30.10.2014

tekom Europe Roadshow

Valuable Insight into the TechComm Communities

Anke Mecklenbrauck

In September, technical communicators from across Europe came together in eight different cities to attend the roadshow. The conference series offered a meeting platform and marketplace for technical communicators. We as the organizer collected valuable information on the situation of technical communication in different markets.

What is the idea behind a roadshow on technical communication?

Since its official founding in November 2013, tekom Europe has been committed to further promoting the profession of the “technical communicator”, to strengthen the ties between industry and educational institutions, and to simply provide a platform for technical communicators to meet and exchange ideas. The roadshow was a great way for tekom Europe to support its country organizations in their attempt to build and sustain local techcomm communities. It seemed that the community itself was a major cause for technical communicators to attend our conference. People wanted to meet like-minded people, to understand that they have much in common in their daily work-related issues, to listen to experts sharing their best practices, to find out what tools are used by others, and to discuss solutions that make their work life easier.

Thus, the roadshow offered the participants a well-balanced mixture of expert presentations, interactive discussion groups, showcase sessions where sponsors could present their tools, and time for networking during coffee and lunch breaks. The discussion rounds in particular were very well received by the audience, as these allowed them to discuss things that matter to them and get new ideas and perspectives from their peers.

What is the situation of techcomm communities in Europe?

Traveling through Europe for three weeks with a conference every second weekday, you get a pretty good idea of the big picture of technical communication in Europe. Each community is different. Some are only beginning, struggling with building identification with their profession. Others already have a clear idea of their profession, but lack training opportunities. Some communities are homogenous, sharing similar backgrounds (e.g. the software industry), while other communities involve people working in very different industry sectors. Yet they all seem to share the passion for what they are doing and the drive to improve the situation of technical communication in their respective countries.

What’s next?

We learned once more that strong local communities are the key to moving things forward in a country. That is why we will continue building up these communities by offering more events in the future, by connecting technical writers across Europe, and by further promoting the profession in the public, in industries and in the academic sector. Overall, the tekom Europe Roadshow was a great success and another milestone in the young history of tekom Europe. We thank all speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and of course all participants for making it happen. If you like what we are doing, why not become a member of tekom Europe?