Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The Power of Connecting

By January 12, 2022January 14th, 2022LTEN Focus On Training

The Power of Connecting

From the President – Richard Sampson

It was surely nice seeing people again at the conference.

A lot has been said about virtual connections, and how technology has kept us all connected and enabled business during the pandemic. It’s been an amazing tool that’s helped some businesses survive and some thrive.

I can’t say enough about the capabilities and possibilities of virtual connections, and my metaphoric hat is tipped to the visionaries who’ve kept things moving these past couple of years. The technology is amazing, and I’d urge every training organization to use the tools of today and tomorrow wisely and strategically front and center in your portfolio.

Now comes the big “however.”

However, it was sure nice seeing people again at the 50th LTEN Annual Conference in November. In that safe environment, I greeted old friends and colleagues with hugs of nostalgia, shook hands of new members and supporters and realized once again that there’s a certain energy to being together. It was nice!

Conference Connections

All resources from the 50th LTEN Annual Conference are available online through Check out pictures from the event, shared materials and recordings of in-person and virtual presentations.

Please plan to join us for the 51st LTEN Annual Conference, June 13-16, 2022, in San Antonio. Registration is open and more information available at

I stress again how amazing virtual experiences can be, and I hope the LTEN members who joined us virtually took advantage of the connection tools available through the event platform. I know we had great virtual-only sessions and Learning Village exhibitors still available.

It’s not about ranking live vs. virtual; both delivery options have their uses. Virtual certainly closes distance in ways that in-person can’t, and in-person perhaps can solidify an emotional bond more strongly. Technology has yet to replicate the warmth of a friend’s handshake.

So, without ranking one over the other, I’ll repeat myself: It was surely nice seeing people again at the conference. Even more, it was nice meeting people at the conference and being in a room full of people who love this special “training and learning” space as much as I do.

On our opening day, I asked everyone to raise a hand if they’d met a colleague in person the first time at the conference, and a large number signaled they had. I’d enjoyed the same experience, and I know it felt good to make that connection beyond Zoom.

Personally, I’m ready for more, and I hope I’m not alone.

In March, we’re gathering a select group of learning leaders in person for the invitation-only LTEN Learning Executive Forum. The energy of that exchange is amazing, and I know good things will come out of those strategy discussions. Then, in June, we’re all invited to come together again for the 51st LTEN Annual Conference. If you’re able to travel, you’ll find it so easy to slip back into the in-person experience again. You’ll feel the connections immediately. I can already hear the laughter in the hotel that will signal a gathering of friends and colleagues from around the globe.

Will virtual be part of those experiences? Almost certainly in some format; as I said, virtual connection technology is amazing and any chance to connect with people is a chance to be taken.

With the holidays behind us, and so much ahead of us this year, I can’t help but feel the anticipation. I hope you feel that too, and I hope this year gives us the chance to support one another, in whatever fashion needed.

No matter how business brings us together, whether we’re in the same room, on the same call or on the same wavelength, I look forward to our connection, our collaboration and our camaraderie.

Happy 2022.

Richard Sampson is president of the LTEN Board of Directors and vice president,
global training and development, for Cepheid. Email Richard at



About LTEN

The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network ( is the only global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of life sciences learning professionals. LTEN shares the knowledge of industry leaders, provides insight into new technologies, offers innovative solutions and communities of practice that grow careers and organizational capabilities. Founded in 1971, LTEN has grown to more than 3,200 individual members who work in pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, and industry partners who support the life sciences training departments.

Leave a Reply