EAC-BC’s April 2013 unconference Reply

FAQs

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Who is the unconference for?

You may be called a managing editor, a production editor, an editorial coordinator, a publications director, a project manager, an editor-in-chief, or one of any number of titles. Whatever your formal job title, you do any or all of the following:

  • 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.

Publishers often meet to discuss sales, marketing, and digital strategies, but very rarely do the people who actually make the publications gather and brain share. This event offers managing editors and production specialists the opportunity to learn from one another.

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What’s the format of the unconference?

This unconference has no set program, and the participants will define the agenda. If you’re interested in giving a presentation or leading a discussion, arrive early to pitch your topic to the attendees. The program will be finalized based on participants’ interests, and once that happens you can choose which sessions you’d like to attend.

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Why an unconference?

You’re all experts at what you do, but because you work in relative isolation from others in your role, you’ve all developed your own systems. There’s no hard and fast set of best practices, so there’s no one expert who’ll provide you with all of the answers you need. This event will be an opportunity to cross-pollinate: learn what others are doing (what works and what doesn’t) and see if others’ strategies can be adapted to your situation.

If you’ve developed a pretty good system for some aspect of your work and would like to share your knowledge, consider giving a presentation. If you face a particular problem and want to know how others approach it, consider leading a discussion on the topic.

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What are some possible topics for the unconference?

  • Recruiting, training, and retaining freelancers.
  • Freelancer communication.
  • Creating and maintaining house style guides.
  • Scheduling.
  • Project management software for publications.
  • Paying by the project versus paying by the hour.
  • Collaborative editing tools.
  • Digital workflows.
  • Working with commercial printers.
  • Print-on-demand.
  • Negotiating vendor agreements (e.g., with stock photo agencies).
  • Quality control systems.
  • Project crisis-management strategies.
  • A managing editor’s wish list.

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What should I do if I want to present or to lead a discussion at the unconference?

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.)

Since we don’t know how many people will be attending each session, we won’t be able to print handouts the day of. You’re free to bring your own, but what we’d prefer is for you to send us your notes or handouts after your session. We’ll put all of the presenters’ documents together and send a folder to all participants.

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What’s the schedule?

Here’s how the day will look:

9h15–9h30: check-in and coffee
9h30–10h15: opening remarks; speakers pitch topics; participants vote; program is set
10h20–11h00: sessions
11h05–11h45: sessions
11h50–12h30: sessions
12h30–13h10: lunch
13h15–13h55: sessions
14h00–14h40: sessions
14h45–15h35: networking tea* (continue conversations with colleagues outside the confines of a formal session)
15h40–16h00: event debriefing and closing remarks
16h00–16h30: chair yoga (a relaxing but invigorating session of yoga led by editor and yoga instructor Irene Zafiris)

*The networking tea also puts you in the same room as the professionals you might want to hire. Pre-registered freelancers will join us all for a tea or coffee and get a few minutes to chat and swap business cards with you. (Confidential to freelancers: registration for the networking tea opens in late March.)

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