Training associations and conferences for professional development
Did you know that there are national and international training associations that offer resources and conferences for training professionals? The Association for Talent Development and The Learning Guild offer the two largest annual conferences. They bring together learning and development professionals from around the world.
Association for Talent Development (ATD)
ATD is the largest professional membership organization. It was formerly known as ASTD, the American Society for Training & Development. It has members from over 120 countries. The association was founded in 1945 and had its first conference in Chicago that year with 56 attendees. There are local chapters spread across the United States. The Puget Sound Chapter started in 1953. It offers support and information on the latest trends in talent and employee development.
Resources available from ATD include:
- Monthly magazine
- Resource library
- Certification courses
- Variety of annual conferences
The largest annual conference from ATD is the ATD International Conference & Expo which hosts over 13,000 attendees. Upcoming conferences:
- 2022 Conference: Orlando, FL; May 15–18. This year, ATD 22 offers virtual registration along with regular in-person registration.
- 2023 Conference: San Diego, CA; May 21–24, 2023
- 2024 Conference: New Orleans, LA: May 19–22, 2024
The Learning Guild
The Learning Guild is an association that has its roots in catering to eLearning developers. It started as the eLearning Guild.
- Learning Solutions magazine
- Online conferences
- Job board
- In-person and online conferences
DevLearn is the Learning Guild’s largest annual conference and focuses on learning technologies. The Guild also hosts the annual Learning Solutions Conference & Expo. This conference covers learning and development topics. The program caters to all roles and focuses on solutions for implementing new strategies and increasing learner engagement.
This year’s DevLearn Conference & Expo 2022 is October 26–28 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
Other associations and resources
Additional specialized resources are offered by other associations:
- The National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) supports people responsible for human service training and organizational development on the local, state, or federal level.
- The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) was the first nonprofit distance learning association in the United States to support distance learning research and practice.
Patrick Seigler is the Washington state leadership development and eLearning programs manager for the Department of Enterprise Services. He is the former director of the Employment Security Department’s training academy. Pat also worked as the human resource and strategic development manager for the Economic Services Administration (ESA) of DSHS. He is a former faculty member at Pacific Lutheran University and taught at the University of Alabama and Stillman College. He has professional experience in eLearning development, LMS administration and management, and leadership development.