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Learning at Work Week: Using events to stimulate learning and professional development with your team.

Every year Learning at Work Week takes place from the 15th to the 21st May, it’s an event that aims to shine a light on the benefits of continual learning and development, and this year we have been thinking about how a well-designed event can help support your CPD strategy.

The events sector is fast-paced and continuous learning is a huge part of our culture here at BeaconHouse Events. Our monthly ‘HeadSheds’ are designed to give us an opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and learn from external experts, and each other, to make sure we stay ahead of the game for ourselves and our clients. Recently we’ve covered everything from Canva hacks to digital marketing and the future of sustainability; we all really value taking the time to focus on our personal growth through learning, even in the busiest weeks.

Real growth through learning comes when we have the capacity to act on the new information that we have learnt and derive our own ideas from it, rather than simply hearing something new and not adapting based on the new knowledge we have received. We caught up with our team to discover how events can stimulate learning and what they think the key is to creating an environment that cultivates absorbing information and adopting new ideas.

Events create strong cultures

Getting your team together offsite and outside of the day to day can give them a chance to bond, learn from each other and builds a culture of trust, something which is key when you are asking people to discuss new ideas or try different ways of doing things. A team who feel psychologically safe because they have a strong culture will be much more willing to take risks in order to innovate, be more creative and learn from each other to solve problems.

Access to world-class speakers

A conference gives you an opportunity to inspire your team through world-class speakers and ideas that they may not usually have access to or take the time to seek out. We can all get stuck in the echo-chamber of social media, our work places or social groups and choosing a speaker that challenges and inspires your team will have a huge impact on their learning and development. Technology like video dial-ins or hybrid events has shrunk the world when it comes to access to the best speakers from across the globe so think big!

Create space for conversations

Talking about ideas or things we have learnt is a great way to solidify information in our brains. By creating space to discuss an idea or dissect new information we can help to bring it to life and put it in context. When you are designing your event environment it’s important to think about how and where your delegates will interact with each other, and how you can give quieter or more reflective members a chance to be part of the conversation. Think about including discussion points in your event packs to help people learn from each other in a robust and meaningful way – this can be especially helpful if your delegates have never met before!

Remember not everyone learns the same way

Not every delegate will learn in the same way, so its important to take advice from your delegates in advance of the event to understand if a small seminar, lecture or online event would work best for their learning experience. Try and curate a mix of experiences that will allow people to take in and retain what is being discussed – this could be digital ways of interacting with proceedings, an illustrator visually bringing to life key ideas from the conference or an event take away with key learnings to read later.

Take time to reflect

Post-event take time to see if the learning on the day is being put into action back in the ‘real world’. Follow up with a post-event questionnaire, or even a ‘implementation seminar’ to find out what people can remember and what they found most valuable from the experience, this will help you to enhance the learning experience at your next event and increase your overall event value.

At BeaconHouse Events we work closely with our clients to understand the aims of your experience and the desired learning outcomes, so we can pick the speakers that best align with your vision and curate events that support delegates preferred format for learning. For more information and to speak to the team about building a learning based event email or call +44 (0)191 691 3456