An Insider’s Guide to Forward 2020
Mark your calendar: This September 15-17, you’re invited to join Forward.
This three-day virtual learning event will inspire you. You’ll get actionable ideas to drive results. You’ll connect with learning leaders around the world. And most importantly, you’ll leave empowered to move your company forward.
I caught up with Udemy’s Event Marketing Manager Christina Brady to learn more.
Tapping into the greatest minds from L&D and beyond
Past attendees say they love how Udemy for Business events feel fresh and engaged every year. How is Forward organized?
Christina: We know that it can be hard to carve out the time for yourself to immerse into a long, consecutive virtual event. So we’ve broken the content into three tracks over three days. Each day has a specific theme and have been created for a specific audience, but we encourage attendees to sign up for any sessions they want. The idea is to pick the content that’s most impactful for you. Here’s a quick overview:
- Day 1, “Lead with resilience,” is for the VP of L&D or HR or business leader.
- Day 2, “Take action to drive results,” is for HR managers, L&D managers/directors, and individual contributors.
- Day 3, “Upskill your tech teams,” is for IT, engineering, and product leaders.
That sounds great! Tell us a little about the speakers.
Christina: We wanted to make sure all attendees walk away with actionable ideas. We’re excited to bring global people and tech leaders to the virtual stage. You can find all the speakers listed on the Forward website.
Here are a few I’m especially excited about:
- Dr. Thokozile Lewanika-Mpupuni, Group Head of Leadership, Learning and Talent at Absa Group will speak on Day 1. Our VP of Customer Success, Stephanie Stapleton, will lead a fireside chat with her on the power of learning through transformation.
- Mark Levy, Employee Experience Leader (former Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb) will speak on Day 2. His talk is “Creating Belonging and Connection Anywhere.”
- Jossie Haines, Senior Product Engineering Director at Tile is speaking on Day 3. Her presentation is “Creating the Optimal Tech Team of the Future.”
And it goes without saying, I’m thrilled about our keynote speaker, Leslie Odom Jr. award-winning performer in Hamilton.
Leslie’s personal and professional story is rooted in learning and I couldn’t think of a better person than our own VP of Learning, Shelley Osborne, to have a conversation about it with us – it feels really special to share this kind of experience even in a virtual environment.
Crafting an immersive attendee experience — even online
This year, Forward will take place 100% online. What will the attendee experience be like?
Christina: We’re focusing on engagement and connection. We want you to feel like you’re surrounded by peers, all pushing forward toward the same things.
The sessions will be 20 minutes. It’s the perfect amount of time for speakers to share a tactical idea. You can fit these sessions into your schedule, as it makes the most sense for you.
Then, we have 40 minute networking and deep-dive sessions. This is an opportunity for you and your peers to share ideas, talk about challenges, and discuss actionable takeaways to implement at your organization.
Is the event open to everyone?
Christina: Yes! You’ll have the opportunity to tune into sessions live or access them on demand right away. We’ve designed the schedule so there are live sessions for every region around the world. You can connect with other attendees, learning leaders, and business leaders within your time zone.
Surfacing big ideas and actionable insights
What can attendees expect to see in the session content?
Christina: We want to provide a space where leaders can openly share what they’re doing. We’ll be focusing on timely topics that reflect our current situation. You can expect to see sessions on:
- Creating a culture of belonging and inclusion for every employee
- Focusing on learning programs that drive business continuity and outcomes within their organization will help employees deal with feelings of isolation
- Building skills that employees need to further their careers and prepare your organization for what comes next.
Helping leaders move forward together
Let’s talk more about leaders. What can they get out of attending Forward?
Christina: If you’re a leader, we know that you’ve done a lot of hard things this year. You’ve faced challenges, pivots, and hurdles.
People leaders are leading the charge for this next phase of work and the future of work. The employees at your company — from the executive level to individual contributors — are looking to you for support.
Our goal with Forward is to help you recharge and feel supported. This is so important — not just for yourself, but for your workforce and your organization. We want Forward to be a space where you allow yourself to step away from the day-to-day and learn as a leader, too.
Learn more and save your spot
Is there any special significance to the name Forward?
Christina: It’s the essence of what we inspire at this event. We want to evoke the feeling that it’s time to move forward.
Any last thoughts to share?
Christina: There’s never been a more important time than now for us to connect and learn from one another. And a virtual event like Forward gives us the opportunity to bring global leaders together when in-person gathering isn’t possible.
The best part? You don’t have to worry about making the time or having the budget to attend. This is an experience you can immerse yourself in — without leaving your desk.
Thank you, Christina.
Forward is September 15-17. Register on the event website and create your customized schedule today.