From the President

July 2018

Image of Meredith Evans, wearing a dark suit jacket and scarf. She is smiling professionally at the camera and looks very presidential.

June's been a manic month for me, between attending the Promapp conference in Auckland, preparing for the ITx Conference in Wellington, and travelling to exotic small town New Zealand for dog agility judging. Of course, judging agility dogs is a little different to judging technical communicators, but I’m super excited about seeing our awards finalists this week! I was delighted to see the number of incredible nominations we received – it's fantastic to see just how much our members give back to our industry! You guys are awesome.

Congratulations to Steve Moss, Emma Harding and Grant Mackenzie for making the final three!

I'm super excited about July!

It’s all about ITx right now!

It’s happening now, everyone! Most of our board are here for parts of the conference, and Katie will be updating our social media channels throughout the conference. The board are manning the stand in the breaks, so if you’re attending, or just in Wellington, you should come over to chat! There will be jet planes, games and scintillating conversation.

Speaking of conferences, don’t forget to save the date for the next TechCommNZ conference! It’s going to be next year, 16 to 18 October 2019 in Tauranga at the gorgeous Trinity Wharf. If you’re interested in joining the organising committee or helping out in some way, let me know.

It’s membership renewal time again!

We’ve got some great stuff happening and it’s definitely worth renewing for.

Firstly, I’d like to say a big thanks to Emily Cotlier for offering us a venue for the Wellington Branch. It’s great to see Wellington branch gaining traction again.

I really enjoyed last month’s guest presentation on Networking. Paul Haggath had some great tips and if you didn’t get chance to be there I highly recommend reading Vanessa’s branch report to catch them! If you’re near Christchurch this month, you really should check out our next Christchurch Branch Event: Technically not technical writing.

If you’re not in Christchurch, the next webinar is CSS Variables: The Real Thing. The variables feature in CSS has been proposed, and – finally! – implemented per W3C standards by most modern browsers. Although it is a hugely useful and flexible feature, there has been no true cross-browser support until recently.

Don’t forget for webinars, all attendees can access the recording afterwards for no extra cost. If the date or time doesn’t work for you, don’t let this put you off signing up.

And I’m thrilled to see our Student Outreach Programme is still going strong – there’s going to be a student-focussed event in August exploring mindfulness tips for success, building your portfolio (and how to talk about it in interview) and what we’re actually looking for when we employ new graduates. There’ll be an email closer to the time, so keep your eye out and feel free to bring your kids, nieces, nephews, cousins or friends along for some great advice!

I also understand that our Student Coordinator, Katie, is looking for someone to man the booth at Lincoln University’s Career Day on 2 August. If you’d like to help out, please get in contact with her.

And finally…

We’ve got some exciting news for all of our branches.

In a bid to help our smaller branches get back on their feet, we’re initiating a digital attendance option. What the heck is that, you ask? Here’s how it will (hopefully) work:

  • Regional branch managers organise a venue and catering as normal (5:30pm to 7pm).
  • Members turn up at 5:30 and network/drink/nibble as normal.
  • At 6pm, members sit down in front of the presenter (e.g. Christchurch) or in front of a screen (e.g. Wellington and Auckland).
  • Presenter presents.
  • When it comes time for the Q&A session, regional managers take turns to pose questions to the presenter (i.e. avoid lots of people talking at once).
  • 7pm - Everyone claps, says what a good time they had, and all go home.

If this goes well, it will go a long way to helping our struggling branches get back on their feet and bring us all closer as a nationwide network! Not to mention it's a great opportunity for all future presenters to get their voice heard NZ-wide, and for all of us down in Christchurch to hear your voices too!

Another big thank you to both Christchurch and Wellington branches for offering to be the guinea pigs for this initiative. And a thank you to Katie Haggath for spearheading the idea.

Reminders for you this month

  • Enter the Plain English Awards.
  • Prepare to pay up your TechCommNZ membership!
  • Get in touch with me or our editor Katie ( if you’ve got an idea for a newsletter article, or even just some interesting links to share.

Kia Ora!