Takeaways from #LTUK18

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Anyone who attended it, could concur with – Chaos.

I have been going to trade shows in various verticals for the past 21 years, and this was by far the worst (LTUK) when it came to location of the vendors and finding your way to the vendors, the exits and wait for it, the loo (restroom). 

LT had a mobile app which included a map (difficult to read which listed booth numbers but no vendor names), and a listing of the vendors with their booth number as a separate section.   The kicker here, is the folks I saw weren’t using the app to find the booths, rather they were using these big map boards placed in various locations on the show floor.

The problem?  There was never a “here you are” or “this is you” icon on the map, so you had to look around to find a vendor’s name, whose booth you could see, then try to figure out where you were in relation.

They had theater numbers, 1-8, but that was irrelevant because the booths started in A and went down the alphabet. 

Lots of humans (a plus) and the issue of finding a vendor you wanted to see, without the smart idea of placing top banners above (like ATD does), created the chaos.   A simple (A-B) banner for example, would have been huge.

Not to mention the lack of “EXIT” banners (there were two exits), and a “this way to the exit” items too.   I felt as though I was in a maze created by a mad scientist.  The best of this nightmare happened on the first day, when there was only bathroom available for everybody, because of some issue with the water in the area supposedly, yet the water was fine in that one bathroom section (actual one bathroom for men, one for women), so maybe the mad scientist had this in mind.

Vendor takeaways – a lot of micro-learn content and micro-learn content systems, some claiming “AI technological advanced” to “learning”. 

There were VR vendors too – pitching customized VR content.  The challenge though is where are you placing this VR content? 

There are no VR LMSs out there, so you have to use your WebVR to see a flat LMS, then go into it, still seeing nothing – i.e. no VR, to get to a VR course.   Plus VR content is not inexpensive.   

I would have thought AR would be a better move first into getting it rolled out at a lower price point.   Anyway, the new term when referring to (VR, AR and MR) is XR.   So, it is XR for all three.   Regardless, MR is the future, but no mention at the show of that. 

Two monster size and very expensive booths were visible with Kallidus and Fuse Universal.  Fuse now pitches themselves as “Next Generation Learning Ecosystem”, which is strange because earlier in the year and previous years they were a social learning system.

They are not a NexGen IMO, while they have plenty of good stuff – others do as well.  

Kallidus has a revamped and beautiful learner side UI and UX, but its back end is dated and archaic.  I like Kallidus (top 50), but that admin side, while robust is a major eyesore.  

MindTools which had a nice size booth, friendly folks and an impressive list of clients was an intriguing product.  It is basically a courseware learning system, whereas you get the content and the system is tossed in. 

The main items is the content, but compared to other systems, I was surprised how much of it was TEXT.  I mean there were a lot of TEXT courses, TEXT articles, TEXT of this and that.   Honestly, there is zero way anyone will retain all that on one page, and even then, the end game is not retention it is synthesis, which isn’t doable IMO with MindTools.

A shame really because it showcases and screams potential, but falls flat in the end,  Bummer.

Degreed shined a bit.  Lots of things to like here including the skills rating, but it needs a tweak to do this and that, and one item they are missing in the system (sorry, Degreed, but I won’t say it), would make a huge difference and game changer.

Anyway they fall into the dreaded, “we have color everywhere”, but look at our skill rating thing which is grey with small black bullets (dots) to see your rating.  

Degreed is in my Top 25 for 2018,  and stands out clearly the number two learning engagement platform for in space (LearnAmp is number one, but did not have a booth).

Minds-I re-launched, from the makers of Unicorn LMS (top 10 learning system for 2018).  Minds-I is my Knowledge Reinforcement Tool for 2018 2018_#1KRT

– and once you see it, you will see why.  Can be a total standalone, so you do not need to have a learning system or if you have one, you can still use this product (as a standalone).     I believe it will only get better, with a lot more functionality and capabilities.  Once it can be integrated into any learning system with data push and pull, watch out. 

The app is available on the iTunes store and Google Play and comes with free content, so you can start using it now.  For full functionality it is fee based.

Bottom Line

Next year the show will be at ExCel a far superior venue out in the boonies of London, but really the best venue in England, so that should help vendors.  If you are seeking the UK market, interested in the UK market, and/or Western Europe – you have to attend. 

As someone once said,  “They will find you…”

Assuming the map has a “you are here”

And not,

“find it yourself.”

E-Learning 24/7

Tuesday post as in 2-6-18 –  Corporate Forecasts for 2018 in the e-learning and immersive learning space