Mark Britz, senior manager of programming at The eLearning Guild, held a live chat to answer questions about DevLearn 2019 Conference & Expo. If you were unable to tune in, here is a recap of some of the questions received.

Q: There are a lot of conferences out there. Why would this one in particular be worthwhile?

A: Well, I must admit that I’m a little biased because I helped build this conference. But DevLearn is designed to be very practical. You can take what you learn there right back to the job. It’s also very hands-on. There are a lot of sessions on the program that are BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), where you can gain specific skills in technologies.

Q: We have a fairly diverse L&D team. Would DevLearn be appropriate for all of us?

A: It depends on the makeup of your team. There are 160+ sessions, so there’s something here for everybody. See where the alignment for each individual would be.

Q: Although I started out in instructional design, I am now a manager. Is DevLearn for me?

A: There is plenty for people who are in more of a leadership role. They may be looking at the larger ecosystem, they may be looking a little closer at Agile methodology, or may want to make a change to their LMS. We have a ton of pre-conference activities and co-located events that allow people on all levels to dive deeper into specific platforms, products, or topics of interest to them.

Q: What makes DevLearn different?

A: You’re going to see a lot of sessions that will give you a lean into the future. Yes, we meet the needs of today. But L&D has to look ahead to meet the needs of business as it changes and grows. We always have our finger on the pulse of the newest technologies coming down the road. That is what differentiates DevLearn from our competitors, who may be more focused on the training or classroom-side of things. The strength of DevLearn is that we’re always looking a little forward.

Q: I have been to your Learning Solutions conference in Orlando, but never attended DevLearn. How would you compare the two?

A: We offer a similar format in all our conferences; we have pre-conference activities and workshops, and BYOD sessions. But Learning Solutions is a smaller event, and we position it a little more for beginners. Not that we skirt around any of the more progressive ideas! But DevLearn definitely goes deeper into the technologies and development.

Q: Is there a way I could attend virtually, without schlepping across the United States and having to pay for a hotel?

A: In the past we have recorded many of the keynote presentations, and people can watch them. But offering a live virtual element to the conference adds another dimension that I wouldn’t mind exploring! For those who like to learn remotely, I might add that we offer a series of six annual Online Conferences for those who have signed up for that membership package. The Microlearning Design conference is scheduled for September 18 & 19, and the Business of Learning conference will happen November 6 & 7. You can find out more details on our website. Of course, they are not exactly what you’d experience at DevLearn. But they do offer up to eight sessions of rich content that is available online. And you can take advantage of live chats with the presenters.

Q: Okay… so I want to go to DevLearn. What can I tell my boss to convince him to let me come?

A: You should stress what you will get out of it, and what he will get out of it by letting you go. We actually have a template you can use to craft a convincing letter or pitch to your boss. In particular, refer to the section: 8 Reasons I Need to Be at DevLearn.