Call for Proposals TCUK 2017


Our call for proposals is now closed.

We are inviting proposals for speaking at the Technical Communication UK 2017 conference (TCUK 2017). The conference takes place at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nottingham on 26 to 28 September 2017. We welcome proposals on topics of general interest for technical communication and topics related to this year’s special focus. The link for submitting your proposal is at the end of this article.

Special focus

The TCUK Committee proudly announces the special focus for the 2017 conference: Staying on Topic – Topic-based authoring, skills and methodologies.

Topic-based authoring uses a modular pattern for content creation. It structures information into topics that can be combined and reused in different contexts, and is distinct from book-oriented or narrative content that follows a linear structure from beginning to end.

Topic-based writing methodologies are gaining recognition and acceptance across all business domains. They require content creators to produce information in distinct stand-alone chunks or topics, which can combine to create deliverables that are well-written, well-structured, and of high quality for efficient and effective distribution through any chosen delivery channel. In return, end users find the content more convenient to access and navigate, and the information they seek easier to find and more reliable.

There is a particular skill to the creation of topic-based and modular content. It involves careful analysis and categorization of the source material and the creation of discrete stand-alone topics that are complete and properly formed in their own right. The modular nature of these topics means Content Developers can reuse them many times. Subsequently, subject matter experts need to review them only once as a stand-alone entity, after which they need only to review their validity as a component of a larger collection.

Topics of general interest

We also welcome proposals on any topic that you feel will be of interest to technical communication professionals. Delegates at previous conferences have expressed interest in presentations on a wide variety of topics. Use the following suggestions as a starting point for your proposal.

  • Delivering Content:
    • Issues experienced with publishing content.
    • Systems / solutions.
    • Innovative methods.
  • Developing Content:
    • Best practice for developing clear and effective content.
    • Writing for a wide ranging audience (age, geography, education, etc.).
    • API documentation
    • Agile writing
  • Content Strategy:
    • Selecting and designing an appropriate strategy.
    • Solutions for organisation-wide content.
    • Challenges of translation and localization.
    • Implementation case studies.
  • Accessibility and Usability:
    • Serving the needs of different users.
    • Delivering multi-channel and multi-platform content.
    • Handling user-generated content and social media.
    • Practical tips for doing user research.
    • Evangelising about UX and accessibility to your colleagues
  • Education and Training:
    • Collaboration between technical communication and eLearning teams.
    • Tools and techniques for delivering content.
    • Panel discussion/Q&A discussion on challenges for novices/experts
  • Soft skills:
    • Managing teams, working with other professionals.
    • Project planning, project management.
    • Managing conflict, managing change.
  • Management and leadership:
    • Project management
    • People management
    • Strategy
  • Business communication:
    • Business procedures, compliance procedures (for example Sarbanes-Oxley or Basel II).
    • Bid writing, tender writing.
    • Technical specifications, parts catalogues.

New speakers and experienced speakers – all welcome

Regardless of whether you want to present for the first time or you are a seasoned conference speaker, we want to hear from you. We don’t mind if you are new to technical communication or if you have worked in this field for ever, if you have something to say to other technical communicators then TCUK 2017 is your chance to say it.

We’re happy to offer you some help and guidance on how to prepare your proposal. This may be particularly useful if you’ve never presented before.

Industry sectors

Technical communicators work across a wide range of industry sectors, including engineering, aerospace and defence, transportation, services, retail, charities, and government agencies as well as in hi-tech industries. TCUK 2017 is the conference for everyone who works in communicating technical information of any kind.

We are particularly interested in proposals from people who are consumers or commissioners of technical communication.

Speaker benefits at TCUK?

If your proposal for a workshop or a presentation is accepted, you are entitled to attend all three days of the conference without paying the conference fee. This means you only pay for your own travel, accommodation, and meals. This benefit is limited to one speaker per presentation.

If there are two speakers giving a presentation, they each receive a 50% reduction in the conference fee. (Special arrangements may be available if there are three or more presenters for a presentation.)

Speaker participation in the conference

We encourage all speakers to take advantage of their free admission to the conference and to attend for all three days. Having speakers present throughout the conference helps make the atmosphere at TCUK interesting and exciting. Both delegates and speakers have told us that they enjoy the opportunities to interact at TCUK, not only in the formal sessions, but also in the breaks, at the vendor exhibition, and at social events associated with the conference.

If the number of speaking proposals we receive is greater than the number of available sessions, we reserve the right to give priority to speakers who indicate that they will attend the full conference.

Conference structure

The first day of the conference (Tuesday 26th September) features six 3 hour sessions (three in the morning and three in the afternoon) that are ideal for a workshop or practical presentation.

The second and third days (Wednesday and Thursday 27th and 28th September) feature three streams of conventional presentations lasting 40 minutes each.

Session types

The proposal types for TCUK 2017 are:

  • Workshops (3 hours)
  • Presentations (40 minutes)

Workshop sessions should include some hands-on activities for delegates attending. Make sure you include information about these activities if you submit a proposal for a workshop session.

We welcome presentation styles such as case studies, panel discussions, interaction presentations, storytelling with Q&A, and more.

Case study presentations

We offer a limited number of our commercial sponsors the opportunity to talk about their products and services in designated Case Study sessions. Please contact the ISTC office the ISTC office for more information about sponsorship.

Topic selection

With the exception of the case studies from sponsors, all proposals are reviewed by the programme committee made up of independent volunteer ISTC members. Proposals are selected for the conference programme strictly on merit.

Submission deadline

We look forward to receiving your speaking proposal.

The deadline for submissions is Saturday, 6th May 2017.

Please make sure you read the Speaker Agreement before submitting a proposal.

We expect to start notifying speakers about proposal acceptances in May.

Keep up with TCUK 2017 news here on our website and by following us on Facebook and on Twitter.