How many people can say they are part of a professional organization that has been growing for over 50 years?
Well, if you’re part of the Life Sciences Trainers and Educators Network (LTEN), you have that unique privilege. The annual conference is the high point every year.
If this year’s gathering in San Antonio was your first LTEN conference, now you know why this community continues to flourish. Where else can you find such a concentration of engaged, helpful professionals who share best practices and support one another in dozens of ways?
And it’s not just professional collaboration. It’s a network of friendships, some of them quite long-standing. This is a great organization for building your professional network, and advancing your career. Many people find their next professional opportunity via relationships developed through LTEN.
As always, the LTEN staff did a fabulous job coordinating everything, with Miki, Nannette, Tim, Christine, Gregg, and Cayme making sure all the details were covered. We did have to bid a fond farewell to past Executive Director Dawn Brehm, but got to welcome the colorful Katie Herndon to that role.
There was a stage full of LTEN Excellence Award winners (here’s the list) for Excellence in training design and delivery – both practitioners and industry partners. That’s always a conference highlight. Also, every year, there are posters of various initiatives to browse, and this event also featured “speed coaching” sessions (I think this will be increasingly valued in coming years).
We all enjoyed some very engaging keynote speakers, though I must confess, my favorite was Eric Boles, because…well, he kept yammering on about Clarity, and that’s a topic near and dear to my heart! I think it was Eric that made an interesting distinction (to my mind) about being learned – which really references the past – and being a learner, which is all about the future. Plus, as always, there was a great selection of speakers and workshop facilitators from our community.
LTEN thrives, in large part, due to the dedicated support of its vendors (“industry partners“) who work very closely with clients on a huge variety of training projects. The financial support of these fine organizations is crucial to making the conference the success it is each year.
The JW Marriott resort where we stayed was pretty impressive overall (but it’s hot in San Antonio in June!!!) – I think my favorite part of the complex was the huge and delightful water park. I confess that I took several floating trips on the lazy river, and enjoyed it immensely. A great way to unwind and get a bit sunburned (while secretly gloating over the fact I didn’t have to supervise little kids like so many there!)
There are always great networking and social events at these gatherings, including some very tasty BBQ, a bit of line-dancing, and a charity give-back (this year, for Operation Homefront, an organization supporting military families).
This was – I think – my 25th LTEN conference (that’s why people call me “The Mayor”), and I’ve come to value my colleagues – on both the vendor and the client side – more each year. I have seen, and experienced, the support and good will of many great people over that time. Thanks to all of you for making it such a delightful week!
Let’s do it all again in Phoenix next year!