Yearly, a one-day Colloquium is organised, which is open to all those interested in technical communication.

The day prior to or following the Colloquium, the AGM takes place.

Originally, the AGM and the Colloquium were organised in Brussels. Since 2007 the AGM and Colloquium can take place in any city in Europe.

Theme: The Next Big Thing

More info: As new products and new product features are released at an ever-faster rate, technical communicators must adapt to stay relevant. In a world where users have become accustomed to the immediacy of a Google search and expect the applications they use to be intuitive and self-explanatory, the days of the traditional user manual or online help system are numbered.

The advent of Cloud Computing and the Software as a Service (SaaS) business model have brought significant upheaval to the software industry in recent years. The adoption of Agile methodologies and lean manufacturing processes across a wide range of industries has also significantly changed how products are designed, developed and delivered.

With an increasingly educated and demanding consumer market and the widespread availability of online product reviews and comparisons, today’s users spend more time shopping around before they buy than ever before. They are thus far less willing to put up with a poor user experience and are often quick to share their experiences (positive or negative) online. It is therefore more important than ever for companies to focus on the end-to-end customer experience and ensure their customers become proficient with their products as quickly as possible, and that they stay happy for as long as possible.

Technical communicators possess an intimate understanding of the product or service they are documenting and are trained to explain how the system works in language that end users can understand. Technical communicators are thus well positioned to play a key role in ensuring the success of users, and the long-term profitability of organisations.

However, to succeed in this new world, they need to think differently about their roles. They need to align themselves with this new customer-centric approach. They must position themselves as “knowledge enablers” and drop attachment to “documentation.” A closer cooperation with colleagues from marketing, support, training, sales and renewals is needed, focusing on user success in order to be able to measure and demonstrate the value technical communication provides for customer-retention, user satisfaction, and the bottom-line for organisations.

Theme: Riding the Waves of Change

More info: Change is nothing new. In today’s world, technologies are evolving rapidly and becoming more intuitive and user-centric, changing the way users consume information. Global business continues to push changes in the way we deliver information.

We are riding waves of change that require a new mindset and a closer understanding of the user. This provides many opportunities to professional communicators. How do technical communicators navigate through all these changes and deliver value to the user and business?

The TCeurope 2015 Colloquium offers sessions on information delivery, emerging technologies relevant to technical communicators, and methods for engaging users. Practical sessions will provide technical communicators the tools and information needed to succeed during periods of change.

Theme: Mobile Communications

More info: The veritable explosion of technological advances in the past few years has changed the face of technical communication – or has it? Have technical authors been replaced by forums? Is the paper manual dead? Are our tools uptodate? What is a technical communicator a writer, a blogger, an information curator, a content manager or something different? These questions and many more are forcing technical communicators to reevaluate their work and their roles.

Theme: Technical Communication Readership

More info: Authors are invited to submit abstract proposals for the TCeurope Colloquium 2012: Technical Communication Readership, co-organized by TCeurope and APCOMTEC. This event will take place on April 20th 2012, at the Department of Languages and Cultures of the Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal.

The aim of this event is to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art of a topic as broad and challenging as Readership in Technical Communication and to explore the different and emerging multimedia means used in the technical communication field; exchange information regarding technical communication and its applications; evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the several production formats, the uses and needs; as well as the requirements coming from the e-society.

The target-audience of this event are researchers, industrials and professionals from across a wide spectrum of areas.

Theme: The impact of European directives and standards on technical communication

More info: The Colloquium 2011 on the 29th April returned "to its roots" as it was now held again in Brussels, in CENELEC-center, and the topic was about EU directives and standards.

The specialists from different branches gave presentations about implementing directives and standards in TC products. The participants had a rare opportunity to listen to the Machinery Team Leader of European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, and to ask questions about interpretation of MD (Machinery Directive). The conclusion of the round table discussion in the end of the Colloquium was that a Guideline is needed for implementing first of all the MD.

Theme: A new decade for technical communication: 2010 and beyond 

More info: It was scheduled to follow the STC’s Content Strategy Forum 2010 in Paris in April, creating a unique double event.

TCeurope’s exciting programme brought together experts from many countries in Europe to present a broad range of stimulating topics for today’s technical communicators. Speakers included Paul Strickland from the European Commission and Michel Lanque from Alcatel.

Subjects included:

  • E-collaboration
  • A European Commission case study on clear writing
  • Writing English for non-native speakers
  • Preparing for the future of the profession
  • New applications and methodologies
  • and much more.

Theme: Documentation projects – trends and methods

Programme: 

08.30-09.15 Registrations and coffee
09.15-09.40 Welcome by FTI and TCeurope

  • Hanna Risku:  Working in the Network Economy: New Trends in Intercultural Technical Communication as Computer-Supported Collaborative Text Design

9:40-10:30 Technical Communication and Information Management in Enterprises

  • Per Grahn-Möller: Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0
  • Agneta Weisberg: Trends in CMS Solutions

10.45-11.45

  • Thomas Kern: The System Documentation as binding agent for and in between internal and external customers
  • Lena Norman: Documentation development in an agile project

11:45-12:45 Lunch

12.45-14.15 Past and future trends and their consequences for qualification and competence development

  • Christina Amcoff Nyström: Future competence development in Technical Communication
  • Henrik Wigestrand: Did God need a User’s Guide? – TC challenges since Creation
  • Nicholas Hill: Technical writing for software developers: challenges and opportunities for technical communications professionals

14.15-14.45 Coffee

14.45-15.45 Global TC; TC and Translation

16.00-16.30 Panel discussion: Presenters

Theme: Trends in Technical Communication: Standardised processes in a mass market versus customized documentation.

Theme: Integrated Technical Communication: Shaping and positioning the profession.

Programme:

9:30 Hanna Risku, President of TCeurope: Welcome and introduction

9:45 Philippe Wauters, FEANI Fédération Européenne des Associations Nationales d’Ingénieurs: About FEANI: Organization and Objectives, Achievements and Activities

10:20 Scott Able, Content Management Professionals: The evolution of technical communication: Making the move to content management

11:00 Coffee break

11:15 Britta Glatten, The Information Architecture Institute: Information Architecture – What you get is what you don’t see

11:50 Regina Bernhaupt, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing – TC Methodology for User-centered System Design: Experiences from Industry: new forms of user-centered system design

12:30 Lunch break

13:30 Gabriele Sauberer, Termnet: Terminology and Diversity Management as quality assuring factors in a multilingual Europe

14:05 Caroline Diepeveen, Society of Indexers: Look it up – the role of the index in communication

14:40 Leif Sonstenes, GALA Globalization and Localization Association: L10N and T21N, Localizers and Technical Communicators converge on the future

15:10 Discussion

Theme: User-friendly product information

More info: Telecommunication and, in particular, “user guides and setup procedures for mobile terminals and e-services” were on the agenda. The Colloquium, which was held as a workshop guided by ETSI experts, was address ongoing standardisation issues for user education and setup procedures, enabling and improving the startup and use of mobile e-services.

Theme: Technical Documentation in the enlarged EU: First round-up on the organisational, technical and economic impacts.

Programme:

9:00 Dr. Hanna Risku (TCeurope / Donau-Universität Krems): Welcome and introduction

9:10 Jens Karsten (Federation of European Direct Selling Associations): Language requirements in EC law – A Consumers Perspective

9:30 Ian Fraser (European Commission, Directorate General Enterprise and Industry):    Manufacturer’s instructions – an essential part of the machine

10:00 Alfredo Spagna (President of European Union of Associations of Translation Companies):    Defining translation quality at European level – the first European Quality Standard for Translation Service Providers

10:30 Coffee break

11:00 Josep Bonet-Heras (European Commission, Directorate General Translation): Twenty languages and counting: how Commission translators keep pace with an expanding Union

11:30 Carla Caprioli / Jacques Degreves (European Commission, Directorate General Enterprise    and Industry): Multilingual technical documentation on Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry’s website: TRIS and TBT databasis

12:00 Marta Grané Franch (Termcat, Àrea d’Assessorament): Catalan: A language for technical documentation in Europe (The opportunities of multilinguism for non-official EU languages)

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Rudy Tirry (country manager of Bowne Global Solutions Belgium ): Trends and technology in the globalization industry (an educated guess about what the future will bring to the world of localization)

14:00 Final Discussion

Theme: Presentation of the “SecureDoc” guideline for usable and safe operating manuals for consumer goods.

Programme:

Tarja Tolvanen (Suomen Tekniset Dokumentoijat Ry):Welcome and introduction

Erik Hansson (European Commission, Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection: The revised Product Safety Directive and its impact on product information

Michael Fritz (tekom): Quality goals in technical documentation

Jens-Uwe Heuer (Herfurth & Partner): Legal issues and documentation

Hanna Risku (Donau-Universität Krems): Basics of user friendly documentation

Nicholas Hill (Suomen Tekniset Dokumentoijat Ry): Process Optimisation

Andreh van der Kolk (International Consumer Research and Testing): Statement on the guideline on behalf of consumers

Loucas Gourtsoyannis (European Office for Crafts, Trades and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises for Standardization): Statement on the guideline on behalf of SMEs

Thomas Garbe (European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers): Statement on the guideline on behalf of manufacturers

Theme: User-friendly Product Information

More info: Exactly one year after its foundation, TCeurope struck a positive balance of the first 365 days of existence on the occasion of the third European colloquium for user-friendly product information in Brussels.

In the meantime a website and two working groups for standards and guidelines and for education have been created. In November 2002, two projects were started with the support of the EU. The third European colloquium for user-friendly product information was the second public event organised by TCeurope, this time with even two series of talks about vocational education and training of technical communicators in Europe and user-friendly operating manuals for technical consumer goods.