What Happens in Vegas, Doesn’t Stay in Vegas


The eLearning Guild’s DevLearn Conference is happening next week in Las Vegas.

Because of business priorities, I can’t go. So, I’m pissed.

A Guild conference is a careerlife-sustaining activity. It’s the “power up” charge in the video game right when your character is on fumes (quite like the therapeutic experience of  participating in a weekly #lrnchat).

Going to an eLearning Guild conference immerses you going into a cocoon of concentrated learning awesomeness.

  • Every person I’ve encountered at a Guild conference “gets it”- when personally meeting attendees, I genuinely come to like and respect them quickly (really, no turkeys running around these conferences…    …uh, I just realized I may be “that guy”, but please don’t tell me if I am the turkey)
  • Every keynote is top-notch
  • Every session offers something thought-provoking

Attendance is either transformative (you change how you do things), or validating (you understand that those who get it are also rallying against those who don’t in their organizations, and that the battles can be won).

Either way, it’s high-value.

And I can’t go. Too busy driving to fill up with gas.

So, what do I (and several of my colleagues who also can’t attend) do?

What Happens in Vegas Goes to the Backchannel

David Kelly (twitter handle @LnDDave) curates backchannels for learning conferences on his site, http://misadventuresinlearning.blogspot.com.

David has done this for several conferences over the past couple of years. He does a tremendous job of collecting and organizing resources from these conferences.

I’d say “in my opinion” except for the fact that he’s done such a great job that the DevLearn organizers are coordinating with David to bring added value to the backchannel.

Although a backchannel cannot replicate the contact high you get from participating in the conference live with peers, it is a great option to gain exposure to the resources from the conference.

This is not just for those of us who can’t attend, but for those attendees who have to make the hard choice between which session they will attend for each time slot (boo hoo, cry me a river- I can’t go!). With the wealth of options at a Guild conference, choosing between two or more great sessions during the same time is the norm. Attendees can use the backchannel to gain insight and resources from the sessions they miss.

With David’s experience and the DevLearn organizer’s active endorsement, I am eager too see what the DevLearn backchannel will provide this year.

My sincere thanks to @LnDDave for providing this service. I am still ticked about not being able to attend, but the backchannel helps take away a bit of the sting.

For those of you who are attending- have an amazing time (I am sure you will).

And, please, resist all temptations sing “The Gambler” while walking through a Casino.

3 thoughts on “What Happens in Vegas, Doesn’t Stay in Vegas

  1. Hi David – I was lucky enough to go to DevLearn, where I met a lot of the people you write about in your post. True enough, the “get-it factor” was off the charts. I still have a few people I want to meet, and you are one of them. What are you planning for 2012?

  2. Thanks Eric. Yes, even without attending, the backchannel and hashcaster demonstrated an AMAZING amount of resources being shared. But, I do regret not being able to see friends in person, and meet new colleagues for the first time.

    I do plan on attending SALT Conference in Feb, and with any luck, I will be speaking at LS2012 on Learning Analytics.

    Otherwise, I plan on keeping a pretty low profile. Lots to do with the great clients who pay the bills, plenty of reviews to perform for OpenSesame’s growing catalog, and lots to experiment with in the mobile realm. It is a great time to be in this field.

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