Event: Competition Celebration and Online Help Keynote

Event Summary

Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 6-8:30 p.m.
Guapo's Restaurant Washington, DC, 4515 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016
Judges, Entrants, Competition Committee, and Chapter Volunteers: $20
Chapter Members: $30
Nonmembers: $40

Keynote Presentation

Content is King, but adding a measured dose of interactivity to your help will increase readability and usability, as well as make it more compelling. Our speaker, Nicky Bleiel, will demonstrate a number of simple ways to improve your help in a single-sourcing environment. We will:

  • Discover the options available for interactivity, including expanding/collapsing text, image maps, glossary popups, Google Maps, and more.
  • Learn how to implement these interactive options.
  • Discuss how structure contributes to successful interactivity.

Why Attend?

We offer you four great reasons to come to this event.

  • View the winning entries in our annual competition to get ideas for the technical information we craft every day in our jobs.
  • Network with others to discover solutions to challenges and build relationships.
  • Listen to our keynote presentation from Nicky Bleiel, an online help expert. This is an abbreviated version of the presentation she will deliver at the STC Summit.
  • Enjoy a fresh and delicious Mexican buffet dinner at Guapo's DC location, less than a block from the Tenleytown Metro and in the American University neighborhood.


6:00-7:00 Dinner
7:00-7:30 Keynote
7:30-8:00 Awards ceremony
8:00-8:30 Networking


Photo of Nicky Bleiel

Nicky Bleiel has been a technical communicator for 17 years, with extensive experience writing and developing information for software products in the documentation, media, industrial automation, simulation, and pharmaceutical industries. She has presented talks at the STC Summit, WritersUA, tcworld, CIDM, and LavaCon on many topics. She has been published in STC’s Intercom (her new column is called “The Essentials”), Tieline, STC conference proceedings, tcworld magazine, TechCom Manager Newsletter, and the WritersUA and Content Wrangler websites. As the Lead Information Developer for Doc-To-Help at ComponentOne, she focuses on providing information that improves the user experience but is still efficient to produce. Nicky serves on the STC Board as a Director-At-Large and is currently a candidate for Vice President.

An Overview of Trends, Tools, and Technologies in Software User Assistance

This is a BIG DEAL! We’re flying in Joe Welinske, a popular speaker in our industry, from Seattle to speak to us on Tuesday, January 13 from 6-8:30 p.m. at NRECA in Ballston. Be sure to attend if you have ever created online user assistance of any type, hope to do so in the future, or are just interested in staying up-to-date.

Many of us are now embedding helpful content directly into the user interface. We are involved with usability testing, localization, testing, quality assurance, and branding. This presentation provides a cutting-edge overview of the latest trends in software user assistance, defines the key terminology, highlights the most important technologies, and offers predictions on future directions of our field. This seventy-five minute session should be of interest to technical communicators of all backgrounds and experience levels.

The STC Washington, DC Chapter is proud to be offering this event jointly with the IEEE Professional Communication Society and the IEEE Computer Society.


  • STC WDC Chapter Volunteer: $10
  • Student: $10 (Student guest of paid attendee, FREE)
  • STC WDC Member: $15
  • IEEE Member: IEEE representative handling fees for IEEE members at the door.
  • Nonmember: $20

Register by January 9. If you want to register after that date, contact Carolyn at email hidden; JavaScript is required to make arrangements. Download a PDF of the event description and registration information.