What have Conferences and Colditz got in common?
I remember reading a book where a senior German officer in World War Two wrote about the biggest mistake they made with Allied prisoners of war held in Colditz Prison. Designed to be escape proof, they used it to house prisoners with a long history in trying to escape. On the one hand, you can see why they did this. Then again, locking up thousands of prisoners in the same location created problems. Especially as they all had too much time on their hands, an obligation to escape and a wealth of experience in attempting to do so.
Conferences are no different, although they are a little easier to escape from should you wish! In the same location are hundreds of like minded souls, each having given up their time to attend. Some will speak, others won’t, but all will freely give and absorb industry knowledge. Even for a seasoned industry veteran like me, no jokes about being long in the tooth please, conferences are a learning experience. I’ve yet to attend a conference that hasn’t taught me something. At the end I’ve always left tired but enthused and raring to implement what I’ve learnt.
Later today I head off to my home town of Dublin, Ireland. There I will be attending and speaking at this year’s UA Europe Conference for Technical Communicators. I’ll be in very good company with other speakers including industry experts Leah Guren, Dr. Tony Self and Ellis Pratt among others. If you are attending, come up and say, “Hi!”. Especially if I only know me from my online presence. Putting a face to a name is part of what conferences are all about. If you’re not attending, you just have to follow the official #uaeurope Twitter hashtag to gain a flavor of what happens. Oh and watch out for my conference blog posts!
Another heavy hint
By the way the three speakers listed above, plus Scott Abel, will also be speaking at Technical Communications UK, the UK’s largest technical communications conference in October. What’s more, you can book your place at this conference at the early bird rate until the end of June.