Developing a Learning Culture

Top 10 Learning Conferences You Need to Attend in 2018

Why Attend a Learning and Development Conference in 2018

The best way to learn is by doing and sharing. Learning industry conferences, most with hands-on workshops and panel sessions, are the best place to soak up a lot of information in a short amount of time. The value of networking alone is enough to include one or more conferences in your budget for 2018. Our industry is always innovating and changing, so getting a broad overview of the latest technology and techniques can help you choose what to incorporate into your own program.

If you can’t make a conference, be sure to look into purchasing the content after the event, or scroll through our list for online summits and pre-or post-conference workshops. David Kelly, Executive Director of the eLearning Guild, has a page called Curated Backchannels on his blog that lists valuable (free!) content from all of the major conferences from the previous year, not just guild-sponsored ones.

Here are our top picks for must-attend eLearning conferences over the next year, listed in date order:

  1. Training Conference & Expo 2018
  2. Innovations in Training Atlanta
  3. Learning Solutions 2018
  4. 14th International Conference on Mobile Learning
  5. ATD International Conference & Expo 2018
  6. Digital Learning Summit
  7. Realities360
  8. Connected Learning Summit
  9. DevLearn 2018
  10. Elliott Massie’s Learning 2018

10 Must Attend eLearning Conferences in 2018

Again, these are organized by date starting with the most recent. We’ve made it easier for you by including the exact location and registration fees with links to additional info. Clicking on the calendar download inserts the information into your calendar, along with a reminder to register by the early bird deadline for a discount, if applicable.

Don’t Forget to Sign Up for ELM’s 2018 eLearning Conference! Reserve Your Spot Today – iCal download: Elliott Massie’s Learning 2018

1) Training Conference & Expo 2018

Date: February 12-14, 2018

iCal download: Training Conference & Expo 2018

Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA USA

Registration Fee: $1595

Tip: This is a conference for learning professionals and executives who are mainly from corporate, healthcare and government institutions. Look for the Training Technology Test Kitchen on the Expo floor for a hands-on digital learning experience. Be sure to check out “Games, Interactivity, and Gamification for Learning” on Monday to hear about the science behind gamification.

After the conference, there will be several online clinics covering microlearning, gamification, blended learning and many other subjects. For example on Thursday, March 1 you can view “Best Practices for Implementing Gamification.” You are allowed one online clinic with your registration.


2) Innovations in Training Atlanta

Date: February 14-15, 2018

iCal download: Innovations in Training Atlanta

Location: Several locations throughout the Atlanta metro area. Busses provided.

Registration Fee: $695 if you register for conference beforehand; $895 if you don’t.

Tip: This is an add-on after the Training Conference and Expo 2018, and functions like a two-day field trip around Atlanta showcasing advanced eLearning technology such as the flight simulators at Delta Airlines. Added bonus: they feed you and give you wine.


3) Learning Solutions 2018

Date: March 27-29, 2018

iCal download: Learning Solutions 2018

Location: Rosen Centre, Orlando, FL USA

Registration: $1695

Tip: This conference is for learning and training professionals, designers and developers. The International Perspectives sessions should be interesting, as the European community makes innovative use of AR and gamification. They’ve divided the Expo floor into three stages. The most interesting is sure to be “design & development,” but we’re biased.


4) 14th International Conference on Mobile Learning

Date: April 14-16, 2018

iCal download: 14th International Conference on Mobile Learning

Location: VIP Grand Lisboa Hotel & Spa, Lisbon, Portugal

Registration: IADIS Member/Student €395 (about $490) by January 29, 2018. Non-member €485 (about $580) by January 29, 2018. After January 29, 2018: €470 member (about $575)/ €560 non-member (about $660)

Tip: This conference is heavily research-based, with presenters from the top universities in the tech learning field. If you want to be on the cusp of everything that will happen in mobile learning, this is the place to be. It’s more technical and geared towards developers and designers — not so much for learning professionals and executives.


5) ATD International Conference & Expo 2018

Date: May 6-9, 2018

iCal download: ATD International Conference & Expo 2018

Location: San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA USA

Registration: (Rates vary according to your industry) $1695 until January 31, 2018. After that, it goes up, but they aren’t saying by how much.

Tip: President Barack Obama is delivering the keynote! This is the largest conference in the world for training professionals, with a huge expo floor, so leave room in your suitcase for all the free swag like pens, sticky note pads, and stress balls. They don’t post the conference schedule until January 2018, so be sure to check back for updated information. Currently, they have last year’s schedule up on the site.


6) Digital Learning Summit

Date: May 16-17, 2018

iCal download: Digital Learning Summit

Location: Virtual

Registration: $395 non-members; 20% off for members with Pro Package; free for new members and for those with Premium Package.

Tip: The eLearning Guild offers these online summits throughout the year. If you can’t attend a conference in person, you can take advantage of this content.


7) Realities360

Date: June 26-28, 2018

iCal download: Realities360

Location: Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA USA

Registration: $1795 Best Possible Rate; $250 discount if you register by February 2, 2018.

Tip: This is a hands-on conference all about AR, VR, and simulations, and the title for 2018 is “Immerse Yourself in Learning,” so bring your Dramamine. Geared towards designers and developers as well as learning professionals, this conference appeals to pretty much everyone involved in learning technology. Even though it isn’t until next summer, the discounted room blocks are already sold out, with the rest of the city soon to follow. Book a hotel room soon if you are even thinking of attending; at most hotels, you can get your money if you cancel within their policy’s terms.


8) Connected Learning Summit

Date: August 1-3, 2018

iCal download: Connected Learning Summit

Location: MIT Media Lab, Cambridge MA USA

Registration: $370 until May 1, $410 after that.

Tip: The “About” page says it all, “Join a gathering of innovators harnessing emerging technology to expand access to participatory, playful, and creative learning.” The goal of this summit is to bring three communities together: The Digital Media and Learning Conference, the Games+Learning+Society Conference and Sandbox Summit. This leans towards higher education, but if you work on the creative side of digital learning, it’s an ideal place to brainstorm and pick up new ideas.


9) DevLearn 2018

Date: October 24-26, 2018

iCal download: DevLearn 2018

Location: The Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas, NV USA

Registration: $1695 Best Possible Rate $250 discount if you register by May 14, 2018.

Tip: This conference covers everything there is to know about technology and learning. They haven’t released the schedule at the time of this post but based on last year, they will have hundreds of specialized sessions and regular tracks, so be sure to get the schedule early and map out a plan ahead of time. Running concurrently with DevLearn 2017 last year was the Adobe Learning Summit 2017, which featured hyper technical workshops on how to work with Adobe Captivate.


10) Elliott Massie’s Learning 2018

Date: November 4-8, 2018

iCal download: Elliott Massie’s Learning 2018

Location: Disney’s Coronado Springs Convention Center, Orlando, FL USA

Registration: $1595 Very Early Corporate Rate

Tip: Nothing about the 2018 conference has been released, save the date, location and registration info. This conference appeals to learning professionals as well as those active in learning policy (Michelle Obama gave the keynote in 2017). While it’s not hyper-technical, it does give a broad overview of the field and tends towards motivational/inspirational content.

When was the last time you got to meet with inspiring and intelligent people in the L&D industry in one room dreaming about the future of learning? Asking what if questions? Sharing industry trends such as blended learning, microlearning, and authoring tools? Figuring out solutions? That the purpose of ELM networking events, a casual gathering space where L&D professionals can share stories and learn together over complimentary drinks and snacks. We’ve got you covered on both coasts with events in San Diego and New York. Want to learn more about learning? Contact