STC Philadelphia conference sessions?

Subject: STC Philadelphia conference sessions?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Rob Hudson <caveatrob -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 15:48:09 -0400

Rob Hudson wondered: <<I was browsing the conference program for the
STC conference in Philadelphia and noticed a few sessions that might
be useful. I don't, however, know what to expect in terms of quality
at the sessions. Is the STC conference generally worth the time and
money?>>

Depends on your level of expertise and how well the list of topics
meets your specific needs. I've generally found the conferences more
useful than not, since there are always some leading lights in our
field in attendance. And for several years, program committees have
been cutting back drastically on the number of proposals that are
accepted and have been specifically inviting expert speakers, with
the request that they ratchet up the level of difficulty to make
sessions more attractive to experienced members.

The quality of the speakers, as at any conference, is always
variable; when I was on the program committee a few years ago, we
used speaker evaluations from previous conferences (and personal
experience) to guide our selection, but those data are unavailable
for new speakers who present a really strong proposal but are
otherwise unknown quantities. Speakers are asked to describe their
previous speaking experience as part of the application process, so
that provides some reassurance, but there are no guarantees.

Like any other "membership" thing, participation is the key: as a
member of the conference, you get out of the conference exactly as
much as you put into it. Make time to talk to people and ask
questions and you'll get far more out of the conference than if you
sit there like a sponge and passively soak up information without
engaging with anyone. My experience is that the people at any
conference are every bit as important as the formal program.


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References:
STC Philadelphia conference sessions: From: Rob Hudson

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