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From the President: Carpe Diem! Don't Miss Out on the CEdMA Spring Conference
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It's hard to believe that the CEdMA Spring 2013 Conference is less than two weeks away. Have you registered for the conference yet? If you haven't, there's still time, but it's running out fast. Don't let it get away from you and wonder what you would have gotten out of the conference and how much easier it could have made your life.

For me this conference holds its own special meaning as I'll be leaving the board soon, and this will be the last time (at least in the near future) that I'll be addressing our members as CEdMA's President. But even more important than that, I'm genuinely excited about the great line-up of sessions we've got on the agenda (here's the full agenda with abstracts and bios for the sessions) and the exciting list of vendors who will be show casing their wares in our vendor pavilion.

In addition to the exciting addition of our Keynote Speaker - Cushing Anderson IDC, Program Vice President Consulting, System Integration, HR and Learning Services who will talk about next generation learners and how they consume training differently. Some of the sessions that really stand out for me are:

  • Launching a Profitable Ed Services Business - How Jon Lloyd (ServiceNow) and his team turned an informal training effort around a SaaS product into a vital and profitable part of the company in record time. Our 2012 Impact Award winner will share what may become a blueprint for anyone starting a new training organization, or looking for ways to rev up their existing one.
  • Challenges and Opportunities of Re-Organizations - I'm sure all of us have been on one side or the other of a reorganization in our career, but I don't think any of us have been through the roller coaster that Roslyn Jones (Brocade) has travelled in the last few years. When you can count your leaders and their new plans and ideas in double-digits, you've definitely got a lot to share on how to navigate those waters.
  • Taking the First Steps toward Measuring Impact on the Business - While I'll be participating on the panel discussion of, I'm looking forward to hearing what the other panel members have to say on the subject. Strong defensible metrics can be the lifeline that keeps your organization alive, or the fuel that gives your company incentive to invest more and more in you, so I know there will be some good things to learn in this one.
  • Highly Personalized Learning Paths - Last fall, we got a short introduction to the work that Matt Zimmerlee did with highly personalized learning paths to win the 2012 Innovation Award, and I'm looking forward to getting an even closer look at what he did, how he got there, and what improvements he's made since winning the award.
  • Contribute to the Bottom Line or Support Product Growth? - I've seen first hand the struggle between the opposing priorities of generating revenue vs. supporting products. Do you support younger or weaker products even though they'll cost you progress toward your revenue goals? Or do you focus on revenue, knowing that without training to support their value proposition, products that might succeed could fall by the wayside. Linda Moss (Juniper) has been walking a fine line between both goals, and I'm anxious to see how she's done it.
And those are just some highlights that stand out to me, there are plenty of other great sessions lined up that will be equally as valuable to our members. I've never left a CEdMA conference without a nice list of action items, things that I can do that will immediately have an impact on the success of my organization. I'll bet that any member you talk to who has attended a conference will have found the same value – CEdMA conferences are loaded with ideas and insight. And of course I'm really looking forward to the networking – you can't find a better gathering of your peers, people who are in the thick of the action leading education teams in high tech companies, than what you get with CEdMA. I'm looking forward to reuniting with old friends and colleagues, and meeting new ones.

What about you? Dig the invitation out of your inbox or email Lynn Viduya (West Coast Conference Trustee) for a new one, and join me and the rest of the CEdMA members at the Spring 2013 CEdMA conference. I look forward to seeing you there!


Pat Durante
President, CEdMA

P.S. And if that's not enough excitement, we'll also be announcing the winning of the 2013 CEdMA Impact Award and launching our brand new social and collaborative web site experience during the event :)
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