Flying by the seat of your pants isn’t the usual way of running a conference. Well, to conference organisers it often feels that way, but it’s not supposed to be the standard mode of transport. But it might just work for the Editors’ Association of Canada. They’ve called their May 2014 get-together an Unconference and it’s about as informal as it gets. They don’t know how many will attend, and they won’t know until the very day who will be a speaker. It’s brilliant for worriers. Don’t worry; be happy. It will all work out. Read the conference invitation:
What should I do if I want to present or to lead a discussion?
Prepare your presentation or discussion notes before the event. Sessions run 40 minutes, including Q&A. On the day of the event, arrive early, and you’ll have one minute to pitch your topic. Based on how participants respond, your talk will be added to the schedule. Sessions can take on any format you choose and can be as interactive as you wish.
If you have slides to show on a digital projector, bring them in on a USB key in PDF or PowerPoint format. (Please also keep a backup of your slides somewhere in your email or online.)
There’s a list of possible topics to consider but there’s no set program; those attending will define the agenda on the day from the one-minute pitches. Desperately printing handouts beforehand is a thing of the past: just leave your notes and they’ll be compiled and sent out to everybody after the event. Just drink your coffee and relax.
So who will be with you at this professional development brainstorm? PubPro2014 is targeting managing editors and publication production specialists in the hope that the hints they share will filter down the food chain to editorial coordinators, publications directors, project managers, editors-in-chief, and definitely you if you currently
- Work in house for an organization that creates publications
- Manage an editorial and production team of in-house staff and freelance professionals
- Hire freelancers, including editors and possibly writers, designers, and indexers
- Develop project schedules
- Create or work to project budgets
- Shepherd projects through the production process
No matter what your title, if you’re doing most or all of that you should be running the show, not just thinking about it. Many people in the publishing industry work in relative isolation, and have had to work out a system for multitasking or some aspect of their work that others would love to know about. Maybe you still have a problem that a lively discussion group could solve.
‘But what,’ I hear you cry, ‘if only a few experts show up, and none of them is waving a paper?’ Dinna fret. I have every confidence that convenors Iva Cheung and Shelly Windover will cope with the suspense – after all, their itinerary includes yoga, highly apt for a refreshingly fun format that stands the usual conference program on its head.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 9.30 am–4.30 pm, at the Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, B.C.
Registration opens in early April 2014 and generous sponsors are helping to keep the fee on the ground.
#PubPro2014 promises an innovative peer exchange of practical value. If you’re able to attend, need more information, or are just commendably curious, tweet early, tweet often with @IvaCheung or @learnpublishing — and if you’d like to know more about the co-host’s unique degree courses in publishing at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, (like the Bachelor of Writing and Publishing at NMIT in Melbourne, Australia) check out SFU Publishing Workshops of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing.