Paul Ballard – 3di, Managing Director
TCUK: Thank you for returning to sponsor us at TCUK16. Tell us about what motivated you to join us again?
PB: What else would we be doing this time of year? TCUK has always been a crucial part of our efforts to remind technical communicators that we still care a great deal about what’s going on in the profession, and what’s going on in the industries we all work for. In the context of this year, we are looking forward to sharing some of the recent exciting 3di developments: the opening of our office in Krakow, the continued growth of our in-house UK technical authoring team, and the delivery of a major multi-lingual project for Vodafone. As always, we are on the look-out for interesting stories of how people have solved problems, potential new team members, and potential new customers.
TCUK: This year the TCUK event special focus is ‘From Novice to Expert – Writing Your Career Path as a Technical Communicator’. Are there any relevant trends in technical communication that apply to both novice and experienced communicators?
PB: One of the hardest challenges for experienced technical communicators is being able to adapt in response to whatever new requirements or expectations might well be influencing their work. One of the hardest challenges for new technical communicators is working out what their specialism might be. One of the challenges they have in common is the increasing need (though certainly not new) to communicate their value in terms that make sense to their employer. In some cases it means changing what they do or how they do it so that the value is easier to understand. At 3di we have to justify the value of our services every day so it’s something we have honed to a fine art!
TCUK: As an experienced sponsor – what words of advice do you have to encourage technical communicators to attend this year’s conference?
PB: Stop thinking about it and book! It’ll be your (or your boss’s) best investment this year. The reliable quality of the TCUK content is only part of it. Read the “Convince your boss” letter template on the TCUK website. If you don’t have a boss to convince, still read it, and get clear in your own mind what you stand to gain from attending.
TCUK: The TCUK conference moves to a new location each year. This year, TCUK is hosted in Bedfordshire, England. What are you looking forward to most at this year’s conference?
PB: If you are asking me to describe the delights of Wyboston Lakes, then I’m going to struggle… it’s not far from Cambridge, which is lovely in September. It’s certainly a smart venue and I think the advantage of this location is how it enables the event to be outstanding value for delegates, and how its proximity to London and Cambridge will attract lots of new people – for whom this will be their first ISTC or TCUK event. And that’s where the success of TCUK as an event for delegates and for sponsors really delivers. The richness of ideas and perspectives that comes from gathering a continually refreshing group of practitioners together is what really makes TCUK work. Several of the UK and Poland 3di team members will be there. Whether they are technical authoring or localisation specialists, they will have new ideas to explore and debate, tools and technologies to investigate, potential new resources to hire, and potential new customers to impress. We can’t wait.
About 3di Information Solutions Ltd.
“Complexity made clear”
3di has delivered technical communication and localization services to global companies, government organisations, and technology and software businesses since 2002. Our in-house team is based near Guildford. Quite a few of us are attending TCUK as delegates.
Our customers and suppliers love working with us and keep coming back. The people we work with day-to-day like our friendly and reliable approach and our focus on quality — we don’t let them down. The people who pay the bills like our competitive rates and our focus on efficient processes — we save them money.