tekom - Europe

tcworld conference 2021: a review

Kiriaki Kampouridou

The digital tcworld conference 2021, November 8–19, brought together more than 2,600 attendees, speakers, students and exhibitors in technical communication from around the world. In parallel, tekom Studio in Stuttgart offered a "real-life" complement to the virtual format.

Around 200 international experts in technical communication helped shape the program of tcworld conference 2021 and covered all relevant topics – from user experience and service information to terminology, elearning and software documentation. They shared their expertise with over 2,600 attendees and visitors in about 175 live lectures and exhibitor presentations, as well as meetups, workshops and tutorials in German and English.

Conference attendees and fair visitors had the chance to network and exchange with other attendees and experts in the NetworkingLounge – whether in a chat or at one of the themed tables in Café tekom.

Technology Days and tekom fair

New at this year's tcworld conference were the Technology Days on November 8 and 15, 2021, which were integrated into the tekom fair. The thematic focus here was on the design of content processes in the change to digitalization and was thus aimed at everyone involved in content creation: from managers to technical editors to translators. On both days, there were exhibitor presentations on technological trends and new approaches, including in the following areas: content strategy, content delivery, project and cost management, terminology, and language and translation technology. In the subsequent panel discussion, participants had the opportunity for a professional exchange with the speakers.

At the virtual tekom fair with around 50 international exhibitors, visitors were able to search specifically for products, services and job offers in the exhibitors' showrooms. At the same time, they also used the opportunity to hold personal discussions there with the exhibitors via video call.

Live from tekom Studio

As the community idea is very important to tekom, an additional on-site event was set up taking the current Corona regulations into consideration. The event "tekom Studio" took place in the Kulturhaus ARENA Stuttgart and featured two theme days on "Gender" and "Standards", as well as opportunities for networking. The event was also rounded off with a theatrical interlude – improv theater at its best. And the tekom All Star Band was also engaged again this year!

Interesting statistics

In addition to the expert presentations and workshops, participants also interacted on the conference platform 'tekom live'. The busiest days were Nov. 9, followed by Nov. 11 and 12, 2021.

Which sessions were the favorites among the presentations or tutorials held in English?
The most popular session, with 189 participants, was "Tech Doc will go social and semantic, as the web did" by Fabrice Lacroix. It was followed by the presentation “Storytelling in documentation” by Dr. Stephanie Grubenmann, which attracted about 161 people. Also very popular was the tutorial “Leveraging infographics in documentation”, moderated by Sara Stein with 127 participants.  

There was also a lot going on in Café tekom: a total of 1,238 sat down at tables. The most popular themed tables included tekom Austria’s, followed by Software Documentation and Terminology.

Knowledge bits to take away: Quotes from speakers

Sara Stein:
"In an era of TMI (too much information), infographics help to convey complex information quickly to a global audience. Leveraging visual language effectively will make your data stand out so your message is understood."

Michael Schroeder:
"Define your framework, specify your verification rules, and get your keyboard ready – post-edit technical translations like a pro with these tricks up your sleeve."

Rahel Bailie:
"Technical writers have often been doing content operations as an add-on, which makes it seem to easy that the effort gets devalued. Time to change that."

Jennifer J. Black:
"In fast-paced SaaS environments, you must focus on the needs of your customers but also avoid exhaustion and burnout. Incorporate Agile techniques like pair writing into your practice to better collaborate with coworkers and quickly produce high-quality technical documentation."

Leah Guren
"To embrace lean, minimalist content, you need the right structure."

Hans-Jörg Elsen, Luca Raimondo:
"Writing documentation can be a nightmare if people don’t have the tools they need. With the Docs-as-code approach we make it easy for our developers, product managers, and UX experts to collaboratively create documentation."

Even more daily reviews with multimedia highlights such as pictures from tekom Studio, graphic recordings and knowledge bits are also available on this page.


The next international conference is NORDIC TechKomm 2022, which will take place in Stockholm, Sweden on March 9–10, 2022. The call for papers for the conference is now open and will run until January 18, 2022.