On 17 September, top plain language experts from around the world and people new to plain language gathered to the opening of PLAIN's 2015 conference in Dublin Castle. There was a palatable air of excitement - and, the conference did not disappoint.
The theme for this 10th PLAIN conference was Clearer language, greater efficiency and effectiveness - a theme that reflects the importance of communicating clearly in all aspects of business and life. PLAIN is a volunteer, nonprofit organisation of plain language advocates, professionals, and organisations committed to plain language. Its growing network includes members from over 20 countries. Both PLAIN and NALA (through its Plain English Editing and Training Service) work to improve the quality of organisations' print and online communications. Clear communication benefits all involved, including people with literacy needs.
PLAIN 2015 gave delegates and contributors an opportunity to discuss plain language and to push the discussion of plain language forward. In particular, it allowed for discussion of the benefits of plain language and how should it develop - while keeping a keen focus on readers' expectations, needs and wants.
Event name: PLAIN 2015 Conference (10th conference)
Theme: Clearer language, greater efficiency and effectiveness
Date: 17-19 September 2015
Venue: Dublin Castle Conference Centre, Ireland
Days: 2 full days (18-19 September 2015)
Programme contributors: 71
Concurrent sessions: 30
Keynote speakers: 5 (Belgium, Canada, USA, UK and Ireland)
PLAIN conference: number 10 (previous conferences were held in Sydney, Vancouver, Washington DC, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Houston, and so on)
Countries represented: 18
Continents represented: 5
Sponsors and partners: 25
Award ceremonies: 2 The Christine Mowat Plain Language Achievement Award and the NALA Plain English Awards, Ireland's first plain English awards, sponsored by Mason Hayes & Curran - leading law firm
Speed mentoring (© Dominique Joseph): Two lunch time sessions but the speed mentoring was a first for PLAIN conferences
International meetings help over the period of the conference: 2
Marriage proposals - and acceptance: 1 (our congratulations to Kathyrn and her partner Brian from the USA who got engaged on the afternoon of the 17 September!)
The delegate list packed a punch. Delegates included national and international plain language - and usability specialists, policy makers, representatives from regulatory bodies, other international bodies, communication professionals, community members, students and allied professionals.
The conference was extremely important for plain language.
Some of the main benefits for plain language include:
Some typical quotes from conference contributors:
"Congratulations to you and all the other team members for staging such a great conference. These events may seem like pyrotechnic displays, with all the hard work exploding in a three-day burst of fire, smoke and light, but Dublin 2015 will live long in the memory of all who attended."
"I'm left with a positive aftertaste of the conference. Chatting to colleagues in the office about how weekend [conference] went, I have an enthusiasm that stems from the great ideas I picked up and the endorsement from an international group that I'm on the right track in my work. Well done to you and all at NALA."
Thanks again for your support.
NALA and PLAIN
Both PLAIN and NALA (through its Plain English Editing and Training Service to organisations and other services) work to improve the quality of organisations' print and online communications. Clear communication benefits all involved, including people with literacy needs.