July 2013
By Priyanka Kalvit and Anke Mecklenbrauck

Copenhagen: Experts at the panel disucssion

Antwerp: Interactive session: "Successful outsourcing strategies"

Eindhoven: Panel discussion on "Best Practices for Creating Value from Technical Contents"

Helsinki: Presenting the results of the interactive session

Paris: Participants network at the meet & greet session

Stockholm: Attendees follow a captivating presentation

tcworld Roadshow makes its successful debut

Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Antwerp and Paris became host locations to the tcworld Roadshow in early June. Technical communicators gathered in each location to network and listen to thought-provoking presentations from renowned European experts.

On June 2, 2013 the project team of the tcworld Roadshow and the CEO of tekom/tcworld GmbH Dr. Michael Fritz started off to Helsinki, where the first of a series of six conferences was to be held. All conferences were centered on the topic of "Technical Contents – A Valuable Corporate Asset".

The first week of travel brought the Roadshow team to Northern Europe (namely Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen), where it was supported by the local technical communication associations (STVY Finland, FTI Sweden) as well as the tekom Danmark Country Group, who acted as co-hosts respectively. The respective events were well-attended by around 40-50 participants each, who wanted to expand their network and learn more about technical communication as a business.

During the second week of June, the tcworld Roadshow travelled through the Netherlands, Belgium and France, where it was welcomed by local professionals eager to share their knowledge and to learn from the experts. Many of those visiting the events in Antwerp and Paris were already part of tekom through their Country Groups or were keen to learn more about joining tekom. Especially in the Netherlands, where tekom does not currently have a Country Group, people showed a high interest in future tekom activities.

Overall, attendees of the Roadshow included (senior) managers of technical documentation departments or teams, technical writers and other experts related to the field of technical communication. For tekom it was very inspiring to meet so many professionals who provided a valuable insight into the market of technical communication in their home countries. At the same time the local audience was very interested in the differences that set them apart from other European countries.

Each conference program started with a keynote speech on “Technical Communication as a Business in Europe”, delivered by Dr. Michael Fritz, that gave food for thought and evoked lively discussions. It was followed by the presentation “Changing the engine without stopping the car”, during which Jang Graat, on behalf of the platinum sponsor Adobe, demonstrated how to modularize content in FrameMaker to move it into a content management system. Both presentation received great feedback from the audience.

Furthermore, each Roadshow event witnessed individual presentations that had been organized by the co-hosts or regional sponsors. Presentations on topics such as “Augmented Reality in Technical Communication” or “How to Successfully Manage Global Technical Documentation in a ‘Big Data’ World” were highly appreciated. The morning sessions were followed by a lunch break, providing the participants with opportunities to meet and network.

Most participants awaited eagerly the interactive session following lunch, as it gave them another opportunity to network and to share their ideas and thoughts on topics such as “Designing efficient content creation processes” or “Managing international technical communication teams”. During these sessions the participants formed small groups in which they discussed and exchanged their ideas about the respective topics. Later on, they shared their conclusions with the entire audience. Many participants stated afterwards that this hands-on session made the conference even more valuable for them.

Another interesting part of the program was the panel discussion during which experts from different industries gave important inputs on “Best Practices for Creating Value from Technical Contents”. This session was concluded with a Question & Answer session, which led to lively open discussions. The panels in all the Roadshow cities included renowned experts from different industries with extensive experience. One of the most notable panels was the one in Eindhoven, which was represented by managers from Philips, HP and DAF Trucks.

After an inspiring day of presentations and networking, participants were enthusiastic about implementing the new ideas in their work life. The tcworld Roadshow team is proud to conclude that the concept and realization of the tcworld Roadshow 2013 was appreciated by everyone involved. Participants have stated that they would like to attend more of these programs in the coming years.

At this point we would like to thank all co-hosts, sponsors, speakers, panelists as well as all attendees, without whom the tcworld Roadshow would not have been such a success.

The presentations of the Roadshow are available for download on our conference website.