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May 18, 2016

Event Report

COMTecnica 2016: International Experts Met to Discuss on Intelligent Information

Kiriaki Kampouridou

On May 11-12, international experts in technical communication came together to present and discuss current industry trends at COMTecnica 2016 in Bologna, Italy. The two-day conference took place for the first time, focusing on "Intelligent Information".

During the first day of COMTecnica 2016, the participants benefited from the opportunity to expand their knowledge, not only on the main topic "Intelligent Information", but also on topics such as change management and cultural differences in business.
Furthermore, they had the chance to exchange their ideas with other peers and experts during different interactive sessions. The second day offered a variety of workshops and tool presentations ranging from topics such as rule-based writing – English for non-native writers to multi-level documentation. 

Intelligent Information and more

After an introduction by Tiziana Sicilia (President of COM&TEC, Italy) together with Dr. Michael Fritz (CEO of tekom Europe, Germany), the conference day started with Isabelle Fleury.

She showed in her presentation that in the era of new technology, new media habits or higher compliance rules required the adaptation of processes and work procedures. She explained how Technical Communication departments could initiate changes in their organization and set up a plan for a successful and sustainable implementation:

Afterwards, Michael Fritz talked about Intelligent Information: In the future, technical communicators would deliver the information needed in a use-case based, individualized way to increase user experience and satisfaction. The underlying technology is the intelligent use of metadata to create dynamic content delivery for all relevant output media. He also explained the ongoing paradigm change and presented the progress of the tekom guideline "eDok".
His talk was followed by Stefano Lugli, who showed the importance of machine safety issues in technical documentation.
Later on, Daniela Straub demonstrated the tekom Profiling Tool and how it could be used to determine which competencies were already available in the participants’ department and which were still needed.
In his presentation, Akash Dubey explored how department heads should stop developing their department-centric strategies and start collaborating with all departments having common or overlapping goals.
Dunbi Kwak held a presentation dealing with intercultural issues, in which she explained how business culture and consumer behavior in China, Japan and Korea were different, and how they should be approached.

Orlando Chiarello closed the presentation series with his talk on how to prepare documentation in controlled language.

Many opportunities for exchanging and networking

During the interactive sessions, participants in small groups discussed topics such as "Soft skills", "Job profiles and competencies" and "Intelligent Information". 

At the end of the conference day, the participants presented their results from the interactive sessions. 

The coffee breaks also offered a good way to exchange and network with TC professionals and experts.

For us, it was a great opportunity to meet the tech comm community in Italy and a pleasure to collaborate with the Italian Association for Technical Communication, COM&TEC (corporate member of tekom Europe), to make this conference a success.