Re: 40th Conference in Dallas

Subject: Re: 40th Conference in Dallas
From: sradecki -at- SHERPA -dot- COM
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1993 15:22:37 PDT

> I know this is a little old, but I have to respond. I was at
> the conference in Dallas, and I thought it was outstanding! I
> only saw one presentation that was poor, all the rest ranged from
> good to great. I will admit that I am very eclectic in my
> interests and went to presentations on research, on computer
> documentation, on management, and a number of other things, so I
> wasn't really aware of or bothered by any bias to or against
> specific areas. I certainly felt that the conference met my
> needs, and I am a "true" technical writer, or at least I was the
> last time I looked.

I have to agree with Eric. I attended this conference, and thought
it was every bit as good as past conferences, of which I have attended
four now. I attended a couple of sessions that didn't meet my
expectations, but then, I had very specific expectations.

Whenever I read comments from folks complaining about the quality of
sessions, I wonder if these people have ever presented. This was the
third time I presented, and the comments were really interesting. . .
A co-worker and I presented a workshop, and received comments from
"This was great" to "This was awful." I acted as facilitator for the
workshop, not presenting any *real* information, but posing questions
and ideas for people to think about, letting my co-worker present all
of the "meaty" background information. I actually got comments about
my lack of content - I was surprised I had ANY content!!! That wasn't
my goal!!!

Anyhow, when you attend conferences, if you happen on a session that
you don't like, I suggest that you leave and sneak into another one.
This is kind of irritating to presenters, I know, its happened to me
in the past, but you have to do what is right for you. I have left
one session to attend another that was a surprising sleeper more than
once! I agree with Eric that your reaction to the conference *is* what
you make of it.

Sorry if I sound like I am on a soapbox, but how do you usability test
a presentation for the variety of attendees that go to the conference
each year!!!!?????

September Radecki
Senior Technical Writer
Sherpa Corporation
sradecki -at- sherpa -dot- com

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