Content strategy and tech comms conferences in 2011

Want to boost your skills, increase your knowledge and network with fellow content and tech comms people? Here’s a round-up of conferences in the UK, Europe and some further afield to fill out your professional development calendar this year. Feel free to add more in the comments if there are any we have missed.

CONFAB, 9-11 May, Minneapolis, US

Hosted by Kristina Halvorson‘s Brain Traffic, this brand new conference features speakers from around the world, including European content strategists Nikki Tiedtke of eBay Europe, who delivered a great case study at CS Applied in January, and Clare O’Brien of CDA, who wrote about data-informed content strategy here on the Firehead blog last week. The conference is sold out but there will be a lot of social media discussion, blogging and presentations generated, which we will try to gather here on Firehead in May.
Twitter: @confab2011; hashtag #confab


One for technical communicators and writers, the Sacramento conference is headlined this year by Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media, publisher of the popular computer software and tech books. There’s a buddy program for new members and first-timers to help you get more out of the event, so if you fancy combining a holiday to California with a business conference, this could be the one to attend. There are 80 sessions, eight different tracks and a project showcase for small-scale table discussions with the presenters.
Twitter: @stc_org; hashtag #stc11

CONGILITY, 24-26 May, nr Gatwick Airport, UK

Look out for our special guest post on Congility (formerly X-Pubs) coming next month from Mekon‘s Noz Urbina. The conference is aimed at content managers, team leaders and other professionals who want to to advance their organisation’s goals with better content strategy, management and process. Nikki Tiedtke of eBay Europe, fresh from CONFAB (see above), will present her case study, while big names such as Ann Rockley and Rahel Bailie are among the key speakers. Looks to be a useful European content event and, better still, it’s just a short hop away from Gatwick Airport.
Twitter: @congility; hashtag #congility2011

CS FORUM, 5-7 September, London, UK

The follow-up to the 2010 event in Paris, which Firehead co-organised, will be held in London this autumn and features a similar mix of workshops, speakers and networking events. Check our CS Forum post offering an exclusive reduced rate if you register using our special Firehead discount code. But hurry, the offer ends today!
Twitter: @cs_forum; hashtag #csforum11

TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION UK, 20-22 September 2011, Thame, UK

The largest UK conference for tech comms professionals has three streams of presentations: two are open to any topic of interest to technical communicators; the third focuses on a related specialist area and in 2011 is ‘Anything but text’, for those involved in projects using video, illustrations, audio and so on. The keynote speaker will be visual information specialist Patrick Hofman.
Twitter: @tcuk_conf; hashtag #tcuk11

TEKOM / TCWORLD, 18-20 October, Wiesbaden, Germany

The Tekom annual conference and trade fair includes nearly 200 lectures, workshops, tutorials, and discussion groups covering the latest developments in technical communication, documentation and information development. The programme is yet to be announced so check the website for updates.

LE WEB, 7-9 December, Paris, France

More for entrepreneurs than online communicators perhaps, but LeWeb is becoming a sort of budding SXSW Interactive for Europe with 3,000 participants across 50 countries and, for the first time this year, three days of speeches, Q&As, workshops, market trends and tech startup competitions.
Twitter: @leweb

Other options

Any more to add? What have we missed? Please add them into the comments below. We particularly want to gather a roster of useful UK and mainland Europe conferences that will interest our IT and web recruitment clients, candidates and other readers.