tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair — Is this your year to go?

Is this your year for tcworld Conference and tekom trade fair

tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair in Wiesbaden, Germany is the largest technical communication event in the world.

tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair

Technical Communication conferences don’t get much larger than the 4000 attendees expected at this year’s tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair in Wiesbaden, Germany at Rhein-Main-Hallen.  Starting on October 23 and running through October 25, the conference features over 200 lectures, panels, and tutorials with technical communication professionals from around the world exchanging ideas, networking and meeting colleagues, business partners, service providers, and customers.

Is this your year to jump on a plane and join the fun in Wiesbaden?  You need to answer a few important questions before booking the trip:  What costs are involved?  Will I need to sleep under a bridge?  Are there enough networking and sessions there to help me rationalize the time and cost? (hint: Yes.)

The Budget for tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair

tekom’s annual conference is the largest technical communications trade fair in the world and it’s full of all types of networking and educational goodness, but chances are you’re on a budget.  A budget that will need to see conference costs, airfare, accommodations, food and incidentals plus enough coin to buy those “my friend went to Germany and bought me this lousy t-shirt” gifts.  Or, a nice stout if you want to send a gift to TechWhirl’s Dallas Offices.

Assuming you already have your passport and have the ability to fly out of New York City, we’d suggest budgeting around $US 4,000 for the entire trip.  Yes, our numbers added up to a range of $US 2,500 to $US 3,000 but from past experience, tack on another grand to cover in country transportation (taxi, public), cat sitters and that $US 18.00 lunch at the airport.

Main costs to consider:  conference fees, travel, accommodations, food, insurance and incidentals. (Suggestion: book the flight, register for the conference, put Fluffy in a kennel and go there, for us, because we can’t make it this year and we need the pictures …)

Conference Costs

Registration for tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair is different for members and non-members, plus they offer a variety of day options.  We’ve outlined all the costs in the table below.  These numbers assume you’re not a member and you’re there for the entire conference, so book $US 1,200 in your budget.  You’ve already missed early registration (ended September 24), which would have saved you around $US 113, but this something to think about for next year if you would like to plan ahead.

CONFERENCE COSTS
Non-Member: Member*:
1-Day $US 789.72 1-Day $US 582.62
2-Day $US 996.86 2-Day $US 712.09
3-Day $US 1,204.09 3-Day $US 841.51
*For $US 65.62, a tekom membership is available which would entitle you to the Member rate (http://www.tekom.de).

 

Airfare

For approximately $US 870 on Singapore Airlines, you can book a flight from JFK Airport in New York City, NY to Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany.  The Frankfurt airport is 30 minutes by car and about 40 minutes by train from the conference.  Train schedules and fares are available at www.bahn.de.  Additionally, the Wiesbaden city page has an interactive map available at http://www.wiesbaden.de/en/service/city-guide.php.  (Hint: If you’ve never driven in Europe, take the train. Even if you have driven in Europe, take the train.)

Hotels

Hotels for the conference range from $US 94 to $US 244 per night.  A list of local hotels is available at http://conferences.tekom.de/tcworld12/for-participants/conference-venue/hotels/.  Costs are provided, as well as, distance from the venue.

Food

Lunch and refreshments are included in the registration fee.  Breakfast at hotels may be included, but if not, the cost could be up to $US 23 daily.  The conference has some free after-conference get-togethers, while other events have a charge.  Local restaurant prices start at around $US 5.00. (Hint:  Please, for the love of single sourcing, don’t eat at the hotel; go out and enjoy all the culinary delights the city has to offer.)

Incidentals

Traveler’s insurance, spending money, and exchange rate fees are all extra costs to keep in mind.  Additionally, don’t forget that a passport is required for international travel.   Before you book anything, be certain to ensure yours is not expired.  If you need a passport in a rush, https://uspassportonline.com/order/form/new-passport can get you one in 24 hours for $US 299 plus a additional fee.

Keep those old deutsche marks stuffed in your bed, because depending on how you view our current world you’re either 17 years late, or a little early to use them in the Federal Republic.  Call your bank and credit card companies to check on exchange rates, but it’s often easier to find the first ATM after arriving in Germany and doing a relatively large withdrawal (€350?) for meals and travel.  This way, you’ll get dinged with one exchange rate fee rather than many little ones during the trip.

Accommodations

If we haven’t lost you on the $4,000 estimate, then great! All good trips come at a cost, and this one is an investment in networking and education as well.  tekom offers an online tool to help book your hotel so you’re not sleeping under a tree.

Some additional resources for learning about the city and good places to stay are: The Wiesbaden website (http://www.wiesbaden.de) and the normal travel websites should be helpful.

Sessions

The tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair offers a wide range of sessions ranging from Content Strategy to Language Technologies.  Have a look at their content program to see everything that is on offer from sessions, workshops, tutorials and of course socializing networking.

The program calls out eight topics for English speakers:

  1. Content Strategies
  2. Mobile Documentation
  3. International Management
  4. Technical Authoring
  5. Localization
  6. Terminology
  7. Language Technologies
  8. User Assistance

We could probably create a second article on everything happening at this dynamic event, but since you really should be booking that flight by now and getting your registration in order, we’ll let you do some of the research yourself:

Topics: http://conferences.tekom.de/tcworld12/for-participants/conference-topics/

Program: http://conferences.tekom.de/tcworld12/for-participants/conference-program/

Presenters: http://conferences.tekom.de/tcworld12/for-participants/conference-speakers/

Not Your Year for tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair?

Don’t think that you can make Germany this year for the tcworld Conference and tekom Trade Fair?  No problem!

You can always follow the tcworld Conference and tekom World Fair on twitter under the Twitter hashtag #tcworld.  We’re working with the folks at tcworld to secure a few good write-ups and summaries so you’ll be able to get a glimpse of all the good stuff happening in Wiesbaden this year.

However, if this is your year then we’re thrilled to hear that and what are you waiting for since registration ends October 8, 2012?  You can register online at conferences.tekom.de/tcworld12. And, of course, be certain to send us a post card or that stout, whichever one fits in the carry-on.

Jennifer Dickerman

Jennifer Dickerman is a graduate student in the English - Professional Writing program at Northern Arizona University and also a former intern at TechWhirl. With over ten years of business writing experience, she has created and edited many forms of professional writing in the workplace. You can connect with Jennifer through her Google + page.

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Al Martine

A former non-profit fundraiser and strategy \ change management consultant and now he's the head of TechWhirl Janitorial Services. If it's going well or poorly with TechWhirl's websites he's probably the one to thank or blame. You can connect with Al through his Google + page.

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