18 January 2013

Spreading the word

I’ve just found myself involved in TCUK13 (the annual conference hosted by the ISTC to which all are welcome). Kai Weber (Technical Communications blogging legend) and I will be delivering the social media build up to what promises to be a signification event on the international technical communications calendar.

Now, as with any big event, some of the details are currently on a need to know basis, but it has been revealed that TCUK13 is going to be held in Bristol on the 24–26 September this year, and will feature some well-known technical communication personalities from around the world. Last year we had Leah Guren, Scott Abel, and Karen Mardahl as keynote speakers, with other presenters including Dr. Tony Self (of DITA fame) who travelled all the way from the southern hemisphere. This year is going to be even bigger, so if you’re a scientific or technical communicator, or know someone who is, you’ll want to follow the #tcuk13 twitter hashtag and @tcuk_conf feed (which I'm administering this year) where all the important news and information is going to be disseminated.

The next big opportunity is the call for papers, which is where everyone gets a chance to pitch their idea for a presentation or workshop. The call will go out in the near future via the @tcuk_conf twitter account and other channels. Presenting at any conference is an important career milestone, and presenting at the annual conference of a nationally recognised and internationally affiliated professional body grants you a metaphorical ostrich feather for your cap.

The really great thing about technical communicators (who include illustrators, authors, presenters, trainers and anyone else involved in the sharing and communication of scientific and technical information) is that we’re really a very supportive bunch. Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, it’s well worth getting your ideas down on paper and giving it a go as experienced presenters are available to steer you in the right direction.

Will I be presenting? Well, that’s down to the programme committee. I had half an idea for a joint session with Alison (a.k.a. mum) but I’ve been advised that juggling chainsaws has already been done, so I’ll have to think of something a bit more appropriate.


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