Technical Writing ToolBox

A Blog on Technical Writing

The 2012 MadCap Roadshow in Toronto

MadCap Software visits several cities in the US, Canada and Europe to provide an intensive, one-day technical writing seminar called Madcap Roadshow.

Thanks to the heavily discounted price (75% off), available only for technical communication students, I registered for the 2012 Madcap Roadshow in Toronto. This event will be held on 17th May at Toronto Hilton. I am pretty excited about this event as this would be my first Madcap Roadshow. Even without the student discount I might have attended it at the regular price ($99) due to the value it provides.

The only thing I hate about this event is that it is scheduled on Wednesday instead of a weekend. I have to miss two classes, TCN806-Web-Based Training and Multimedia and TCN800-Technical Writing II, to attend this event. However, our cool professor, Beth Agnew, records her sessions and upload her slides and audio recording of the entire lecture in Blackboard so I can still go through it later in the week.

About the Madcap Roadshow

The MadCap Roadshow is a special five-session event that covers quite a few interesting topics. Led by Mike Hamilton, VP of Product Evangelism, topics includes: maximizing content reuse, multi-channel publishing, and advanced CSS techniques.

I was quite active in STC India learning sessions and participated in quite few of them as a participant and then later as a speaker. I could never have  attended the Madcap Roadshow in India since this event only happens in North America. I’m glad that I’m getting a chance to learn about the cool thing happening in the techcomm world.

I first met Mike Hamilton in the STC 2010 Annual Conference in New Delhi where I presented a session on Using Wiki as a Help Authoring Tool. I’m looking forward to attend his presentation to learn more about the latest trends in technical writing and to also do a bit of networking in the event. I’m graduating from my program (post graduate certificate in Technical Communication) in August 2012 and have already started to look for suitable opportunities.


Register for the Madcap Roadshow

You can register for the Madcap Roadshow at http://www.madcapsoftware.com/events/roadshow.aspx.


Agenda of the Madcap Roadshow

8:00-9:00AM
Registration

Coffee, Pastries and Fresh Fruit
9:00-10:25AM
Authoring Techniques to Maximize Content Reuse

This session focuses on the content-management related concepts of writing content once, marking content with meta-data, and then re-using that content in as many contexts as required (single-source publishing). The core of content reuse, the Topic, will be explored as well as the use of authoring techniques that allow content to be written once and used often.

Break

10:40-12:00PM
Print, Desktop, Web, and Mobile: Multi-channel Publishing
From One Source

This session shows the techniques for taking your content topics and formatting and tailoring them for publishing to one, two, or many different delivery formats (multi-channel publishing).

Lunch

1:30-2:00PM
Creating and Using Templates – The key to consistency

One of the best techniques for helping to ensure consistency through a project is the proper use of templates. This session will discuss the importance of templates, how to create them, and best practices. This session will also cover various kinds of templates from topic templates all the way to whole project templates.
2:00-2:30PM
Beyond Your Core Authoring Environment – Are there tools to make life easier?

While core authoring environments these days provide all of the textual publishing capabilities you could want, sometimes you may want more. You may need to create or modify images and/or multimedia. You might want to automate maintenance tasks such as finding orphan styles, or duplicate content. Quite often we will need to work with larger teams requiring content or reviews from subject matter experts.

Also, for most of us translation/localization is either already here or on the horizon. There are tools available to address all of these areas and this session will explore their capabilities. We will start with a brief overview of multimedia creation and editing capabilities. Then, we will look at how the occasional contributors and/or reviewers can be integrated into a professional workflow. Next will be a look at the reports and automation capabilities that are available, and finally, we will conclude with an overview of translation/localization possibilities.

Break

2:50-4:00PM

Advanced CSS Techniques: Getting the Look You Want

This presentation will focus less on CSS theory and more on techniques and examples that can be taken back and used in your own projects. Techniques for controlling content margins/indents, setting up lists and nested lists, creating floating content boxes or navigation boxes, and much more will be covered.


Have you ever attended a Madcap Roadshow? How was your experience with it? Leave a comment and let me know.

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2 responses to “The 2012 MadCap Roadshow in Toronto

  1. Frank June 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Excellent! After too much searching, I uncover a place where I quickly extract timely information relevant to my keen interests.

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