In May 1999, I attended my first STC Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. I had been participating in the Lone Writer Special Interest Group, and was invited to participate on a panel session at the conference.
Since 1999, the only time I missed an STC Summit was in the year 2000. That was the year my manager decided to send me to the WinWriters (now WritersUA) conference instead.
Until this year. Last year, I attended the 2019 STC Summit as a “swan song” of sorts. I knew that I was somewhat transitioning out of the technical writing career, and attending the conference was my birthday present. I didn’t realize how much I would miss my peeps. This year, knowing I wouldn’t be in Seattle was hard, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
Then the #coronavirus happened. The STC Summit, instead of cancelling, decided to switch to a virtual conference format. In *9* weeks. And in a way, for me, a good thing. Instead of missing a couple of the events I would normally attend, like the President’s Reception and the Honors Reception, I was invited to participate in both virtually. So I still got to “see” my peeps, but on a Zoom conference call.
A few weeks before the conference, I was asked if I could provide a short wrap up video. Something quick, to provide a “slice of life” perspective from the virtual conference. In the last 10-12 years, a lot of interaction in the conference happens on Twitter, as people tweet quotes and photos from sessions and events. It was interesting to see if people would still post on Twitter, even if it was a virtual conference. They did.
My video, which was played after the closing keynote speaker and announcements were done, ran about 3 minutes, 22 seconds.
As much as I loved doing the video (and would do so again), this is what I really missed:
Even if I don’t register and attend sessions at next year’s Summit, we are going to try and be in Atlanta, if the conference is held in person. I need to see my peeps! 🙂