New Heights

The New Heights workshop is STC Alberta’s premier educational event. It began the year after STC Alberta hosted the 2003 STC Region 7 Conference. From the Region 7 Conference surplus, the chapter has been subsidizing fees for chapter members, to bring well-known international speakers to present an intensive, one-day workshop. During the workshop, the speaker presents a first-class educational experience, which makes for an ideal professional development opportunity. Attendees obtain information about a different tool or concept, or more knowledge about a familiar topic. With workshop registration, attendees also have free admission to a Meet and Greet social event the evening before the workshop. This is an excellent opportunity to meet and mingle with the speaker. The workshop starts early with breakfast, and has additional breaks for lunch and snacks. STC Alberta typically holds a New Heights workshop each year.


newheightsNew Heights 2015 will be held the evening of October 22 (mixer/program) and all day October 23 (workshop). This year’s presenter will be Geoff Hart. His presentation is called “Information Design: Designing Documents That People Really Want to Read and Use.”

Designing Documents that People Really Read and Use

Words are great things and we’d all have to find honest work without them.

Figuring which words we need to use isn’t so hard. But how do we clarify the difference between carmine and crimson? How do we specify the location of the 200 pixels that we want someone to click or tap midway through a procedure? Sometimes you really need an image. Warning: Some graphic language.

Pictures are lovely to look at, though not always easy to create. Also, it is not so simple to get people to look at the parts we want them to look at.

Sometimes a technical communicator just has to resort to words… or (here’s a thought!) combine them!

About the Presenter

Geoff Hart has reputedly been telling tales (sometimes ending up in considerable trouble thereby) since he was 6, but he took nearly 25 years to realize that he could earn a living at this trade. Since 1987, he’s worked as a technical writer and scientific editor for IBM, the Canadian Forest Service, and the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada. Geoff specializes in authors who have English as a second language. He also does technical writing and French translation.

Since 2004, he’s been a freelancer (and only occasionally stops complaining about his boss). He claims to have survived at least two bouts of leading or managing publications groups with only a minor need for ongoing therapy. He has published over 400 non-fiction articles on communication, as well as the books Effective Onscreen Editing and Writing for Science Journals.

Geoff is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication ( He says that he spends an altogether unreasonable amount of time mentoring colleagues. His training is in plant ecology and plant physiology, which continue to fascinate him. In his spare time, he has created three science fiction novels and a short story collection. Visit him online at

Event Details

Date: Friday, October 23, 2015
Location: Innovate Calgary (formerly  CTI), 3553 – 31 Street NW, Calgary (Alastair Ross Technology Centre) (map)
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, and drinks)

Registration for the October 23 Workshop

The rates are $325* for STC and affiliate members; $275** STC Alberta student members; $625 for non-members.

* If you live more than 50 km from Calgary, please pay the full fee and email the Treasurer for $50 reimbursement.

** If you are an STC Student Member, please pay the full fee and email the Treasurer for a $50 rebate.

Register for Event

Registration for the October 22 Evening Event

Join us for a mixer and program with our New Heights presenter, Geoff Hart. STC Alberta is hosting an evening program where Geoff will be giving a talk about “Efficiency 101” on the Thursday evening before the full-day workshop. If you can’t make it to the workshop, then this is an excellent opportunity to meet an internationally renowned professional in our industry. If you are already registered for New Heights, then you can attend this mixer and program for free!


Date: Thursday, October 22, 2015
Time: 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Location: Innovate Calgary, 3553 – 31st Street NW (large boardroom) (map)
Cost (including snacks and drinks):

  • Members $15
  • Non-members $30
  • Students $10
  • Guests $20
  • New Heights workshop registrants – free

Register for Event

 Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received by email [] on or before October 01 (three weeks before the seminar) will be refunded the registration fee minus a $25 administration fee. Cancellations received between October 01 and October 10 will be refunded the registration fee minus a $50 administration fee. Cancellations will not be refunded after October 10. Substitutions are permitted. However, the substitute person must have the same membership and geographical category as the original registrant; otherwise, the person must pay the cost difference.

Past New Heights Workshops

  • New Heights 2014 – “Getting Your Small Business Started” Presenter: Katherine (Kit) Brown-Hoekstra.
  • New Heights 2013 –  “Goal-directed Audience Analysis: Who’s Using your Content?” Presenter: Judith L. Glick-Smith.
  • New Heights 2012 – “New Heights: “Modern Editing: Improving Product Quality.” Presenter: Linda Oestreich.
  • New Heights 2011 – “The Treasure and the Hunt: Content as an Extension of User Experience.” Presenter: Rahel Anne Bailie.
  • New Heights 2010 – “Instructional Design.” Presenter: Bernard Aschwanden.
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