Digital Learning vs Conference

Illumeo Customer Success's Profile

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Employers are becoming increasingly hesitant to pay for employees to attend giant conferences and workshops. Bloated travel and expense reimbursement requests, exotic locales, and low return on investment are a few legitimate reasons for the hesitation, but there's one more important factor to consider: the rise of digital learning. 

It's becoming more common for employers to encourage their employees to choose digital learning over conferences, and for good reasons. 

Digital Learning is More Flexible

Digital learning allows employees to learn what they want, when they want - within reason. Employers can give employees a choice of options to keep employees focused on the skills the company needs them to improve on, but employees feel like they have a voice in what they take. This makes it easy to allow employee A to take additional training in an area they need work in while employee B is able to skip that area and focus on something else.

And because digital learning is typically available on-demand, once employees decide which they want to take, they can do it at a time that is right for them. Compare that to conferences, which happen at a specific time. If your employee has a conflict, be it work-related or personal, they are going to miss out on that learning opportunity at the conference. 

Digital Learning is More Affordable

Digital learning is more affordable than ever, thanks to a plethora of learning management systems and platforms. While some companies still choose to create their own trainings, there are many companies out there that offer pre-recorded training or even help you create modified or custom trainings for your company at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. These companies also host the training, manage the curriculum and CPE tracking if necessary, and can take a lot of the shoulders of your employees. 

And the aforementioned flexibility makes digital learning more affordable. Because employees are able to take what they need, you don't have to pay for trainings that aren't necessary for them - and they aren't wasting productive hours on training they don't need, either. 

Digital Learning is More Effective

There are so many distractions at a conference. Employees are in a new and sometimes exotic location. There are people everywhere which means that your more outgoing employees will spend a lot of time talking when they should be focused on learning - and your more quiet employees will be overwhelmed by all the networking going on around them. And the information being presented is the same for everyone, so what is being taught may go completely over one employee's head while the other is bored because they could teach the topic themselves. 

So the next time an employee wants to go to a conference for training, take some time to evaluate if the value is there. The conference may be worth it for connections and networking, but if the primary goal is training, there might be a better option.