For the third year in a row, I am sharing my guide for attending STC Summit. Here’s my guide from last year and quick guide from 2012. I’ve updated it for the STC 2014 Summit in dry and hot Phoenix, AZ. After attending six STC Conferences, several regional conferences (Phoenix, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Rochester), and LavaCon, I provide here some hints to maximize your conference experience. Enjoy and share!
- Sign up for Twitter and follow #stc14, @stc_org, and @stc_summit
- Don’t know about Twitter? Don’t worry! I wrote an extremely useful guide to help you!
- Install a Twitter app on your smartphone/tablet/laptop/rotary phone* such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite
- Twitter’s one stop shop for apps (iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry, Windows 8, Mac)
- * (I’m seeing if you’re paying attention to my rotary phone reference, and yes I’ve used them before and no, Twitter is not compatible with a rotary phone.)
- Schedule your tweets in advance, or be even awesome and tweet while you present!
- Join the Society for Technical Communication group on LinkedIn.
- Follow the discussion online with the Cover It Live STC Summit Page.
- Friend people and participate in Twitter/session discussions.
- Sign up for STC’s Lanyrd Conference Tool
- Add sessions you want to attend, send messages to people you want to meet, and download slides and handouts.
- More Social Media Info for STC: http://summit.stc.org/networking/social-media/
- Spend 20-30 minutes planning which sessions you will attend. Read the Conference Program provided to you in your conference bag. Also, use the Lanyrd Conference Website to help you decide!
- Select primary and secondary sessions for each hour, some session material may be available for preview on SlideShare.
- Determine within the first 5-10 minutes if a session excites you; if not, go to your secondary session.
- Ask questions at the end of the session.
- Be persistent! As a presenter, I love when people ask me questions. So, do it!
- Complete post-session speaker evaluation(s). Visit the STC 2014 Survey Monkey Survey site.
- Look for presentation slides after the sessions from presenters on SlideShare.
- Spend about $30 for business cards from VistaPrint if you have none. Remember to pack them.
- Hand out business cards to anyone you meet.
- Write a note on the back of each person’s business card to remind you how you met them.
- Bring paper and electronic copies of your résumé. This may result in a job opportunity after the conference. Google representatives will be attending the STC Summit and are looking to hire technical writers.
- Offer and/or accept invitations to dine with attendees. We don’t bite.
- Visit the exhibitor floor, STC Central, and the bookstore
- Attend evening events with attendees.
- Share your professional experiences.
After the Conference
- Continue networking via Twitter, LinkedIn, and e-mail.
- Look for an e-mail during the summer announcing when Conference@Click is available.
- Read the conference proceedings.
- Plan for next year, and convince your company to pay for it!
- Look for a for Call for Speakers via e-mail; maybe you can present next year.
- Keep up with current trends—check STC Notebook, Intercom, TechWhirl, and TechComm.
It’s your conference experience; make the most of it! If you want to hang out during the conference, find me by sending me a message via Twitter: @RogerRenteria. I will be attending and helping out at Leadership Day, and presenting during the Lightning Talks 2 session. Watch me stumble for five minutes. 🙂