People have been saying some very kind things to me about TCUK 2013, so I thought I might share my experiences to help others who might want to do something similar in the future.
Lots of people have thanked me for putting TCUK together, but I want to set the record straight. I didn’t do everything myself – far from it. TCUK is run by a volunteer team, supported by the same association management company that does all the administration for the ISTC itself. Without Elaine and Claire in the office we wouldn’t have TCUK.
I didn’t personally select the presentations from the many proposals we received. That was done by the programme committee, a group of volunteers who met via conference calls, which was ably chaired by Colum McAndrew.
There was a wider group of volunteers who helped with the website, with social media, and with marketing efforts, and we’d love to add new volunteers to our team for 2014. In particular, we’d welcome people familiar with WordPress to help with our website, and people who are Twitter regulars to help with social media. We are also very keen to find volunteers with a flair for writing marketing copy for various channels. There are other ways you can help as well, so please get in touch.
As the Conference Chair (just a fancy term for team leader) there were a few things that I had to do myself (such as find the venue, agree the budget, invite the keynote speakers, and find the surprise entertainment for the Gala Dinner evening – nothing critical!) but mainly I was responsible for making sure things got done. I have a very long and growing list of things that needed doing, and I just had to remind people about them. (Of course, Elaine and Claire usually needed to remind me to remind people first!)
It’s difficult to know how to judge the success of TCUK. Financially, TCUK is run on a not-for-profit basis, so success could be defined as not losing money. TCUK 2012 did generate a small surplus, and it looks like TCUK 2013 is in a similar position, though it’s too early to know the exact figures. In terms of the success of our content we are currently looking at the feedback we’ve received (thorough comment cards at the event and through our feedback survey) to see what we can improve for next year. But the most encouraging thing is that delegates, speakers and sponsors come back to TCUK year after year, so I think we must be doing something right.