Next week, technical communicators from around the world will convene at the STC Summit in Anaheim, California.
The last time the Summit was held in Anaheim, in 1998, it attracted more than 2,000 people — about 3 times the number that’s expected next week. (For that matter, STC’s total membership in 1998 was about 3 times what it is today.)
I’ve attended more than 20 Summits. I love seeing old friends and catching up on what’s happening in the profession.
Still, I can’t help noticing that the event has shrunk over the years. While the program still features some great speakers and great presentations, I no longer have the sense that in every time slot I’m forced to choose between 3 or 4 can’t-miss sessions.
I’d like to hear what you, my colleagues, think about the Summit and about conferences in general. Use the comments section to share your thoughts:
- Will you be at the Summit this year? If so, why did you choose to attend? If not, why not?
- Has the Summit, once the pre-eminent technical communication event in North America, been overtaken by other events? (In 1998, for example, there was
no such thing as LavaCon— or any of the other events with “content strategy” on their marquees.)
- Do special-interest or niche events, like DITA North America, draw people away from more general-interest events like the Summit?
- Finally, when you look over the conference landscape and see how much it’s changed over the last 10 to 20 years, do you think things are better today? Worse? Or just different?