It’s Festival Time for HR and L&D professionals

It’s Festival Time for HR and L&D professionals

Your Festival of Work Guide is here

It’s June already, that can only mean one thing.

Festival season is upon us, so grab your wrist bands, sun cream and wellies and get ready to party!

One event that should be on every HR and L&D professional’s summer playlist is the new and revolutionary CIPD Festival of Work on the 12th/13th June.

“Festival of Work” you say?

Yes, you read it right, it’s the newly formed CIPD event made up from two past events; the HR Software and Recruitment and Learning & Development shows.                         

Both events have been focused on specific areas within the employee lifecycle but now with an added sprinkle of future of work themes, this new event looks like a real festival and a celebration of work where we can all wave our hands in the air like we really DO care. There is still time to convince your boss that the paid festival isn’t just a*&%^ up in a field, take a look at the draft letter you can access here. You of course can attend free of charge and visit the exhibition so all is not lost without being able to access the VIP areas.


What to expect

Rather than stood in a field in the rain covered in mud (like most British festivals), you’ll be inside, spoiled by the lovely surroundings of Olympia London. The festival itself has been billed as a pivotal event as it seeks to tackle your workplace challenges head on and will equip you for the work revolution. With both paid conference and free exhibition tickets available the event will provide a host of options including:

  • 160 conference speakers
  • 300+ suppliers
  • 75 free learning sessions
  • A free app to help you make the most of your time there
  • Speed networking

Taking the networking a little further, if you are attending the event (conference or exhibition) you can also benefit from ‘Festival Connect’. This is a free to use networking feature that allows you to search through attendees and contacts and book 1-2-1 meetings in advance. With a dedicated meeting area and a team of ‘match makers’ to help you connect it’s sure to help you reach the right people. You can register here.


Who’s playing?

The CIPD have had some impressive headliners at various events.

Opening keynote speeches set the tone for an event and with this being the first event of its’ nature, who better to talk about the Future of Work than someone who has been dealing with AI in his workplace since the 90’s. Former World Chess Champion and Chair of the Human Rights Foundation Garry Kasparov. Garry was the first world champion to be beaten by a machine, IBM super computer ‘Deep Blue’ in 1997. Garry will open the Festival of Work with his session

Don’t fear intelligent machines, work with them.

Delving deeper than the keynote conference attendees can expect 5 session formats to choose from, masterclasses, case studies, interactive panels, fast track skills and lightening talks. Spread across 3 festival areas we would strongly recommend planning your sessions well in advance and familiarise yourself with where you’re going and when.

With so much to choose from here are my top picks to get you started.


Conference - Day One

Finding the right technology fit – how to effectively navigate the HR technology landscape

Data driven learning – using data insights to design learning and measure its effectiveness

The implications of flexible and remote working – finding a balance to enhance performance

Strategic L&D – increasing value by linking learning to your people and business objectives

Inclusive leadership – creating a measured approach that reduces bias and drives inclusion

The power of a strong L&D brand – enhance the profile of your work to increase learner engagement


Conference - Day Two

Well-being and mental health in the digital workplace – reducing digital stress

Learner-centred design – putting the audience at the heart of what you do

Bridging the gap – tackling skill shortages in the fourth industrial revolution

Shifting mindsets – encouraging people to positively embrace technology and innovation

Successful onboarding – supporting and engaging new talent to increase retention

From hierarchy to holacracy – moving beyond people hierarchies to unlock people potential


Free Learning

With 4 ‘stages’ to keep you entertained, choose from The Future of Work stage, HR technology stage, Learning & Development stage and Talent, Skills & Capabilities stage. With a wide range of topics and great speakers take a look at the agenda and plan your sessions wisely.


Getting the most from the Festival Experience

We’ve written about getting the most value from conference before here and have shared a comprehensive guide on using Twitter to make the most from conference on the go or using the back channel here.

Whether you’re there or not, you can follow the @FestivalatWork account and follow the hashtag #Festivalofwork to keep your finger on the pulse over the two days.

There is also a dedicated Festival of Work app for both Android and Apple phones , just head to your app store and search of Festival of Work. The app can help you track your schedule and personalise your conference agenda.

No festival would be complete without a social event and the Festival of Work delivers with an inclusive invite for all badge holders (conference or exhibition) to attend the Festival on the Roof.

There you have it, we hope you’re excited about the upcoming festival and this blog gets you in the festival mood and helps you prepare! Make sure you carry some supplies in a rucksack, but you can probably leave your tent and wellies at home for this one.


Are you attending in person or will you be following the back channel?


We’d love to hear from anyone attending or not – what are you looking forward to and hoping to get out of this new conference experience?

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Ady Howes - Community Manager, DPG

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  • There are many great events organized for HR professionals, which focus on introducing new technologies that's not my neighbor and solutions for more effective HR management. 

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  • Hello Ady,

    I won't be attending but I definitely  would like to follow and get more update on a few things I have been learning recently which are:

    • Bridging the gap
    • Successful onboarding

    Best regards

    Birute. Burton


    • Hi Birute,

      Yes definitely follow from afar. Do you use Twitter? It's a great way of keeping up with what goes on there.





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