A benefit of being president of STC San Diego is the chapter paid my registration fee to attend Summit 2016, the annual conference of the Society for Technical Communication (STC).
As a first-time conference attendee, Summit 2016 was a great way for me to connect with people I only know through email and LinkedIn as well as make new connections. I also learned about important trends in technical communication, and how to be a better leader for my home community.
Here are some highlights from my conference experience:
- During the pre-conference Leadership Program, I was able to learn what other chapters are doing to help their home communities. We also heard from Society leaders about managing chapter finances, using tools to organize and share information, reaching out to our members through social media and public relations services, and improving our online security.
- After the program, Lori Meyer, President of the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter, handed me a magnet promoting Summit 2017, to be held in National Harbor, Maryland, from May 7 to 10, 2017.
- By the end of the conference, the bookstore had sold out of Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today, Fifth Edition, the textbook used for the Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC)-Foundation exam. The CPTC is a worthwhile goal because it establishes a standard for knowledge in the field of technical communication.
- I am glad the conference organizers taped many of the educational sessions so I could concentrate on one or two tracks. Also, much of the information I heard during the Independent Consulting track is not available anywhere else.
- At the Monday speed-networking session, I met a recent graduate who showed all of us how you work a conference to find employment. He never passed up an opportunity to say he was looking for work, and he left the conference with job leads he would have never found by searching the job boards.
- I was impressed by David Beebe’s closing keynote speech, Publish or Perish: How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of Next Generation Consumers with Content Marketing. He reinforced something many of us have always felt: All content creators, including technical communicators, tell a brand’s story.
After the conference, I joined Ben Woelk’s Slack channel to discuss introverted leadership and participate in a CPTC study group. What I learn in the study group I hope to apply in a study group in my home community.
Here in San Diego, I am working with STC San Diego volunteers to implement many of the ideas discussed during the Leadership Program and throughout the conference.
Summit 2016 was a great conference. And I have Lori’s pretty blue magnet on my refrigerator to remind me that Summit 2017 is just around the corner.