Friday, July 13, 2012

Meeting other Learning Pros PT2- ASTD Golden Gate

As mentioned in my last Post I attended two meeting this week with people who share my passions.
The first detailed here was the Bay Area AIN Chapter meeting.
The other meeting I attended this week was my first chapter meeting with the Golden Gate chapter of ASTD

As regular readers will know I've been a member of the Chicagoland Chapter (CCASTD)  for a while. I stepped up and became a Chapter Leader in the Fall of 2011when I took on the role of VP Finance for my chapter.
But moving to a new city means it's going to be hard to stay active with CCASTD and so I joined my new local chapter: The Golden Gate Chapter.

I had been booked to attend the June meeting but I missed it when I had to go to the UK suddenly. So July came around and I went to my first meeting.

The first thing that struck me was that this event was in Downtown San Francisco.  Pretty much all the events that CCASTD have hosted over the last year or so have been out in the burbs due to the high costs of a downtown location.  But ASTDGG managed to partner with San Francisco State University and had a location on Market St in the heart of downtown SF.

The next thing I noticed was the variety of people attending.  This meeting was entitled "Relationship Selling is Dead! An Update on What’s Working in Sales NOW" and was led by Lenann Gardner. So clearly this was aimed at Sales Trainers but there were a bunch of other people from various L&D roles there as well.

Lenann did a great job, with what must be an unusual audience for her. She typically speaks with people who are currently selling for a living, or at least have a sales background. But the ASTDGG event was full of people like me. Workplace Learning & Performance professionals. Many of them were Sales trainers but not all by any means. So I have to admire the way she brought the techniques to life for people for whom 'selling' usually means trying to persuade someone in senior management of their organizations to invest in technology or resources for them.

As I had my laptop with me I tweeted my key learning points from the event. If you want to see what I learned take a look at my twitter stream from that evening. Incidentally although they put up the #ASTDGG hash tag on the whiteboard and mentioned it I think I was the only one tweeting from the meeting. I find that surprising. I have gotten used to a strong back-channel at ASTD and CCASTD events and was expecting one here as well. I wonder if that is what normally happens in this chapter.

One other interesting thing was that there was 15 minutes assigned at the end of the networking and dinner portion of the evening for a new members / guests orientation. During this Bruce the VP of membership told us a bit about the chapter and what it can offer new and potential members. I loved that they did this. It's clear that they also make use of Second Life for virtual orientations and the presentation he gave was on that platform. Unfortunately he only had his laptop and it wasn't set up with a big projector. I have to wonder if this was a case of the technology getting in the way of the message.

So two meetings in a week and a start at connecting with Learning Pros in my new city.  I'll keep you up to date with how these relationships build as time goes on.

Happy Learning

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