Workshops Work at the AIIM Conference 2024
Tori Miller Liu

By: Tori Miller Liu on February 13th, 2024

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Workshops Work at the AIIM Conference 2024

AIIM Conference  |  Collaboration

Why do workshops work so well in adult learning? Read on to see how we are incorporating workshops at AIIM24 and how you can use workshops as a powerful tool for adult learning. 

As we approach the AIIM Conference 2024 in San Antonio, Texas, April 3-5, I am sharing some insights into the content and design of the event. Read my past posts on AI content at AIIM24 and incorporating storytelling techniques for our keynote speaker selection. 


Why Should Information Leaders Care About Education Methods?

According to the AIIM Official CIP Study Guide, "change management should be a high priority in your information management program. Far more programs fail because of inadequate resourcing for change management than fail for technical reasons." 

As information leaders, we need to be able to design relevant, timely, and effective training to ensure the successful adoption of policies and systems. In fact, the Study Guide goes on to list that one of the keys to successful change management is the ability to provide relevant and timely training. 

Three keys to successful change management from AIIM Official CIP Study Guide

Pedagogy vs. Andragogy

There is an extensive body of knowledge around the difference between teaching children (pedagogy) and teaching adults (andragogy). 

Think back to how you were taught as a child. As children, we came to classrooms with little prior experience. We listened to lectures and watched demonstrations from our teachers. We could succeed academically without contributing much to the experience, except our attention. Students are teacher-led. 

Conversely, adult learners bring experience and knowledge which they can contribute to lessons. Adult learners can contribute content, help solve complex problems, and, often, their contributions are vital to the success of the lesson. Adult learners are typically self-directed. Learn more about andragogic instructional practices

It's important to note, that education expert Malcolm Knowles established that pedagogy and andragogy are two ends of the same educational spectrum. There are times when lecture and conveying information is important and useful, but we should look for opportunities for peer-to-peer learning to enhance the learning experience. 


Defining a Workshop

Workshops are one of the best ways to provide peer-to-peer learning and experiential (aka hands-on) learning. So how does a workshop differ from a lecture-based educational session? Here are the defining characteristics of workshops that I have led or experienced:

  1. Relevancy. The workshop topic is relevant and takeaways can be immediately applied to benefit my organization. Often, the workshops emphasize problem-solving, which might include collaboratively solving case studies. 
  2. Self-Directed. Workshop participants are motivated to learn. They do not need to be encouraged to participate or heavily directed by the instructor because they take ownership of their learning experience and pursue topics that interest them. 
  3. Experiential. Workshop leaders often incorporate hands-on activities to enhance learning and reinforce concepts, including practical exercises and case studies.
  4. Collaborative. The participants in a workshop are just as important as the instructor. Participants contribute their knowledge and experience to the conversation via peer-to-peer discussions and group activities. We learn just as much from each other as we do the instructor in a workshop. 

Workshops at AIIM Conference 2024

As we were designing the educational program for AIIM24, we were focused on the importance of creating opportunities for more collaborative, in-depth learning. We love our quick-fire 30-minute sessions, but past event attendees and speakers gave us feedback on the need for longer learning formats that would accommodate collaboration and deeper conversations. 

I am particularly proud of the number of workshops in agenda and that we were able to include all of these workshops are included in the registration fee

  1. Information Strategy Mastermind (April 5, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CT) - Led by AIIM Board Member Shawn Shawn Acheampong, workshop problems with your peers in an honest, confidential setting. 
  2. The Art and Practice of Information Architecture (April 5, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CT) - Information management expert and author Robert Bogue will explain the art of information architecture and you'll walk away with actionable advice for improving the accessibility and findability of your organization’s information.
  3. Theory to Practice: Case Studies in Information Management (April 5, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CT) - AIIM Fellow Jesse Wilkins will facilitate a group discussion on several complex information management case studies. Participants will collaboratively debate and develop solutions to each case study. 
  4. How to Become a Fantastic Public Speaker (April 5, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CT) - International speaker and pro storyteller Jacqueline Stockwell will equip you with the tools and skills needed to deliver informative and engaging presentations. 

Also, for an additional fee, participants can sign up for our Pre-Conference Workshop: CIP Exam Accelerator. This unique, all-day workshop led by Franz Gangl is your chance to join fellow exam takers for a final "cram session" and then take the exam in-person the following day. 


Design Your Own Workshop

If you are planning training for your employees, colleagues, or clients, I encourage you to incorporate workshops. In my experience, workshops lead to richer conversations, better retention of content, and provide more actionable takeaways.

If you are looking for inspiration, browse a library of facilitation techniques for adult learning at SessionLab. AIIM staff uses SessionLab regularly to craft agendas for events and meetings, including AIIM24. 

Also, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control publishes "How to Captivate and Motivate Adult Learners," a guide for instructors providing in-person public health training. Even if you are not in public health, I think this guide provides a helpful worksheet for crafting workshops. 

Then, take a look at how we are using workshops at AIIM24 to create a rewarding participant experience. 


About Tori Miller Liu

Tori Miller Liu, MBA, FASAE, CAE, CIP is the President & CEO of the Association for Intelligent Information Management. She is an experienced association executive, technology leader, speaker, and facilitator. Previously, she served as the Chief Information Officer of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and has 16+ years of experience in association management. Tori is a former member of the ASAE Technology Professional Advisory Council and a founding Board Member of Association Women Technology Champions. She was named a 2020 Association Trends Young & Aspiring Professional and 2021 Association Forum Forty under 40 award recipient. She is also an alumna of the ASAE NextGen program. She is a Certified Association Executive and holds an MBA from George Washington University. In 2023, Tori was named as a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).