Training News * e-learning ShowAfter showing a hefty 34 percent growth in attendance from 1999 to 2000, 10-year-old TeleCon East/IDLCON Conference & Expo is expanding its mission and changing its name. Show manager Advanstar Communi-cations, Santa Ana, Calif., has changed the event to e-learning Conference & Expo to reflect a focus on the Web-based learning software market as well the show's traditional base in the conferencing and collaboration markets. The first e-learning Conference & Expo will be held April 18 to 20, 2001, at the Washington D.C. Convention Center.

* VideoService Provider The problem with using training videos for online learning is the download time, but application service provider Emergent On-line, Reston, Va., says it has a solution for the bandwidth-limited. Emergent (www.go-eol.com) has launched a new ASP industry segment that it calls "video service provider," which hosts unwieldy streaming video content and delivers it "full motion" via modems as slow as 28.8 kbs.

* Computer TrainingAustin, Texas-based TRMG Inc. has opened its fifth computer training facility. Following recent openings in Austin; Chicago; Costa Mesa, Calif., and New York City, TRMG's newest training center is in Vienna, Va., just outside Washington, D.C. The Vienna site is the company's smallest, with just two computer-equipped rooms for training of 25 and 20 people. TRMG's largest training center is in Austin, with 11 rooms. The company is now looking at sites in San Fran-cisco, Denver, and Atlanta. TRMG sets up and networks its computers (including Sun and HP workstations, IBM AIX platforms, and others), installs the client's software, and provides beverages and snacks throughout the day.

* Web AwardEdu-cause, an association dedicated to "transforming education through information technology," earned top honors in the American Society of Association Executives' Technology Innovation Awards. The Boulder, Colo.-based organzation was recognized for the tools on its Web site (www.educause.edu) to build its conference community. The site allows attendees to locate peers, search for sessions by professional interest, initiate new "Birds of a Feather" sessions, and establish a listserver to be used before, during, and after the meeting.

Training Geeks to Lead the Team "Managing machines is different from managing people. One's digital, the other analog," says Savio Chan. Therein lies the impetus for Techno-Bridge, a leadership training program for IT professionals. Chan's company, Tech Training Solutions, Plainview, N.Y., had focused strictly on delivering the technical side of technical training, but saw a demand from its clients for a program to address the management skills of these same IT trainees.

"We found that one of the biggest issues for our clients was that the techie can't communicate," says Chan. "And if your employees can't share information, their knowledge is useless."

Chan found a partner in Brookville, N.Y.- based leadership training veteran Stuart Levine, former CEO of Dale Carnegie & Associates and author of The Leader in You.

The four-day training helps IT managers think more strategically, says Levine, preparing them to "move from the back office to the front office." Coursework touches on a wide range of topics, including creating a motivational culture, running a meeting, understanding communication styles, and defining yourself as a leader and a coach. Major clients have included EAB Bank and Microsoft Corp. The cost is $2,500 per trainee. For more information, contact Technology Training Solutions at (516) 349-8877. --Susan Hatch

Face-to-Face Training Has Staying Power When it comes to in-house training, the computer age has arrived--mainly via the classroom. According to a recent survey by Training magazine, 95 percent of U.S. companies trained employees in the use of computer applications in 1999. Other widely taught training topics were communication skills (88 percent), management skills (85 percent), and customer service (83 percent).

However, only 14 percent of all formal training was delivered via computer, suggesting that face-to-face training isn't going away anytime soon. Another interesting fact: Even when training is delivered online, interaction with other people--instructors and/or other students--takes place 36 percent of the time.

The staying power of face-to-face training is corroborated in another new survey, the American Society for Training & Development's 2000 State of the Industry Report. ASTD, which surveyed 501 U.S. organizations about their training activities in 1998, found that companies delivered 78.4 percent of training in the classroom (a slight increase from 1997), and 8.5 percent of training with learning technologies (a slight decrease from 1997). This comes after a 50 percent increase of computer-delivered training between 1996 and 1997, suggesting that "organizations are finding the challenges to implementing technology-based training difficult to overcome," says Mark Van Buren, ASTD's director of research.

Both surveys document the growth of in-house training. Training magazine's 2,100 respondents, all from companies with 100 or more employees, budgeted $62.5 billion for formal training in 1999. More than half of those dollars were spent on training professionals ($19.9 billion) and managers ($16.5 billion).

Other findings from this study: *About $4.4 billion was spent on seminars and conferences, compared with $3.95 billion in 1998 and less than $3 billion in 1994.

*Ninety percent of corporate training departments still use live classroom instruction.

*Eighty-one percent of the companies surveyed teach leadership; 77 percent teach teambuilding; and 72 percent teach product knowledge. Nine percent plan to send some employees to an outdoor experiential training program.

*Roughly half of all online training courses are about imparting information, not about teaching skills.