News story

10,000 L&D professionals attend Learning Technologies 2023

Learning NewsLearning Technologies

Learning Technologies 2023 took place in London on 3-4 May; biggest event to date, with over 10,000 attendees; learning measurement and adoption of generative AI key themes.

10,000 attended a packed Learning Technologies 2023
10,000 attended a packed Learning Technologies 2023 

Learning Technologies, the world’s largest event on workplace learning tech, ran earlier in May: a two day exhibition and conference for Learning & Development and HR professionals. 10,000 people attended the exhibition with over 200 exhibitors and seminars running at 11 exhibition theatres. At the conference running alongside, there were over 1,000 delegates and approaching 100 expert speakers.

Additionally, for the first time the event included the co-located HR Technologies, a part of the event which will now be a regular feature and is expected to grow in future years.

Donald H Taylor, Chair of the Learning Technologies conference, in discussion with Learning News, set the tone: “We need in L&D to prove our value so that the budget is not a discretionary spend but rather built into the business because it adds value. Showing value remains the top priority.”

Measuring learning was a key theme across the exhibition, with many of the exhibitors focussing on it. Andy Costello, Head of Customer Solutions, Kineo, which launched a new learning analytics service at Learning Technologies, said: “Now more than ever it's important to show that what we're doing matters and makes a difference.”

While the importance of learning and development and the demands placed on it are high, the financial squeeze on learning budgets was evident. Nicole Horsman, Director of Business & Strategy, Netex points out: “Budgets are under the spotlight; buyers want more for less and return on investment.” 

Olivia Haywood, Chief Marketing Officer, Sponge, explained: “Learning teams are feeling heightened pressure, but there's still an awareness of how important this function is.”

Artificial intelligence in learning was the number one tech theme. Vendors were keen to showcase their own AI in their platforms and development programmes. An example of this is Converse, a collaboration between Learning Pool and Mind Tools, which uses generative AI, proven learning frameworks and trusted content, to help managers learn how to have difficult conversations with employees.

Myles Runham, Senior Analyst at Fosway, points out: “What we're seeing is the on-rush of very impressive, powerful tools. How they play into the relevance and value story remains to be seen. Generative AI has huge potential and is genuinely transformative. Other elements of AI we're already seeing; adaptive learning has been around for some time and it may have more of its moment now because the AI story feels more accessible to people.”

Event organiser, Mark Penton: “We'd like to thank everyone who took part in this year's show, speakers, exhibitors, organisers and everyone who visited, for helping to make Learning Technologies 2023 a world class event. We thoroughly enjoyed having you at the show and look forward to seeing you again in October for the follow-up Autum Forum.” 

Learning Technologies returns to London for the Autumn Forum on 12 October at ExCeL and again for the Learning Technologies Exhibition and Conference, next year on 17 and 18 April 2024.

News interview highlights are below and check out the full series of news interviews from Learning Technologies 2023.