IDEA: Virtual ELearning Conference

collaborative-meetingNo matter what profession you are in chances are you are aware of its various industry conferences.

In fact these kind of events are becoming more and more popular today. By way of example, WordPress dedicated conferences (“WordCamps”) are popping up all over the country.

Spin-off conferences have also emerged, such as:

  • PressNomics
  • LoopConf
  • WooConf
  • WordCampus
  • YoastCon

The elearning industry also has its fair share of conferences. Some of the more popular include:

  • DevLearn
  • Learning Solutions
  • mLearnCon
  • Training Conference & Expo
  • Online Learning Conference

It seems like every industry and niche within that industry has its own conference.

While these conferences are great for learning and networking they do take both financial and time commitments. In the case of the elearning conferences, this could set you back nearly $1,000 for the ticket price alone!

Some companies will pay for their employee’s tickets and travel – lucky them! For others the price-point, travel, and accommodation costs don’t justify participation.

Which made me wonder, why not have an elearning conference that is 100% online?

We’ve seen this done with success in other industries. In WordPress, there is a 24 hour conference that takes place online called WordSesh. It’s free for people to attend and they get to choose which talks they would like to watch. Participants can live chat with one another during the presentations and pose questions to the presenters.

This concept could very well work in the elearning space. It doesn’t have to be 24 straight hours, it could simply start off as a webinar series.

Many of the complicated logistics associated with putting on a conference are removed, which essentially removes the need for admission payment for participants (or at the very least a significant decrease in price).

The pieces are in place as I know that there are a variety of regular webinars related to elearning today. All it takes is someone to consolidate these into an exciting, information filled day and then market it to the rest of the industry.

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

8 Comments
  1. Hi Justin – Sounds like a great idea! If some momentum develops around it from several vendors, I’m sure it would draw a lot of participants. I expect there are some best practices for this kind of thing from the various WordPress online ‘camps’. I attended one focusing on WordPress in higher ed that was very valuable, and recently took in a session or two from one focusing on the Genesis WordPress theme.

  2. CaCatherine Beggs-Hinkson

    That sounds great!!! I would definately participate!!! I have very little time to travel to a conference, especially my entire 7 member team. I would love to give them the option for free to go to a couple of talks throughout the work day.

  3. My business partners and I have done some pioneering work with virtual conferences starting in 2007. At the time nothing like this had been done. In our first year we had 8,000 registrants and we are still going with about 20,000 registrants this year. Next year we are going to produce a conference in another niche and will experimenting with the learndash plugin to administer it all.

  4. I’ve thought about this topic many times and think it would be a huge success. I would be willing to be on a planning group if there are others that would like to plan this too. There are many audiences that would benefit from this such as the education sector, those that teach for entrepreneurial reasons, etc. So the online conference could have a niched down focus as well (only entrepreneurs, or only education sector people, etc.).

  5. Don

    Great idea since we have to first come out of pocket before being reimbursed for things like this! #1 reason why we don’t attend the conferences; simply over a personal budget for me and or my training team. Since I have to justify every penny; an online conference cost would also be heavily scrutinized by accounting.

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