Vol 44, Issue 1

September/October 2004


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Top Ten Reasons to Attend an STC Regional Conference

by Brenda Huettner, Associate Fellow, Southern Arizona Chapter

  1. Save $$$! For a fraction of the cost of the annual conference, you’ll get the wisdom and advice of many of the same experienced technical communication professionals who present at the STC Annual Conference and other conferences around the world. For less than the cost of a single course at a local university, you’ll get professional guidance in a wide variety of subject areas. Compare STC Regional Conference costs (typically under $200) to those of for-profit conferences—you’ll agree, regional conferences offer the biggest bang for the buck you’ll get all year.
  2. Fun, fun, fun! You get to meet and hang out with other people who understand exactly what you do. Share war stories, exchanges tips and tricks, compare techniques and environments.
  3. Learn something new! You’ll find out about the latest techniques and processes in the field, and about the ways that technical communicators are making an impact in new areas.
  4. Solve your current technical communication quagmires—or at least get some options you may not have thought of before! Even if you don’t find a session that addresses your current challenges, you’re bound to find someone who can help.
  5. Most regional conferences have job-related areas! Looking for work? Looking to hire? Many conferences include resume books, interview areas, and other resources. I’ve even seen interviews conducted on the spot.
  6. The smaller scale of the regional conferences lets you get to know other attendees and the presenters on a more personal level than you would at larger events!
  7. A regional conference is likely to be closer to your home than other events! This not only reduces your travel expenses, it also means it will be easier to follow up with all the new, local contacts you’ll make.
  8. Meet STC leaders from your own region and from other regions! Your director is your link to the STC Board, and they want to hear what you have to say.
  9. Product demonstrations let you compare vendor products easily! Because there are fewer attendees than at the annual conference, you’ll get more time with exhibitors to really try out the products and ask questions.
  10. Expand your horizons by visiting a new city! As a bonus, the conference comes with built-in hosts from the local chapter who can tell you exactly where to find the best cup of coffee in the morning, the perfect after-dinner drink, or anything in between.

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