Top 5 reasons I look forward to the STC12 Summit

I’ll be going to my first STC Summit in a couple of weeks and I’m already really excited about it. Here are my top 5 reasons and motivations:

1. Learn about new trends

The obvious reason to attend a conference: Many of the 80 sessions cover new industry trends – or at least topics that are new to me. We’re currently implementing a new HAT which brings a a lot of opportunities and some challenges, so I’m looking forward to:

2. Find inspiration and solutions

The sometimes unexpected benefit: At previous conferences, I frequently got ideas about improving a broken process or solving an irritating problem, even if that was not the main focus of a session. Such insights might come from an aside comment or something I see on a slide that inspires me to connect the dots. That’s why I’m looking forward to:

3. Present my own session

A highlight for will be Pattern Recognition for Technical Communicators!

My STC Summit speaker button

I’ll be on Wednesday morning at 8:30. I know that’ll be difficult after Tuesday’s banquet and whatever after-hours may transpire. But it’s actually a very good time!

  • A good time for you, because you can ease into the last day with an entertaining session that gives you a different, thought-provoking perspective on what you do anyway.
  • A good time for me, because I can get a feel for the conference on Monday and Tuesday and then get it out of the way firsrt thing on Wednesday. So I hope to see you there!

The conference program

After teasing you about several interesting sessions, here’s the complete conference program:

  • In a website, sortable by track, time, speaker or session code
  • In PDF, sorted by day and time, with session codes and titles only
  • In Excel 97-2003, sorted by day and time, with titles and main presenter

The first two are the official resources from the summit website, the spreadsheet is from me. All three are current as of May 6, but only the first one will be up to date in case of changes (an updated PDF may have a different link…). To be on the safe side, check the official summit website. – Now back to the reasons…

4. Meet old friends, make new friends

The pleasant side effect also called “networking”: As much as I enjoy social media as a virtual lifeline to stay in touch with the techcomm community, nothing beats meeting in person over a beer once or twice a year. So I’m looking forward to meeting speakers and delegates, tweeps and blog readers!

5. See Chicago

The tourist bit: I know Chicago a little bit from when I went to UW Madison in the 1990s. But I haven’t been in a while, and I’m especially looking forward to visiting the Art Institute and the new Modern Wing – or at least new to me. 🙂

6. Shop around for help authoring tools

Your bonus reason. The company I work for is not in the market right now for a new tool, but maybe you are. With more than 50 product and service providers exhibiting, you’ll have an excellent chance to see a lot of products up close and compare them closely. It’s a little like meeting friends: Nothing beats a first hands-on experience, and it’s a lot less daunting when you don’t have to install a trial version and click your way around. Vendor exhibitions at conferences were essential for us when we were choosing our tool.

7. Deep dish pizza

The gourmet reason. Thanks to Larry Kunz for the reminder, see his comment below. I was quite fond of Pizzeria Uno in my Madison days…

– If I forgot a reason to go to a conference, please share it below. If you’re attending the STC Summit, I hope to meet you in Chicago!

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11 Responses

  1. Three words: Deep dish pizza.

  2. Thanks Kai. The Art museum sounds tempting – I might see you in there on the Sunday!

    • My travel plans make Sunday difficult for me. Also, the NATO summit on that day may make the downtown area less easily accessible than usual.

      If you do go before me, you’ll have to tell me what you liked and what’s a must-see!

  3. Another reason: To meet up with friends I only see at STC conferences.

    My husband has never been to Chicago, so I’m dragging him along, and plan to add a day or two to the trip to see the sites. The Art Institute is on my list, of course, along with the Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, and at least one of the city’s two zoos.

    • Very nice tourist agenda. My time was limited, but I did make it to the Art Institute and the Cloud Gate in the plaza right next to it. Both are very impressive.

  4. Hallo Kai
    Great post! I don’t have anything to add. For me, the top reason I’m looking forward to the conference is to meet people like you 🙂 and all the other knowledgeable and skilled tech comms professionals. The second biggest reason is to learn new things by seeing what everyone is up to.

    It’s going to be great. See you soon!
    Cheers, Sarah

    • Hi, Sarah, too bad it’s over already – but I’m glad we got to meet over a beer/wine and chat, so it seems like you’ve accomplished your two objectives… 🙂

  5. Thanks Kai. Looking forward to our annual chat at #STC12 … 🙂

  6. […] Weber posted five reasons he looked forward to the Summit and then six ways he enjoyed the Summit. See all his Summit-related posts (including some session […]

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