Thursday, February 03, 2005
I just returned home from ASTD TechKnowledge. This show is misunderstood. People who confuse it with TechLearn are in for a nasty surprise because the events have been designed to serve entirely different audiences. TechKnowledge is geared to novices. Attendees show up en masse for the 7:30 am eLearning Bootcamp. The only thought leaders you're likely to meet are speakers. If you're new to eLearning and don't have your head around the subject, this is the show for you. Next year, it's in Denver.
Vegas is other worldly. All these mammoth temples, beautiful knock-offs and flights of fantasy. Inside, for each well-dressed high-roller, you'll see hundreds of chubby women in Bermuda shorts smoking cigarettes, swilling Budweiser, and pushing the buttons on the poker machines, their hubbies squeezed into bulging bluejeans playing blackjack nearby.
My friend Kit Horton opened the event Tuesday morning.
ASTD CEO Tony Bingham took the stage and did something I'd never seen the top dog at ASTD do: he talked about current issues. No more chanting the ancient mantras: people are important, training is vital, and we need to become performance consultants to our organizations.
Instead, Tony addressed what's hot today: the rise of intangibles, skills shortages, augmented reality, and CIO magazine recognizing that soft skills are important.
Take intangibles. In '82, 38% of the value in American corporations was intangible. In '92, intangible made up 62% of assets. In '02, the number had risen to 85%.
I'll post a link to his PowerPoint as soon as I receive it.
The Expo was three aisles of about 20 10x10 booths each.
The big players didn't attend. No SumTotal. No Saba. No Centra. No WebEx. No IBM. No Oracle. This only makes sense: the participants lack spending authority.
Even though it's only nickels, winning is always fun. My big win came when Rita Bailey drew my business card out of a stack -- and I got to take home a $400 portable DVD player.
This sign in the my bathroom made me wonder who had stayed in my room in years past.
This is Bill Horton in a rare moment when he's not speaking.
Actually, he's contemplating this object that appeared on our table:
It's a bacon-wrapped breadstick at the Ristorante at the Riviera.