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Getting Ready for TCUK12

I love the conference held by ISTC every October: the Technical Communication UK conference, also known as TCUK. A little hop over the North Sea takes me to a gathering of really nice people whose conversations and presentations get my synapses working overtime in a very good way. From our technical communication perspective, we can discuss XML, temperature controls for showers, stationery stores, content strategy, captioning, Subject Matter Experts… oh, the list goes on and on and on. I’ve done this in 2010 and 2011. I will do it again in 2012.

TCUK12 is a bit special for me

This year, I was given a great honor – I was asked to be a keynote speaker for the special track on accessibility and usability. I said yes! I also have a workshop and a panel discussion scheduled. The panel discussion will be moderated by the wonderful Kai Weber a.k.a. @techwriterkai.

Ramping up

The latest conference newsletter was sent out today. It reminds us that members of ISTC, STC, and tekom can attend at the reduced member rate. There’s a little shout-out to our kind sponsors and an encouragement for others to become a sponsor, too.

People and Conversation

The marvelous Sue Fraser and Elaine Cole, tireless behind-the-scenes conference administrators, will probably be the first faces attendees see when they arrive in Newcastle in October. At that moment, conversation will begin buzzing and flowing as everyone arrives and settles in. It’s a warm and welcoming atmosphere. There are certain people I am especially eager to greet.

In addition to Kai, I look forward to seeing my co-panelists (is that a word?) Ray Gallon a.k.a. @raygallon and Robert Hempsall a.k.a. @roberthempsall.

There are two very familiar faces in the accessibility and usability track: Makayla Lewis a.k.a. @maccymacx and Graham Armfield a.k.a. @coolfields. I feel like they are old friends. I met them at A11yLDN – the London Web Accessibility Unconference in 2010. (Now that is another great conference – unconference, rather – that I highly recommend! It’s on 19 September this year.)

A new (to me) face in the crowd is Jonathan Hassell a.k.a. @jonhassell. I am a bit in awe of meeting him. He’s the lead author of British Standard BS8878 Web Accessibility Code of Practice!

Of course, the TCUK12 programme has other excellent speakers (and two more top-notch keynote presenters!) And where would any of the speakers be without the enthusiastic, creative, interesting attendees? I am in awe of them, too. They are my peers, the toughest kind of crowd. The bar is set very high. (No, not the one you drink at…)

Last, but not least, it will be great to see this year’s TCUK lead organizer, Mr. David Farbey. I hope he has a juicy rant for us at the Rants and Raves session.

Join us

If any of you are wondering whether this is a conference for you, read the testimonials and program on the TCUK12 conference website. Registration details are there, too. See you in Newcastle in October!