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What a show! #LT17uk

Each year the London Olympia hosts the largest learning technologies exhibition in Europe, showcasing the latest innovative designs in educational technology and E-learning.

 The Instinct Digital Learning team descended on London’s greatest exhibition venue this week, joining thousands of experts in the field. There was clearly no expense spared, with an array of spectacularly designed business stands and on-site construction delivering one of the most impressive shows to be seen at the annual event.

 With the stands built and the carpet laid out, the exhibition was ready to accept the masses, and the visitors didn’t disappoint, with the shows largest turnout to date. Scheduled seminars were clearly a huge success, with interested visitors blocking walkways to learn about the latest innovations.

Instinct, brandishing its new stand, although humbled by some of the larger stands, held its own and was welcomed by many visitors. Thanks to the very talented digital artist, Luisa Calvo, visitors to the Instinct stand were provided with their very own printed caricatures, which were a huge success.

Here are some of our key highlights from the show:

Virtual Reality (VR)

This year, it was apparent that virtual reality is growing hugely popular in the digital learning sector, with many stands at the exhibition showcasing their latest gadgets. Skillsoft and SumTotal were both at the exhibition with VR headsets loaded with a variety of games which simulate? jobs, training methods and even rollercoaster rides. Attendees were invited to trial the cutting-edge headsets and were not disappointed by the experience. Skillsoft didn’t just leave it there; they went the extra mile by giving out free cardboard VR headsets enabling people to experience them from the comfort of their own home.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Ed-tech enthusiast Donald Clark, and learning expert Toby Simpson led an insightful discussion on the upcoming hot topic, artificial intelligence (AI): “transforming how people learn at work and the L&D function”. Despite current mixed views on AI, the exciting developments presented at the conference provoked a lot of attention and appears to be influencing change within the L&D sector. We look forward to seeing how this develops in the digital learning space and expect to see it have an even stronger presence at the exhibition in 2018.

Gamification

Gamification was without a doubt the buzz word on everyone’s lips at the exhibition in 2016, so it’s no surprise it was once again a hot topic at this year’s show. Gamification has become a game changer and knowledge in this area is key for many E-learning professionals. The application of gamification not only makes learning more enjoyable and engaging but has now been shown to improve people’s learning speed and training retention.

Giveaways  

No exhibition would be complete without the all-important booth giveaways, aimed to entice and engage with visitors. While Kallidus were extremely popular with their free ice cream, when it comes to gimmicks and giveaways, Cornerstone were heads and shoulders above the rest. From the early morning, they provided visitors with free coffee and crepes followed by prosecco in the afternoon. The array of giveaways didn’t stop there, with cuddly unicorns, pocket torches and pic ‘n’ mix to name a few. Overall this added to the atmosphere at the exhibition, with attendees seemingly leaving with improved knowledge, networks and good memories.

Networking

Just like previous years, the Instinct team met and interacted with an array of wonderful, interesting people within the sector. Reconnecting with old colleagues as well as meeting new potential clients, contractors and candidates alike. It’s thanks to events like this, that the Instinct e-learning network database is so strong and is ever expanding.

Despite all the amazing aspects reviewed above, the exhibition did have its critics. People have commented on outdated learning management system’s being pushed by sales people with a severe lack of industry and technical knowledge of their respective products. Others felt that while the more routine seminars which focused on reviewing existing products were very popular, some of the innovative speakers and latest products were left showcasing to empty seats. Moreover, some experts in the field feared that too much focus was put on solutions that will never work. Instead, critics claim that developers should be looking to their users to create overall more effective and user-friendly learning systems. However, despite the pundits’ comments, as technology continues to advance over the coming years, it will be exciting to see how these latest innovations and the application of both VR and AI come into play and earn their place in the digital learning sector’

This year’s exhibitors are already looking ahead to 2018, with many having already re-booked their stands and planning how to improve their booth materials and ways to engage.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all Instinct’s business associates for visiting us at stand F1 and helping to make LT17uk such an enjoyable success for our Digital Learning team!

Finally, we’d like to offer huge congratulations to the organisers, Ian Smout and his team at Closer Still Media for another great show! Bring on #LT18uk

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