatres and Bitesize Learning Zones — but also to have some fun with the various stand features. We've seen everything from robots and holograms, to massage stations and popcorn machines! Years of growing and evolving has meant this space is the ultimate hub for L&D professionals to learn together, share new ideas, and build a community of people who are passionate about their work in L&D.

 

The past 25 years in L&D topics

This quarter-century has seen both the conference and exhibition at Learning Technologies grow alongside the evolving innovations of the L&D industry. It's the trends and topics that help shape the theme of the conference programme, as well as the wide variety of products and services showcased on the exhibition floor. Let's take a look at what some of the key trends have been over the years...

Embracing digital transformation

When the new millennium unfolded, Learning Technologies grew alongside the rapid advancements in technology. The event became a hub for showcasing the latest innovations in e-Learning platforms, virtual classrooms, and learning management systems. Organisations began to recognise the potential of digital learning solutions to deliver personalised, scalable, and cost-effective training programs to employees across the globe.

The rise of blended learning

The concept of blended learning, which combines online and in-person instruction, gained traction during the early 2000s. Learning Technologies played a pivotal role in championing this approach, providing a platform for experts to share best practices and success stories. Attendees discovered how blending traditional and digital learning modalities could enhance learner engagement, improve retention, and drive business results.

Mobile learning and microlearning revolution

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the late 2000s ushered in a new era of learning on-the-go. Learning Technologies embraced this trend, showcasing mobile learning solutions and advocating for bite-sized content delivery through microlearning. Attendees learned how to leverage mobile devices to deliver just-in-time training, foster continuous learning, and meet the needs of modern learners who crave flexibility and convenience.

Virtual Reality and immersive learning

The advent of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies opened up new possibilities for immersive learning experiences. Learning Technologies showcased VR simulations for soft skills training, AR applications for on-the-job performance support, and interactive 360-degree videos for virtual tours. Attendees experienced firsthand how immersive technologies could create memorable and impactful learning experiences that transcend traditional training methods.

Artificial Intelligence and personalisation

In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer in the learning and development landscape. Learning Technologies became a platform for exploring AI-powered adaptive learning systems, AI-powered chat functions for learner support, and data analytics for personalised learning experiences. Attendees delved into the potential of AI to deliver tailored training content, identify individual learning gaps, and optimise learning pathways.

Future trends and beyond

As Learning Technologies celebrates 25 years, the future of workplace learning continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Emerging technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain are poised to revolutionise the way we learn and work. Learning Technologies remains at the forefront of these developments, serving as a compass for learning professionals navigating the ever-changing landscape of digital transformation.

 

But wait...there's more!

It’s been a long time since Learning Technologies was a singular event – we’ve had the honour of hosting an annual follow-up event held in summer before becoming the Learning Technologies Autumn Forum. This was designed to continue the conversation of Europe’s leading workplace learning event, exploring how everything discussed in the spring had evolved over the year. 

The Learning Technologies Awards is no doubt our most fabulous event of the year. The glittering gala evening takes place every November celebrating the L&D industry, bringing the community together and rewarding hard work and dedication. This event has grown to include international awards categories, and takes place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, beautifully located across the river from the London Eye. The evening consists of a champagne reception, 3-course dinner, and live entertainment featuring renowned comedians and a live band to carry the party into the early hours.

Our LT Webinar series takes place online throughout the year. With as many as two sessions every two weeks, these webinars are free to attend and open to everyone. This series is another way we bring the L&D community together, reaching people from across the globe and providing an interactive format to encourage people to share their ideas and experiences.

 

We can't wait to celebrate with you in April

These past 25 years have meant Learning Technologies has evolved from a modest gathering, to a Europe's leading workplace learning event shaping the future of L&D. Its journey reflects the relentless march of technological progress and the unwavering commitment to innovation in learning and development. 

Learning Technologies is constantly adapting, improving, and in its own way learning, to meet audience wants and needs. It’s all about people – the industry trends you’re experiencing, the challenges you’re facing, and everything you want to know about L&D – is always at the heart of Learning Technologies. 

Join us on 17-18 April 2024 at ExCeL London, where we host our biggest event yet and bring the L&D community together once again to celebrate 25 years of Learning Technologies!

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