Adobe TechComm Day Denmark 2017 Recap

by Stefan Gentz

Posted on 11-02-2017

On September 11, 2017, Adobe Technical Communication hosted the first-ever Adobe Tech Comm Day Denmark.

The event was specifically designed to give technical communication experts in the Nordics an opportunity to meet and learn from renowned technical communication experts, get hands-on with the latest tools, and connect with peers. A series of sessions covered key trends shaping the technical communication industry today, gave live training on the latest tools that are transforming the way content is created, delivered and consumed, and showcased the ease with which one can migrate to modern, more efficient content workflows – without leaving your existing content behind.

More than 120 technical communication and marketing experts, from students to seasoned professionals, from Denmark had registered for the event. But the event also attracted peers from Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom creating an international atmosphere.

After a Networking Welcome Lunch, the official part started, and Bjørn Smalbro, owner of Studio Smalbro and and I opened the day.

Get a glimpse of the event in our vide:

Right after that, I guided through the Key trends in technical communication and presented the research findings from a worldwide Adobe Customer Survey.

As Technical Communicators, it’s important to understand and stay on top of key trends as they shape the future of Technical Communications. Every year Adobe Technical Communication reaches out worldwide to a very diverse group of Technical Communication professionals to understand their preferences, tools usage, and best practices. The results highlight common trends in areas like Content Authoring, Publishing, and Consumption.

Migrating from Unstructured Content to Structured Content

Next on the stage was Jang Graat from Smart Information Design in Amsterdam, Netherlands, talking about Migrating from Unstructured Content to Structured Content.

The benefits of using modern structured authoring platforms are often outweighed by one huge disadvantage: you either have to start rewriting all your content from scratch or take a long time-out in which you convert all your existing content to your choice of XML. This is not true for Adobe FrameMaker, as this authoring tool handles structured and unstructured content in the same way. Based on its built-in tools for conversion, FrameMaker offers a unique migration path from the old format-based markup to semantically rich and structured content. At any given time, you can publish your mix of content to a large number of output formats. Jang’s presentation showed how this process works.

The convergence of marketing and technical content for uniform customer experiences

After a short coffee break, it was my stage again with my presentation The convergence of marketing and technical content for uniform customer experiences.

For the last decade, most discussions in technical documentation were all about automation, moving to XML and structured content, improving quality, managing technical documentation more efficiently, and reducing costs. Now it’s time to talk about “customer experience”. And it’s time to talk about impacting the “customer journey” across all touch-points, pre- and post-sale.

In this session, I discussed the creation and delivery of technical content and how it’s becoming increasingly important to treat technical communication as marketing communication. The ability to seamlessly blend marketing content and technical content into a unified customer experience becomes the key to success. What you need is a powerful platform that can effectively manage all kinds of assets, both marketing and technical, and deliver them to all channels as dynamic, intelligent content that enables personalization and multi-channel delivery to communicate with customers ‘in one common voice’, wherever they might be in the customer journey.

The need for single-sourcing and multichannel publishing – web, mobile, desktop and print

Right after that, I handed over to Jang Graat again. Jang was now talking about The need for single-sourcing and multichannel publishing – web, mobile, desktop and print.

When the term single-sourcing was coined many decades ago, the single source was usually one entire document, and the reuse was limited to publishing that document to PDF as well as CHM. With all the new output formats that have appeared in the 21st century, simply pushing the exact same source into all those channels is not going to make users happy anymore. Content needs to be customised to different output formats (web, online help, ebook, etc). At the same time, we need to avoid going back to the copy-paste-adapt cycle we were using before single-sourcing appeared on the stage. Jang showed a number of techniques that allow you to produce true single-sourced auto-customised publications across all the channels that are available today.

What did the attendees think about the event?

We asked a couple of attendees for a short inteview. And here is what they said:

At the end, Bjørn Smalbro and I ended the official part and invited the attendees to the Networking cocktail reception and an excellent dinner. Kudos to the chef from the Scandic Sydhavnen Copenhagen!.

It was a great day. Special thanks goes to Bjørn for his help in getting this event organized with us. And as every attendee I asked, if we should repeat this event next year, gave a clear and firm YES, watch out for our announcements in our LinkedIn Adobe TechComm Group, Twitter, and Facebook. We’ll be back!

Topics: Technologies, Conferences, Events, TechComm, TechComm Import