tekom - Europe

Current and Future Expertise in Technical Communication for 4,600 Participants

Kiriaki Kampouridou

Future technologies have already changed numerous fields of work in technical communication. The most important developments were captured and packed into exciting lectures and workshops for the conference program. In addition to classic topics, the participants were given insights into relevant areas such as UX and VR. With the Meetups and the iiRDS Café, there were new interactive formats again this year.

How should technical writers master challenges now and in the future, and which instruments are of importance? The 4,600 participants and visitors of the tcworld conference and tekom fair found answers to these questions in over 245 presentations, workshops and tutorials as well as 70 tool presentations. Moreover, some of the lectures were brought into a visual format by an artist − following the concept of "graphic recording". The presentations of the speakers are now available for download.


Many participants were interested in the current legal developments in technical documentation and in the IEC 82079-1 standard, the world's most important standard for instructions and user information. The lectures and workshops on intelligent information were also in great demand, e.g. on the concrete effects of digital transformation on technical publications or how technical documentation makes its information products fit for the digitized Industry 4.0.

Of course, User Experience was also a central and popular topic area at the tcworld conference: the increasing importance of design in the area of user assistance, chatbots or the design of information products for tomorrow's products.

The use and potential of augmented reality in the context of technical documentation also met with lively interest among the participants, such as the presentations on linking classic content with new content types (AR, VR, 3D) and on existing options for visualizing content on various output channels such as HoloLens and browsers.
Many participants were also enthusiastic about the technical service using HoloLens and the efficient implementation of AR strategies.

iiRDS – The International Standard for Intelligent Information Request and Delivery – was again the focus of the program this year, whereas not only the theoretical background was highlighted, but also the experiences so far with the implementation of exchange processes via iiRDS. iiRDS offers a standardized option to label content with classifying metadata.


Two new formats were introduced this year: the iiRDS Café and the Meetups. Expertise and numerous interactive moments were experienced by the numerous visitors to the iiRDS Café, which was moderated by the members of the consortium. Here, the participants were able to gain a variety of insights into the new standard and exchange ideas directly with individual experts. At eleven stations with different focal points, the participants were able to experience version 1.0 of the standard live, e.g. by examining the RDF schema or generating an iiRDS package.

In the Meetups, the participants used the opportunity to exchange ideas with their colleagues in a small group on a wide range of topics and, at the same time, make new contacts. The Meetups were very well received: there were discussions around topics such as "Scrum and Agile information development", "Software documentation" and "Recipes for success for freelance technical writers".


In addition to the tcworld conference, the tekom fair with 140 software manufacturers and service providers from all over the world was also a magnet for visitors. It offered technical communication specialists, primarily technical editors from almost all industry sectors, a unique opportunity for a comprehensive overview of the market.In parallel with the trade fair, industry organizations and trade associations from all over the world provided information about the special features of their markets at the "Associations World". In the "Asian Pavilion", visitors were also able to discover companies and organizations from Asia.


After so many exciting lectures and workshops, the participants in the conference of course had ample opportunity for networking and celebrating: On the second evening, the tekom Allstar Band provided the finest live music. Relaxing yoga sessions, city walks and a company tour were also part of the program. 


Save the date for the tekom Frühjahrstagung 2019 − this time also with an English track, which will take place in Vienna on March 21 – 22, 2019. The next tcworld conference will take place from November 12 – 14, 2019, again at ICS Stuttgart.