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The Allen Experience - What's it all about?

Another amazing Allen Experience has come and gone. Our 2017 event evolved from previous years, giving attendees the opportunity to experience our new concept: a fully interactive, solutions-oriented event. This evolution allowed the Allen team and our guest speakers to deeply explore the changing needs of today’s online learning community, as well as exhibit AI’s innovative approach to interactive education.

 Distribution network training solutions

This year, we were excited to host four of our fantastic clients: Toyota Financial Services, Mary Kay, Constellation Brands, and the United States Air Force Special Ops. They joined us to discuss the many ways in which partnering with Allen Interactions helped to solve their most thorny and persistent training challenges through AI’s unique approach to developing interactive instructional tools.

Here’s what went down:

Attendees arrived to find a “No Boring eLearning” tote filled with an array of Allen Interactions gifts, as well as a folder that included a welcome letter and agenda for the day, white papers, and case studies from previous projects. Dr. Michael Allen kicked off the day by welcoming and addressing the room with a rousing speech on the state of eLearning.

Following the introduction, Chris Johnson of Toyota, together with AI’s own Steve Lee, captivated the audience by discussing Toyota Financial Services’ challenges in giving sales training to their call center agents, as well as AI’s role in developing creative, interactive blended learning solutions for them. The training model presented here was an exciting start to the day, especially for the Toyota Financial Services staff, which made up much of the audience.

Next, Mary Kay’s Kathryn Siwald, along with Brent Gwisdalla of AI, discussed the Mary Kay online learning  project. Their engaging presentation had the crowd repeatedly laughing, while actively involving the attendees in answering questions. By the end, everyone in the audience was ready to sign on and start selling Mary Kay! At the following roundtables, many questions came up, showing the group’s clear anticipation to learn more from this dynamic duo.

The final presentation of the morning was by Nicole Mellas of Allen Interactions and Maggie Romanovich of Constellation Brands. This gamified learning program showcased the CCAF model and allowed attendees to role play as if they were distributors learning the process for the first time. This launched a lively discussion that carried all the way through our lunch break.

The afternoon session began with Dr. Henry Cobbs of the USAF Special Forces giving a brief talk on the value that online learning will bring to the future, as well as presenting a video highlighting USAF’s training course.

Afterward, attendees and presenters discussed educational design challenges and ideas for solutions at topic-focused round tables. The conversations were energetic, with many attendees wishing the discussions could continue longer than time allowed. A hilarious performance by comedic magician, Mark Robinson capped off the day.

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We have already begun planning the 2018 Allen Experience thanks to the wonderful feedback provided by this year’s attendees. We are working to make the Allen Experience an annual 'must' for the eLearning community. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks!