In ATD Handbook for Training and Talent Development, 3rd ed., Lorrie Lykins concludes Chapter 1, “The Evolution of Talent Development,” by calling on employers to recognize the importance of training to growing their business and strengthening corporate culture. She notes that talent development professionals are essential. She writes, “New history is constantly being created by this profession, and the easiest prediction for the future is that it will continue to change and evolve in areas we cannot imagine. You are more capable than most of not only imagining that future, but also courageously heading towards it, inspiring others to accomplish what might have seemed unachievable not so long ago.
As talent development professionals from around the world gather this week for ATD22, they are making history. They will learn about the latest industry and business trends, network, learn new skills, and explore real solutions and techniques for their key organizational and team challenges. Together they will generate new ideas.
Apryl Alexander-Savino, Senior Director of ATD Conferences, points out, “This year, the focus of the conference is ‘people. perspective. potential.’ So much has changed and continues to change in the way we work and learn. In developing programming for ATD22, we wanted to be a catalyst for the entire talent development community to connect, grow and develop, so they can return to work with new ideas and practical insights to make an impact even further. bigger in their organizations. and with their customers.
These are the reasons industry professionals have gathered for decades at ATD’s Global Conference & EXPO. In 1945, when ATD was the American Society of Training Directors, 56 people attended the first annual conference in Chicago, Illinois. Now, thousands of attendees are gathering in person and virtually for ATD22. In ATD’s “Welcome to the Future” blog post, John Coné, catalyst for ATD’s CTDO Next group, writes, “This is an incredible time for our profession. From now on, the future will be much closer and approaching even faster than before. But it’s great. It is the house.”
The sweetness of the hearth
Between 1945 and 2022, ATD has had many milestones with the International Conference and EXPO. For example, in 1980, 259 exhibitors joined the national conference in Anaheim, California. This is also the year that ATD (as ASTD) moved its headquarters to Washington, DC. In 1994, ATD renamed the conference International Conference and EXPO. In 2004, ATD welcomed participants from 79 different countries.
Most recently, more than 9,000 talent development professionals gathered in Denver, Colorado in 2012, a new attendance record at the time. The 2019 conference recorded the highest number of participants with 13,500 people. And while the past two years have brought disruption and uncertainty, ATD21 has brought a hybrid model for talent development professionals to come together, learn and grow despite the ongoing pandemic.
Alexander-Savino said, “It’s amazing to look back and see and hear what we’ve done together in the talent industry. It’s even more amazing to look ahead, immediately to ATD22 and beyond, to imagine the potential for how we continue to create a better working world. This week will provide you with many opportunities to learn, engage, connect and make history.