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PubPro 2016: Fourth Annual Unconference for Managing Editors and Publication Production Professionals

A pre-conference professional development event

Who is this for?
What’s the format?
Why an unconference?
Where is it?
When is it?
What should I do if I want to present or to lead a discussion?
How do I register? 

Who is this 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. If you do any of the following:

  • Work for an organization or for clients that create publications (including self-publishers)
  • 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

. . . you’re invited to attend PubPro, the annual unconference for the professionals who do what you do.

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

We’re particularly excited about this year’s event, which will be offered immediately before the annual national Editors Canada conference. As a result, we’re expecting publishing pros from across the country (and beyond) to join us.

What’s the format?

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.

Possible topics:

  • Recruiting, training, and retaining freelancers
  • Freelancer communication
  • Creating and maintaining house style guides
  • Scheduling
  • Project management software for publications
  • Paying by the project vs. 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

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.

Where is it?

It will be at the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites, 1763 Comox St, Vancouver. We’ll meet in the Nelson Room to kick off the day.

When is it?

Friday, June 10, 2016, 9:30 am–3:00 pm. Here’s how the day will look:

 9:00–9:30    Check-in
 9:30–10:15    Opening remarks
   Speakers pitch topics, participants vote, and program is set
10:20–11:00    Sessions
11:05–11:45    Sessions
11:50–12:30    Sessions
12:30–1:20    Lunch
 1:20–2:00    Sessions
 2:05–2:45    Sessions
 2:45–3:00    Event debriefing and closing remarks

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

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 (if several participants pitch the same topic, your sessions might be consolidated) 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 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.

How do I register?

Registration for PubPro 2016 and the national Editors Canada conference itself is now open. Email event facilitator Iva Cheung if you have questions about the event.

The event’s official hashtag is #PubPro2016. To see what we discussed in past years, check out:

Thanks to Globalme Language & Technology for supporting our event by providing projection equipment.

*About the event facilitator: Before she became an independent publishing consultant, Iva Cheung was editor and editorial coordinator at D&M Publishers, where she implemented editorial communication, workflow, and quality control systems. Iva, who holds a Master of Publishing degree from Simon Fraser University, is a Certified Professional Editor and a winner of Editors Canada’s Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. She blogs about editing and publishing at