A Festive Mini-Conference in a Lively Progression Format
By Dan Voss
Co-Manager, Mentorship Program
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Over the years, the traditional Washlines event has opened the STC-Orlando chapter year by conveying information on our profession gathered at the Society’s annual international confer-ence in a lively “mini-conference” format that has, over the years, varied from speaker panels to progression tables.
For a short “blast from the past,” refer to the recent blog post about Washlines in the community-to-community blog in “STC Notebook” on the Society’s web page.
In fitting with the Chicago venue for last May’s 59h annual STC international conference, our theme this year is keyed to the Windy City. Washlines XVIII—can you believe this is the 18th incarnation of Washlines?!—offers a warehouse full of information at a fraction of the cost of attending the conference itself.
So mark your calendars and be sure to be at the Winter Park Civic Center Tuesday, August 21, at 6:30 p.m. to partake in the fun and the sharing of information—not to mention cleverly themed refreshments like the famed “Chicago Dog” and Chicago pizza.
Following the usual social networking time and a brief business meeting, seven chapter members who attended the 59th annual international STC conference will bring you a full-blown mini-conference in a unique format that is 50% progression, 50% Chicago ambiance—and 110% fun.
The format is designed to simulate a realistic conference experience—including the sometimes vexing challenge of selecting the selections you attend from a staggering array of fascinating and informational alternatives.
Seven Chicago-themed progression tables will offer you the opportunity to choose from 22 mini-presentations covering a wide range of subject areas within technical communication (see box).
Colorful signs dangling from the traditional washline will “hawk” the informational treasures to be found at the seven venues. You can find your venues either by recognizing the venue hosts or by zeroing in on the appropriate color-coded balloons. If the host is not there and/or his/her can-dle or light is out, that will signal the venue is closed for that rotation.
The complete program is published in this edition of Memo to Members, and will also be available as a printed handout at the event. A word of warning, however—choose now (with first and second choices for each rotation), because the mini-conference, just like the real thing, will fly past you at a dizzying pace.
Five or six venues will be open in each of three 25-minute rotations; one or two will be “dark” (closed), thereby allowing the table hosts to take a break and attend one rotation at another venue so they can acquire as well as share conference information.
In addition to choosing which three venues you are going to visit, you will also be faced with a smorgasbord of choices at many of the tables. The number of topics at the venues ranges from 1 to 4, and the level of possible treatment varies from brief summaries to in-depth presentations, based on the number of topics on the menu as well as the audience’s preferences. Each rotation at each venue will be different, but that’s all part of the fun!
In addition to all all the conference topics, there will be two special presentations. During the second rotation, venue hosts Karen Lane and W.C. Wiese will team up at the Tan venue to regale you with photos and stories from the conference, including our chapter’s “sweep” of the Society’s community awards and a glimpse at chapter history. During the third rotation, venue hosts Bethany Bowles and Dan Voss will pair up to tell you about how the STC-Orlando/UCF student mentoring program is blazing a trail in a Society-wide student outreach initiative.
Without any doubt, Washlines XVII has something for everybody!
Your table hosts will be competing vigorously for your attendance by offering not only information, experience, and handouts, but also a wide range of trinkets, goodies, and other bribes to lure you unabashedly to their venues.
We literally do not know exactly what will happen at Washlines XVIII until it happens (just as in the previous 17 Washlines sessions), but we do know this—it will be richly varied, vastly in-formative, thoroughly entertaining, probably quite loud, and unquestionably a whole lot of fun!
Topics at Washlines XVIII
|The Coming of Web Fonts||Using YouTube Videos in Documentation||Content Strategy and Management||Professional Certification|
|Plain Language for the Tech Writer||Publishing in a New Media Landscape||What If Products Actually Work?||Negotiating Style and Tone|
|Virtual vs Local Teams||Adapting to Adaptive Content||Are Technical Editors Still Relevant?||Pattern Recognition in Tech Com|
|Thriving in an Agile Software Environment||Global English Skills||Social Media||Usability and Accessibility|
|Writing and Editing||Professional Development||Conference Photos, Awards, Stories and Chapter History||Student Mentoring Programs|