RE: Has anyone had a good STC conference experience?

Subject: RE: Has anyone had a good STC conference experience?
From: Jessica Pease <JPEASE -at- Partnerware -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 10:53:17 -0500

Hello Again,

In case there are other folks out there in techwhirl-land who are newbies to
the STC conference, I've copied some of the most representative comments and
advice I received in the nearly 30 messages I received privately (I've
omitted the names of the authors for privacy's sake). All of the messages
were full of positive feedback and encouragement, especially for the junior
writer or lone writer. I'm really looking forward to the conference.

Here goes:

"The best sessions are often the "progressions",
since they're like buffets for the mind: you get a single broad topic
(food!), but with several tables each filled with a variety of dishes to
edify the mind. After each speaker says their piece, you continue with a
related discussion that can be customized by the participants to your
heart's content simply by asking questions and getting the 3-4 others at the
table to elaborate."

"Be sure to go to the 'First Timers' session to get a good introduction. And
if possible, get the Proceedings ahead of time so you can look for sessions
you really want to attend. Go to some of the social events and get to know
some of the people.
You'll probably find the networking luncheon useful for meeting new people,
for example. Get up early and go to the free breakfasts. Go to the exhibits
area and look at the winning entries. Absorb the energy!"

"The networking can be valuable too. Collect business cards. keep in touch
people whose ideas intrigued you. Give out your business cards. You may wish
ask for, or be able to offer, help some day to someone you met at the

"Once I learned to look at the conference proceedings before making my
final choice of sessions to attend, I greatly reduced the number of
inappropriate sessions I attended. My recommendation: Use the preliminary
program to pick your top three sessions for any given time slot, then use
the proceedings to put them in final order of preference. Keep this list
handy in case you have to change trains in mid-journey."

"Read through the list of the sessions for this year. Take a look at what
already know. Are there gaps in your knowledge that might be answered in the
available sessions? Are there speaker names that you recognize? Are you
interested in seeing the competion winning documents on display? Are you
interested in meeting hundreds of writers in more informal settings? The
luncheons and roundtable topics are a great place to pick the brains of many
industry leaders without sitting for hours. Sessions where people give case
studies can be very helpful, especially if the projects are similar to
something you may have to tackle soon."

"I've found that one good tactic is to sit near the door so
that if I find a session is not what I'm looking for, I can escape and try
another. Or if you're looking for more information on anything in
particular, just go to all the sessions on that."

"Alternatively, there are other conferences
that may satisfy the technical audience or other conferences which are
related to technical writing- here are a few"


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