The event is still about three and a half months away, but I decided that this year, I’m going to go to another big tech comm conference. I really feel that going to a professional conference truly benefits me, because I learn SO much from people who have more experience and know-how than I do. Just attending the Adobe Day at Lavacon last fall boosted my IQ enormously, and I have to credit information that I learned there in helping me get the content strategy/web publishing job that I have now. All the forward-looking thinkers attend these sort of events, and I don’t want to miss out.
I’m going to a really big one this time too. I’m going to my first STC (Society of Technical Communication) Summit. I’ve been a member of the STC for the past year, and just re-upped my membership for a second year. It’s not a cheap membership, especially for someone who’s just getting started. I started at the affordable student rate when I was still a student, and fortunately I can still take advantage of their “new professional rate” being that I’m still rather new out of school. It’s been worth it, as I’ve met several people who are members, and I think there needs to be some sort of organization that helps to bind the profession together and provide resources for all tech comm professionals, both new and experienced. This year’s Summit is in Atlanta, Georgia. I haven’t been to Atlanta for slightly more than twenty years, and again, it was for computer training, I think. Atlanta has changed a bit since that time, so it should be interesting to see it now.
I’m looking forward to not only going to the various talks and events from the STC Summit, but I’m also looking forward to seeing people I know from online and those whom I met at Adobe Day at Lavacon, but also meeting new people. Conferences are a great way to connect with people who have similar professional experiences as you do, and that you can share information in person. Ha, I was just thinking this is almost like the biggest gathering of “Technical Communicators Anonymous” addicts! But seriously, It’s an incredible opportunity to meet with the movers and shakers in the tech comm world, as well as meet those rising stars and foot soldiers who brave through content every day like you do. It’s a great time when the academic side of tech comm meets the corporate side of tech comm. So, just from a social networking perspective, it’s going to be big.
I also heard from a little bird that there might even be another Adobe Day event especially for the STC Summit, but that hasn’t been confirmed. And if there is, you know that I’ll be there to check that out. I loved my Adobe pre-conference experience from Lavacon a lot, as you know, so I can’t even imagine how great this one could be….If there is another one, you can be sure that I’ll be passing the word along and letting all of y’all know. (Yes, practicing my Southern accent in writing already. ;-))
I think the difference, this time, will also be that I am truly a tech comm professional now. Yes, I’ve been talking the talk for a long time, blogging, doing the social media thing, doing some odd jobs here and there, but only in the past month have I gotten a real tech comm job working on content management. I will not be an unemployed wannabe this time around. For the STC Summit, I will be a fully-fledged technical communicator.
And for these reasons, I can’t wait to go! I know I’ll be packing my iPad and iPhone…but what else will I need (other than clothes, of course)? STC Summit alumni–let me know! Let me know if you’ll be going too!