Thoughts on TCUK09*

      4 Comments on Thoughts on TCUK09*

Having had a few days to process my thoughts about the Technical Communications Conference I can confidently say that it is the best professional conference I have ever attended.

I’ll post up specific notes tomorrow, but I wanted to touch on some of the themes that seemed to be driven out of most of the presentations I attended. Now at this point I should make a confession, it’s about the presentation I gave on the Thursday morning (the second day) of the conference.

My presentation had a theme, a single word that I was focussing on, so throughout the first day, in all the sessions I attended, I was listening out for that word. That word didn’t appear in one session, and I had to push to get the word out of another of the speakers (the last of the first day).

I claimed that word appeared in all of the sessions I attended, it didn’t. Now, as far as confessions go, it’s not exactly earth shattering news but it’s important to me that I let you all know because, as I said in my presentation, if you are blogging you need to be honest.

The word I was looking for throughout the first day was “conversation”, and I was pleasantly surprised when I heard it crop up in the later sessions of the second day and I admit I was quite pleased when the closing speaker, RJ Jacquez from Adobe both mentioned my presentation and had a similar view to mine.

As for the sessions I attended, I don’t think there was one where I didn’t learn anything, even though there were a couple where I was asked to facilitate when I probably would’ve ducked out to chat to some vendors. It’s good that the speakers, whether well versed in public speaking or complete amateurs (like me), seemed comfortable and relaxed and really engaged with their audience.

And that for me is a good way to sum up the entire conference. I shudder to think just how much hard work went into organising the conference but from the smaller touches (the goodies in the hotel room), to the softer, informal approach that Paul and Rachel embody so well, really made a difference.

Given that our profession is both broad and deep, it was great to have other aspects around the fringes covered as well (cognitive psychology anyone?). All in all I think there was something for everyone, and the benefits of being exposed to other niche areas really made the conference worthwhile.

If you are in the UK next year, if you work in a profession either directly related to, or relatively related to, technical communications then I’d urge you to consider coming along next year. For me the best thing I’ll take away from the conference is the continuing conversation that is happening about our profession.

* #tcuk09 was the hashtag for the conference

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on TCUK09*

  1. Kai

    Thank you for your extensive and informative posts and tweets from TCUK09 – they are most helpful to take the pulse and temperature of our industry for those of us who couldn’t attend!

    I was wondering if you had heard anything about the UA Europe conference that took place a week before in Cardiff? It seems this event was covered much less than TCUK, at least among tech writers, and I wondered why that might have been…?

  2. Gordon McLean Post author

    Kai,

    I’m not sure why the UA conference wasn’t covered more. A couple of my colleagues attended and the sessions were well received. Certainly spoke to several people who attended it who were also at TCUK.

    Perhaps the audience is different? UA conference is great for practical “doing it” sessions, whereas TCUK is both larger (3 streams instead of 1) and featured sessions aimed more that the team lead/manager roles, and wider “professional development” view??

    Not sure really.

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