Though the conference got off to a shake start with me having a bit of altitude sickness, I did have a good conference.
On Sunday morning of the conference, STC leaders gather together to share knowledge and our wins for the year.
Technical Editing SIG
With fellow Co-Manager Amanda Altamirano and other Technical Editing SIG members, we accepted the Silver Community Achievement Award.
Our citation read: “For the many ways in which you enrich your members, reach outside of STC to further your mission, and the innovative thoughts your SIG put forth.”
Central New York Chapter
As part of the CNY Chapter, I was present to help accept the Pacesetter Award and the Gold Community Achievement Award.
Pacesetter Award Citation: “For finding a solution to an ages-old problem of identifying technical communicators in your area and using the resource to increase your community’s membership.”
Gold Award Citation: “For your fierce dedication to promoting STC and its value to the technical communicators in central New York state.”
As President of the Rochester Chapter, I accepted the Pacesetter Award and the Platinum Community Achievement Award. I also gave a short presentation on what we did to achieve the Pacesetter Award.
Pacesetter Award Citation:
“For use of technology to cross long distance barriers, in a time when STC communities are covering larger geographical areas.”
Platinum Award Citation:
“For your continued excellence in programs, outreach, and the annual Spectrum conference.”
On Sunday evening, the Technical Editing SIG had a booth at the Welcome Reception, with giveaways and a game of hangman for visitors to play.
Here are pictures of me running the Hangman game with interested participants:
My first session was Monday morning at 8 am and it was standing room only.
Technical Editing SIG Annual Business Meeting
On Monday, at lunchtime, we had 30 attendees at our Summit Lunch and Networking event at the Lucky Strike restaurant outside of the conference center. Volunteers were given awards for their participation in the SIG, which included SIG mugs and pins.
I was voted in as a member of the Nominating Committee for 2019-2021. This is me hanging with other members of the Board and Nominating Committee at the front of the Annual Business Meeting.
Technical Communication in Health and Medicine Panel
This session was for those who work in technical communication within the heath and medicine industries. We had a lot of good questions, and we tried to provide some good answers.
In addition to the awards given at Leadership Day, which are known ahead of time, there is an Honors Banquet on Tuesday night that presents two more awards that are a secret until the event. Amazingly, the two chapters I belong to were presented with awards at the Honors Banquet.
The citation reads: For a remarkable year containing excellent programs, outreach across communities, and your stellar Spectrum conference. STC Rochester exemplifies a successful, dynamic STC community that embraces education, communication, and collaboration.
The citation reads: For your tenacious perseverance and dedication to growing your chapter. The STC Central New York Chapter demonstrates how the passion of its leaders can create a thriving community using new resources to reach out to new potential members.
This was my first time attending this conference, and I was using it as a way to figure out if this is a group I should join. It was April 11-14, 2019, in the historic portion of Philadephia, PA. I could actually see the graveyard that had Benjamin Franklin’s grave (as well as many other historic figures).
It was a small conference, less than 200 people, so many of the people seemed to know one another. But they did have a newcomers session, which I took advantage of. There were 15-20 of us, so that was nice. We practiced giving our 30-second spiel, which is part of the agenda for the main conference, and something we would not otherwise be prepared for, as newbies. Here is a picture of me doing mine first day of the conference.
Here are some random pictures of me and others at the conference. They had multiple short talks: SNAP talks were 15 minutes and given to the whole group and TIPS roundtables allowed participants to move around the room for different sessions with different speakers in smaller groups.
The program had a great feature: there were pages in the back with all of the attendees names and their companies, with space to write notes next to them, so you could write down things to help you remember people.
One really cool aspect of the conference was the opprtunity to have your headshot taken for free. You were limited in the pose and background, but it was free! I didn’t think the picture was flattering, so I am sticking with my old one for now.
Overall, a good conference with other independent business owners looking to make connections and network.
The Rochester Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication’s annual conference Spectrum is always a big deal for the chapter and the Council. Since I am president of the chapter, I have a lot of responsibilities in that role and as a past co-chair of the conference (2015 and 2016), I also know all of the different moving parts of the conference and what needs to get done, so I feel responsible for making sure things run smoothly.
Every Spectrum starts on Saturday with setup, when Council members and Spectrum volunteers bring everything to RIT, where we hold the conference. There are swag bags to put together, a giveaway table to set up, and conferences to be had about the coming days.
The first official day of the conference is Leadership Day. This year’s event had the theme of A Practical Guide to Shape Your Future. We broke into groups to discuss what goals we had in the next few months, and how we could ensure we met our goals.
The evening of Leadership Day, we have a speaker’s dinner. Because this was the 60th anniversary of the conference, this year’s event was called the 60th Anniversary Banquet and had more awards than usual. As president, I was reponsible for choosing award receipients and presenting awards. At the behest of the Membership Manager, we also gave out long-term member awards for those who had been members for more than 10 years.
With so many sessions to choose from, and yet, so much to do, I don’t always get to attend a lot of sessions. In most sessions, I went around and took pictures and posted them to Twitter. I took action shots of the speakers and the participants in their sessions, gathered employees from companies and took thier pictures to show how some companies send their technical communication teams to conferences, and took pictures of the sponsors at their booths to promote them on Twitter.
This is a conference/workshop I have been wanting to check out for a couple of years. It’s put on by the American Medical Writers Association’s Delaware Vally Chapter. Now that I have gone freelance on a full-time basis, it seemed like a perfect time to attend. I was not disappointed.
Unlike many of the other conferences I attend, where this is a mix of freelancers and those employed by others, everyone at the Freelance Workshop is very interested in networking and staying in touch with people. They understand that they need to know other freelancers in order to have others to refer work to, whether it’s because they are overbooked or becausethey get a request that is not i their wheelhouse, and to have others who can refer work to them.
I liked the combination of sessions that everyone attends with a couple of roundtables in the afternoon where people could choose sessions that fit their needs. I was especially interested in the Medical Editing roundtable, and I ended up meeting other medical editors who I hadn’t ended up chatting with during the rest of the day. A couple were even actively looking for additional freelancers to add to their businesses, so I followed up on those and one has me on her list for work later in the year and I am putting together a proposal to work with another.
It was a Saturday workshop, so I drove the 5 hours to get there on Friday and gathered with others for dinner the night before, which provided a nice introduction to the workshop. For medical writers and editors who are freelancers, this was definitely a worthwhile investment.