What I Love About #DevLearn – Colin Welch

The DevLearn Conference and Expo is one of the most popular events in the learning and performance field. Rather than tell you why that is, we’ve invited members of the Guild community to share what they love about DevLearn, and why they return to the conference year after year.

2015-08-13_16-06-29Today we welcome Colin Welch, Head of Production at Brightwave, as he shares his thoughts about the conference.

I attended DevLearn for the first time in 2014 and LOVED it. In fact I loved it so much I recorded a gonzo-style vlog series dressed as Hunter S. Thomson (I’m not joking!)

I’m therefore delighted to be attending again in 2015. In fact I’m not only attending, but will be presenting a stage session, demoing at DemoFest (again) and facilitating a morning buzz session – so I’m looking forward to this one even more!

Morning Buzz

I loved the Morning Buzz sessions last time around (arriving from England on the Tuesday my jet lag ensured I was up bright and early for all of them!) The facilitators were all insightful and knowledgeable, and provided a unique opportunity to hear opinion and experiences from L&D professionals across an exceptionally broad range of industries and backgrounds.

The Morning Buzz session I’m facilitating this time is going to be about the essential new skills for excellence in L&D, and I can think of no better place than DevLearn to explore this topic. Twenty-first century workplace learning goes so far beyond face to face classes and eLearning courses, and the possibilities are now almost endless. Last year I had some fascinating conversations with other attendees about performance support, immersive learning, games, curation, communities of practice, interactive video, social learning… the list goes on! So I’m looking forward to hearing what people have been doing in their organizations beyond the usual traditional approaches in my Morning Buzz, and finding out what new skills they are developing to meet the changing learning landscape.


I bloody loved demoing at DemoFest! We don’t have anything like it in the UK, and that’s something we need to remedy. Everyone there was clearly passionate and proud of the work they were showing off, and the ethos was genuinely open, one of sharing ideas and approaches, rather than vendors trying to sell their services or software.  This year I’m demoing an immersive solution we’ve developed using interactive video, and I can’t wait to hear the thoughts of our peers about what we’ve produced, or to see everyone else’s work.

Expertise in xAPI

I’m fascinated by the opportunity that the xAPI affords us in learning and development, and I’m privileged enough to work for a company that was an early adopter. I therefore went to as many of the sessions exploring xAPI last year, and was really inspired by the very different ways organizations have implemented experience-based solutions.  xAPI is still young, but being adopted in so many diverse ways and evolving so quickly that it will be fascinating to see what people have been doing with it one year on.


I’d never been to the USA before DevLearn 2014, and for an Englishman having Vegas be my first taste of America made quite an impact! But I loved it – wandering around Sin City jet-lagged for three days was so far removed from any other conference I’d ever been to, I may as well have been on a different planet!

So I can’t wait to come back, to meet some more brilliant, intelligent, inspiring people, and hopefully come out of the casino in profit this time (wish me luck with that last one!)

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