Call for Proposals TCUK 2018


Our call for proposals is now closed.

We are inviting proposals for speaking at the Technical Communication UK 2018 conference (TCUK 2018). The conference takes place at the De Vere Staverton Estate, Daventry, Northamptonshire on 25 to 27 September 2018. We welcome proposals on topics of general interest for technical communication and topics related to this year’s theme.

The topics on this page provide inspiration for your proposal and explanations for what speaking at TCUK entails.

  • Announcing the TCUK 2018 theme
  • Suggestions for other suitable topics of general interest
  • New speakers and experienced speakers – all are welcome
  • Which industry sectors are covered?
  • What are the speaker benefits at TCUK?
  • Speaker participation in the conference
  • What is the conference structure?
  • What type of sessions does TCUK offer?
  • Case study presentations from sponsors
  • How topics are selected
  • How and when to submit your proposal

The TCUK 2018 theme

The TCUK Committee proudly announces the special focus for the 2018 conference: The Pursuits of a Polymath.

The theme concentrates on the many different skills that technical communicators bring to the profession, so as to support the needs of a diverse and growing clientele. Increasingly, technical communicators are being called upon to deliver online video, animation, and audio content in addition to the more traditional forms of written information. We’re expected to make presentations, run training courses, create online tutorials, maintain intranet sites, test software, manage translation projects, and often to provide some measure of technical support too.

What do you see as the future trends and demands in our profession? Will we need to introduce mandatory training and qualification? You must surely have some strong ideas and opinions on this subject.

This is an enormously wide theme, and we can be sure there will be plenty to discuss on all its aspects. So if you’ve ever looked for an opportunity or an excuse to submit your ideas for a TCUK conference presentation, or for a practical workshop of 90 minutes or 3 hours, now’s your chance. Please apply through the our proposal form – the link to the form is at the bottom of this page. The deadline for proposals is 30th March 2018. We look forward to hearing from you.

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 2018 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 2018 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 25th September) features workshop sessions.

The second and third days (Wednesday and Thursday 26th and 27th September) feature three streams of presentations.

Session types

The proposal types for TCUK 2018 are:

  • Workshops (3 hours)
  • Workshops (90 minutes)
  • 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.

Topic selection

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.

How to submit your proposal

Our call for proposals is now closed.

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

Keep up with TCUK 2018 news here on our website and by following us on Facebook and on Twitter. We use the hashtag #TCUK18.