American Society of Training and Development ICE 2012
ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) International Conference and Exposition was held in Denver this week. I had attended these conventions at exciting locales for several years earlier in my career and went to last years’ conference in Orlando after a 15 year absence and just loved it. I met so many wonderful, like-minded development professionals and convinced my friend and colleague Holly Williams, founder of Magus Group Coaching to submit a proposal for her innovative product Leadership Group Coaching. She was accepted, and also signed up for a booth. I love the energy of trade shows and enjoy the fun of talking to a diverse group of people. Holly asked me to join her team (my new friend Laura Maddox) and ‘work’ the booth and support her efforts which I gladly accepted!
What an experience it was being on the other side of this conference. It was fabulous! Magus Group Coaching’s booth 1707 was the epitome of the feel of their philosophy and the karma of their founder. It looked fabulous and we were all excited. After a sprint back from opening session keynote Jim Collin’s of Good to Great fame, we were ready to receive over 8500 attendees from all over the globe.
I told Holly that her booth looked so fabulous she would probably win the Newcomer award for best booth, she laughed. Well, after a long day of meeting a melting pot of diverse development professionals from places like Korea, China, Germany, Italy, Australia, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Brazil Japan, Nigeria and all over the US, the officials from ASTD came over to us with the coveted Best Booth Award for Newcomer’s. I was so excited for my friend! It was a thrilling moment. So many came to us to congratulate us. I love trainers! Just happy, generous people.
What I did last year during lunch was float around to find just the right table to see who I was supposed to meet. Last year it was the amazing Barb McLin with The Kevin Eikenberry Group. This year it was the women from an entrepreneurial effort that was born from last years’ conference called Red Feather Networking. Last year a group of colleagues wanted some way to easily identify one another in the sea of thousands of training professionals, and they all donned red feathers in their name tags. www.redfeathernetworking.com grew to over 400 people as a result! The entrepreneurial spirit is alive with this phenomenal group of people. I enjoyed them immensely.
Then on to the 4:00 session Group Coaching Laboratory with Holly’s best client Capital One there to also support the positive results of Magus Group Coaching. It was standing room only! We had to turn people away. Had to give that day an A+!
Day two we experienced a wave of congratulatory comments as we were showcased for our booth win at the opening session with the likes of The Ken Blanchard Group. An honor. Again, great conversations with people who really ‘get’ the power of leadership coaching. As with all trade shows, there comes a time when the attendance dips and everyone is off to their sessions, so this is the time we vendors get to walk around and check out all there is to offer. I met some really cool people, and most of all Millennials. Ahhhhh, new interviews for my book I am thinking! The Epicurious Brit among them. An impressive woman now living in San Francisco educated in marketing, and passionate about food and wine. I liked her immediately.
Maestro, a company that I can envision partnering with to take our programs to the next virtual level! And Vertical, another technology savvy group that I will be learning a lot from.
I really like Denver. The day before the conference I got to spend the day with a dear friend and her amazing family whom I have not seen since 1996, and another friend absent from my life since 8th grade. It was joyous.
The city has a positive energy, the people are friendly and made every effort to make our stay here memorable. I’d come back here again in a minute. Perhaps some skiing now that I did not break anything when I rejoined the ranks of skiers this past year.
It was a outstanding week at ASTD and I look forward to growing personally and professionally as a result.
What are YOU doing to grow YOURself this year?