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What is LoCon?

LoCon is unlike other conferences. Most conferences separate thought leaders, vendors, and attendees from one another in ways that stifle deep relationships and make it difficult to form meaningful bonds. LoCon is different. It is designed to build community and deliver activities that foster practical insights and honest conversation.

The UnConference for Learning Professionals

LoCon is a conversation. As the landscape of enablement changes with new technologies and practices, LoCon serves to foster the free exchange of ideas and challenges participants to bring the future into focus.

LoCon is built around a retreat-like atmosphere where a small, intimate group of attendees representing all levels of experience are brought together for off-the-record honest discussions and activities.

Unlike large trade shows, LoCon doesn’t have a tall stage that separates thought leaders from the audience in a dark room. LoCon doesn’t have a trade show floor where vendors are relegated away behind booths. We bring everyone together in casual conversation, recognizing that thought leaders, attendees, and vendors are all parts of the same ecosystem.

By providing experiences to work together, we believe the future of enablement and solution design can be advanced more quickly and efficiently.

What most professional conferences get wrong

Ask any company why they send people to a conference. The answers are typically:

  • To share and learn new techniques

  • To establish connections with a community of practice

  • To meet with and develop leads

But how often do you find these outcomes to be true?

For many conference experiences, the thought leaders are relegated to the stage and after prepping for weeks to develop their presentations, they leave the stage exhausted. If you do get a chance to meet with them, it’s at a happy hour where they are inundated with attendees vying for attention. It’s hard to break through and develop a deep relationship or learn the nuances of their best practices.

Even when the insights shared at a conference are helpful there is always a missing aspect of “how does this apply to my unique situation?" To dig into that level of detail you’d need hours to mull over the topic and a lot of focused attention from the thought leader. When there are 1500+ people in the conference hall, it’s hard to ever get this kind of dedicated time.

And for sales team members, the promise of lead generation can be elusive. Standing behind a booth sets in motion a predictable interaction that is very sales focused. It’s hard to build relationships when a salesperson is pitching. And often, what is lost is the ability for the sales or marketing rep to learn from and listen to the attendees about their challenges so as to improve their approach and knowledge of the industry. A booth relationship makes it hard to get to this level of interaction.

Highlights from LoCon Vancouver 2023

Every LoCon is different. They are designed to fit with the attendees and meet the needs of the sponsor. The conversation at LoCon Vancouver in July 2023 was focused on The Future of Learning for the Customer Education market. Our sponsor was Thinkific Plus, a powerful, scalable learning platform that’s also remarkably easy to use.

The LoCon Vancouver event consisted on five main parts:

  1. Panel Discussion

  2. Attendee survey

  3. Round Robins

  4. Case Study competition

  5. Activity day

Panel Discussion

Brian Childs, the founder of Learning Outcomes, hosted a panel conversation about Skills and Competency based learning with special guests Courtney Sembler of Hubspot, Susan Manning of Credly, and Aaron Morin of Thinkific. This took place at the beautiful Thinkific offices in Vancouver which the company graciously made available to the LoCon experience.

The discussion about Skills and Competency Based Learning was an important entry to the weekend because it allowed for participants to understand the atomic particles of training. We explored the terminology, concepts, and practices around this important aspect of learning design.

Attendee survey

Following the panel discussion the LoCon crew played a short game where we investigated attributes of their backgrounds and programs. We looked for similarities and surprises in the data. This was particularly insightful as it allowed attendees to identify trends in the current state of the market.

Round Robins

On Saturday, attendees formed into teams and moved amongst five different stations, each focused on a different aspect of learning program management. Together they shared their perspectives on these topics and took furious notes. This allowed the teams to share best practices and develop connections with the other members. This information was used for the following activities.

Case Study competition

After an incredible lunch, the teams were then asked to use what they’d learned in the morning to answer a complex case study. The problem set was focused on organization design. The teams were challenged to redesign a company’s organization structure to eliminate all the issues faced by Customer Education teams. They were empowered to think like a board member of their imaginary company and come up with a way that would put customer insights and learning at the center of the organization’s mission. The results were fascinating.

After a few hours of work, each team pitched their idea to a panel of judges. The audience then voted on their favorite and the winners took home the LoCon trophy called the “Goatie” award. A golden goat atop a pedestal meant to symbolize being the Greatest of All Time.

Activity day

After a busy day of thoughtful work, the LoCon participants enjoyed a day of hiking and outdoor fun. Several people took advantage of the LoCon mansion’s pool and sat in the sun, immersed in reflection and conversation. Others went up to the top of a mountain and brought Customer Education to new heights.

Interested in joining the next LoCon?

If you are a practitioner that wants to learn best practices and deepen you connection to the community, you can take part in the next LoCon simply by following the link below. This will put you on the list to be notified of upcoming LoCon experiences as they are announced.

If you are a vendor interested in sponsoring a LoCon, reach out to and get connected with one of our event planners. Sponsorship will place you directly in the conversation and can help with Go-To-Market planning, sales enablement, or market entry.


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