26 October 2011

tcworld at Wiesbaden - October 2011

I arrived back home after midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning after an exhausting – but very enjoyable – three days manning a stand at tcworld in Wiesbaden, Germany. I was there, with a colleague, representing my own professional organisation (the ISTC) among associations from many other countries.

We were busy – so much so that I only managed to attend one session (and now know a little more about HTML5 as a result). We (the ISTC) don’t attend every year, so it was interesting to see what had had changed since our last visit in 2009.

As always, the size of the exhibition at the event was huge – filling three large halls. I recognised some from TCUK (Technical Communication UK), the conference hosted by the ISTC. Many, though, were completely new to me. As you would expect in a location in the heart of Europe, surrounded by countries speaking other languages, translation and localisation companies made up a significant proportion of them.

The gratifying change was that our association is becoming recognised – mainly as a result of our success with our conference and through our flagship publication, Communicator.

The sheer numbers meant that the sense of community didn’t seem as strong as at our own more intimate conference, but I did meet – and have some meaningful conversations with – some very interesting people. A signifcant number of the presentations (about a third) were in English, and I believe that is normal for this conference. If you are able to attend, even for just one day, it would be worth it.

Sometimes I feel I’m very much in a minority profession; attending an event like this makes me realise just how many technical communicators there are.

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