On 09 May L&Dpro celebrated its premiere at the MVG Museum in Munich. Numerous personnel developers and HR managers celebrated this new focused event for Learning & Development! The perfect stage for 7 keynotes from research and business practice, over 50 top speakers and 92 L&D brands, which fascinated the 612 trade visitors.
The day began early in the morning for enthusiastic Expofestival participants: they took advantage of the Early Morning Yoga Session (at 7:30 a.m.!) at the nearby Yoga Vidya Centre and not only start the day relaxed, but also start networking early. Just one of the many aspects that reflected the expo festival character of L&Dpro. Afterwards the visitors were welcomed in the MVG Museum, with live music. Some took the opportunity to simply dance into the Expo hall and lay the foundation for a cheerful day.
Decision-makers from personnel development meet top L&D brands
Well-known players in the industry as well as small providers of products and services in the learning and development sector presented their offers on the new platform: from training and further education, diagnostics, knowledge management, software and tools, learning technologies, e-learning, corporate learning or blended learning as well as learning management systems to corporate theatre and business games, L&Dpro covered all areas of interest of personnel developers. The trade visitors were particularly impressed by the broad repertoire of providers of learning technologies who were represented at the Expo Festival. Suppliers value L&Dpro's target-group-specific orientation. "L&Dpro is a gigantic format. As an exhibitor, you meet the relevant contacts from the personnel development of organisations and hold discussions at eye level. We could exchange interesting insights", emphasises Markus Mäteling from the WEKA Learning Group. Alexandra Klarl from Pro:aktiv concludes similarly: "We had good discussions and are satisfied. Apart from that all the little things like the Candy Bar, the Coffee-Flat or the live band made the great feeling of L&Dpro!” René Schädlich from Mastersolution was also impressed by the positive response and the large number of visitors and already announced that he will be back for the second edition.”
Inspiring keynotes inspire L&D professionals
There was great interest in the lectures at the two Content Stages. In particular, the keynotes gathered numerous listeners so that no space remained empty. The lecture topics highlighted current challenges in personnel development and offered insight into corporate practice and research. Dr. Kai Liebert from the Global Learning Campus of Siemens AG emphasized in his keynote speech entitled "Go digital or go home!" that digital transformation and its integration into corporate strategy are essential. He also appealed to those responsible for learning to understand digitalization as such in order to be able to adequately accompany learners with learning content and at the same time transfer more responsibility to learners. In her keynote, Prof. Nele Graf addressed the question of how the learning competencies of employees can be increased and presented current study results: 87% of the respondents stated that they find extrinsic incentives such as praise and recognition important for vocational learning. 98% of the respondents were willing to learn new things. In the afternoon, Anthony White of Allianz University explained in his keynote speech "On the Paradox of Control" that it was important to give employees enough freedom to learn. If they were provided with relevant and good learning content, the learning platforms would establish themselves automatically.
Experiment "BarCamp meets Expofestival" a success
The BarCamp, which was organised in cooperation with the Corporate Learning Community (CLC), was very well received. Here, the personnel developers and HR managers had the option of submitting session proposals. "The L&Dpro Barcamp gives visitors the opportunity to learn from each other," explains Karlheinz Pape of the Corporate Learning Community. Other trade visitors who were interested in the same question were able to take part in the respective discussion round spontaneously and without registration. In this way, a total of 18 sessions with 128 participants were held to discuss application-related issues.
Intensive exchange at eye level
A special feature of L&Dpro is the so-called "hard door". In order to ensure that high-level discussions can be held between providers of L&D solutions and their potential buyers, the visitors were validated in the run-up to the Expof Festival. Independent trainers and coaches as well as providers of L&D solutions were not admitted as visitors. They could only participate in the event as exhibitors. "We were aware that the rejection of visitor registrations could create a certain resentment. Fortunately, however, those affected often had understanding," explains project manager Monika Schädel. "Our credo is "networking at eye level". We wanted to uphold this claim”, she continued.
Plenty of room for interaction
In addition, the interactive side events with the BarCamp, the exchange of experience, organized by the BPM – German Association of HR Managers - and the MeetUps at the exhibition stands provided an intensive exchange. Especially the MeetUps were very well attended: Here customers of the exhibitors reported about the cooperation and joint projects at their booths. In addition, the Experience Stage offered the opportunity to listen to numerous best practice reports. Coaches invited to 30-minute training sessions in the Live Training Area. The setting of the MVG museum between stylish 1920s trams, foodtrucks, early morning yoga and aftershow party rounded off the festival feeling at L&Dpro and contributed to the relaxed atmosphere.
This is the organizer's conclusion
"So far, there has been a lack of a focused expo for personnel developers and HR managers in Germany. Our partners and experts from the learning and development scene have repeatedly emphasized this. With L&Dpro we wanted to close this gap and create an offer that satisfies the needs of trade visitors and L&D service providers alike", says Alexander R. Petsch, CEO of the organiser børding messe. "Our claim was that L&Dpro should remain in the minds of everyone involved as a rich experience where fun does not fall by the wayside. In addition to information on service providers and new products, exciting lectures that provide a lot of inspiration for everyday business, the Expo Festival was also intended to provide space for concrete exchange between personnel developers. The response of all participants, be it visitors, exhibitors or speakers, is huge and reflects exactly that! Next year we want to expand the Expo Festival even further and are looking forward to the second round," says the organiser.
Outlook for 2020
The second edition of the Expo Festival for Learning & Development Professionals will take place on 28 May 2020 at the MVG Museum in Munich and is again aimed at personnel developers and HR managers from all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland. There is already a great demand for stand reservations and L&Dpro 2020 promises to be a great success next year as well.