Getting the most out of industry events: Part nine Reply

This is the ninth post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events (click here to see a full list of previous posts). As explained in the first part, tips are grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!


After the event

Tip 9: keep in touch

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Coffee break during the ProZ.com 2014 international conference in Pisa, Italy

Translation industry events represent a great opportunity to meet potential clients and collaborators. However, meeting them and taking to them during the event may not be enough to get them to remember you and to later contact you for collaboration. So, what can you do to make sure event attendees you met and that may become clients keep your name in mind? Let’s see…

  • Send them a nice-meeting-you email: if you did your homework during the event, you should have a few email addresses and business cards in your briefcase. Send a short email message to colleagues that have the potential of becoming business partners or clients (those who work in your expertise fields and language pairs, or those who own or work for translation companies). Let them know that it was nice meeting them and that you hope you can collaborate in the future. Make sure you are clear about the services you offer and that they may use. What’s important here is that you send them a personalized message and not a general one that you may send others as well.
  • Add them to your social networks: search for potential clients and collaborators who attended the event in social and professional networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When doing so, just make sure that your profile is a professional one or that the posts you make and that they see are related to the services you offer (most social networks allow you to set visibility and privacy permissions).
  • Add them to your chat list: if you use chat software such as Skype, add potential clients you met as contacts. This may increase your chances of being contacted by them for rush projects or for projects for which they don’t have anyone in mind.
  • Include their names in greetings or gift list: if once in a while you take some time to thank your clients or send them a card or a gift (for Christmas or New Year for example), make sure you include potential clients’ names in the recipient list as well. This will let them know that you keep them in mind and help them to keep your name in their mind as well.
  • Invite them to future events you plan to attend: if there are any future events that you are planning to attend and that you believe may be of interest to these potential clients or colleagues, make sure you take a few minutes to invite them and show them that you are willing to see them again. You may invite them via email or social networks as long as your message is short and to the point.

In general, keeping in touch with potential clients is easier than meeting them for the first time. So, if you managed to leave your shyness aside and make an impression during the event, you should be able to stay connected afterwards, increasing your chances of getting collaboration requests and even making new friends. In the end, and as Socrates puts it, be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, continue firm and constant.

How do you keep in touch with potential clients and collaborators?

Share below.


The next –and last– part in this series will provide you with one last tip to get the most our of industry events. Keep in touch!

Summary of the ProZ.com 2014 international conference in Pisa, Italy Reply

It’s been a week since the ProZ.com 2014 international conference in Pisa, Italy, and I still wake up thinking about diversification, machine translation, negotiation, marketing and other translator challenges. Fortunately, I can see from social network comments and attendees’ feedback that I’m not the only one! Without a doubt, Sunday and Saturday sessions, lectures, workshops and social events not only offered those who attended the opportunity to learn, network and have fun, but also left us thinking about the conference main topic: Looking forward: skills, challenges and perspectives.

Twenty presentations, a sightseeing tour around Pisa, a gala dinner, two powwows and the presence of a great number of language professionals made this great conference. Translators and interpreters had the chance to meet colleagues, promote themselves, learn how to get the most our of their profession and have fun.

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So, what now? If you attended the ProZ.com 2014 international conference in Pisa, Italy, you are invited to:

If you did not attend this conference, you can:

And don’t forget to sign-up for the 2015 international conference to be organized by Nigel Saych:

ProZ.com 2015 international conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands »

Or propose your own ProZ.com event.

Special thanks to Daniela Zambrini, an amazing event organizer and a great friend, to Valentina Pardini and Catia Argirò for their outstanding assistance, to speakers for sharing their time and knowledge, to sponsors for their support of the event, to Esther Zambrini for recording great conference moments with her camera, and to attendees for being there to make of this conference a huge success!

Looking forward to seeing you all again soon!

Lucia

Getting the most out of industry events: Part four 4

This is the fourth post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events (see Part one, Part two and Part three). As explained in the first part, tips will be grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!


Before the event

Tip 4: design a marketing plan

In general, attending conferences and other industry events costs not only time, but also money. Taking a couple of days off, sometimes travelling and staying at hotels, attending networking dinners, all these represent an expense. However, as your own business owner, it’s up to you to turn these expenses into an investment. How? By designing a marketing plan to be implemented before, during and after the event, and that allows you to see a return of your investment through new clients and collaborators.

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Personalized business cookies baked by Gabriel Cabrera and shared with attendees to the ProZ.com 2013 regional event in Madrid, Spain.

The first step in drafting a marketing plan to be implemented when attending an industry event may consist of defining three basic points:

  • What you want to accomplish: define your marketing goals. Do you want to make yourself / your company known? Do you want to build better relationships with colleagues? Do you want to meet new clients / collaborators? Do you want to share information, content or opinions with others in the industry? Do you want to explore new service types / approaches? Do you want to raise funds to support a further investment?
  • What tools you will use: make a list of the marketing tools you will use to reach your goals. Social media tools, CV / resume, business cards, demos, other marketing items.
  • How you will use those tools: decide how you will use each marketing tool. Will you give a business card to every attendee or just to those who may be potential clients / collaborators? Will you give a demo presentation of your services to potential clients only or to everyone? Will you use social media to target potential clients, potential clients and colleagues in general, or potential clients and potential collaborators? Will you give a copy of your CV to sponsors? Defining the use of your marketing tools will require defining your target audience and this will depend on what you want to accomplish.

Other important points may relate to timing (when you will use marketing tools or when you’d like to accomplish your marketing goals).

Once you have defined marketing goals, tools and their use, it’s time to implement your plan. Keep in mind that there are plenty of marketing strategies you can apply even weeks before an event (most of these using online resources). Start announcing your attendance to the event, show potential attendees how you are preparing yourself, get in touch with attendees you will want to meet in person and make arrangements. Almost everything counts when it comes to promoting yourself while learning, networking and having fun!

Do you have a marketing plan for attending industry events? What does it include?

Post below.


The next part in this series will start introducing tips to get the most out of industry events while they occur. Stay tuned!

Getting the most out of industry events: Part three Reply

This is the third post in a “Getting the most out of translation industry events” weekly series. As explained in the first part, tips will be grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!


Before the event

Tip 2: plan your event

Attending an industry event should be more than just showing up. Yes, signing up and being there are important, but these two may not pay off if not supported by some serious planning. Mind you that planning here does not entail flight and hotel booking, or finding a good friend who is willing to water your plants. Planning your event means preparing yourself to learn, network and have fun.

iStock_000017671802XSmallIf you are planning to attend an industry event, here are some tips for you to start making your own plans:

  • Carefully pick the sessions you will attend: check the conference program and the learning objectives of each session. Keeping in mind your own learning objectives and your business plan, sign up for sessions that will provide you with information that you don’t have and that could help you to improve your work and expand your business (i.e. presentations that you could not give yourself).
  • Prepare questions: once you have signed up for sessions of your interest, prepare a set of questions for which you would like answers. You may ask these questions during the QA portion of the session, or to the speaker during a coffee break or at lunch.
  • Know the speakers: familiarize yourself with speakers, know their names, their background and the presentations they will be offering. Remember that, even if you are not attending a given speaker’s session, you will still have plenty of opportunities to network with them and discuss topics of interest to both.
  • Know the sponsors: in general, translation industry events are sponsored by companies that are also part of this industry and that may offer a wide range of solutions to language professionals. Find out who is sponsoring the event you are attending and what they offer. Do they sell language services? If so, are they hiring? Do they sell translator software tools? Which ones? Can you get a demo for free?
  • Spot attendees with common interests: if there is a list of attendees available, search for colleagues working in your top language pairs and fields of expertise. Get their names and, if possible, contact them in advance and make plans to share a drink. Meeting with colleagues who have the same specialization could help you to learn more about your niche (rates, volume, types of clients, etc.).
  • Share your plan with others: now that you are familiar with sessions and have signed up for the ones that interest you, and you know the speakers, the sponsors and a few colleagues with the same interests as you, share your plans with other attendees. Let colleagues know the sessions you are planning to attend and why, the questions you would like those sessions to answer, the speakers you can’t wait to meet. This will encourage other attendees to do the same and set the tone for the event before it even starts. For more pre-event networking tips, see Getting the most out of industry events: Part one and Getting the most out of industry events: Part two.

Remember, if you want to optimize the value of attending an industry event, making plans before attending is as important as showing up that day (if not more!). Think of your plan as a strategy to achieve a return on your investment of time and money into an event. In the end, you will attend an event to network, but also to learn how to do your job better and more efficiently.

Do you make your own plan before attending industry events? 

Post below.


The next part in this series will discuss tips to develop a marketing plan before attending an industry event depending on your goal(s).

Getting the most out of industry events: Part two Reply

This is the second post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events. As explained in the first part in this series, tips will be grouped into “before the event”, “during the event” and “after the event” for easy reference. Please feel free to post below and share your tip(s)!


Before the event

Tip 2: keep yourself updated

It is not uncommon for event registrants to forget all about an event after confirming their participation and until a week or two before the event takes place. This may happen due to work overload or simply because they believe there isn’t anything else they can do until the event happens. However, it is actually by staying up-to-date about event-related news that registrants will not only know more about the event (what is being planned, what has been changed or updated, etc.), but also apply some strategies to get the most out of it.

Here are some tips to stay up-to-date on industry event news:

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    ProZ.com 2014 international conference on Twitter (#PisaConf)

    Know, check and use event hashtag: in general, industry events have an associated hashtag (i.e. a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media sites to identify messages on a specific topic) used by event organizers, presenters, sponsors and attendees to keep each other in the loop via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook (sometimes, event organizers may even create an event page on Facebook as well). If you are planning to attend an event, make sure you know the related hashtag and that you check it regularly to learn more about event latest news (changes in program, new social events being organized, etc.). Also, use the event hashtag to let others know your plans, the presentations you have decided to attend or the social events for which you have signed up.

  • Join mailing list: industry events may also have an associated mailing list you can join. This will allow you to receive regular updates on related news in your email inbox, and even reply with questions or comments.
  • Check event page: normally, industry events have a landing page that contains the most important information about the event and links to other pages containing details. You can add this page to your browser bookmarks and check it regularly to see if any announcements are being made there.
  • Check and use forums: forums threads may be opened for specific events either on the event landing page or somewhere else (in social networks for instance). Check and track these forum threads to learn more about event news and use them to share your event plans and expectations, ask questions or schedule meetings with other attendees.

With the advancements in technology (social media and web tools), staying updated on event related news is easy and there is almost no excuse for not knowing what is going on with an event you will attend or how to get the most out of it. Make sure you use news resources to know more about any industry event in which you invest money so that such investment counts.

How do you stay updated on event-related news? 

What strategies have worked for you? What haven’t?

Post below.


The next part in this series will explain how to plan your event in advance. Just stay updated on how to get the most our of industry events!

Are spelling mistakes that funny? 5

spel_it_rite2Of course sometimes it may be funny –and even rewarding– when someone else misspells a word and you find it. You spot the error, you open your mouth so as to express surprise, but laughter comes out instead, and a “must-tell-someone” eagerness arises. But have you ever thought that the unfortunate error may actually cost a fortune to someone? Or that a misspelled word may even destroy someone’s reputation? Or cost lives? It would not be that funny then if that happened to you, right?

Last year, the American politician Mitt Romney launched an iPhone application that gave users the chance to post pictures of themselves under different slogans, with one of those slogans featuring an incorrect spelling of the word America: “A Better Amercia.” Though this error may not have had a direct impact on Romney’s campaign, some may still be wondering what happened with that application developer and his/her job.

In late 1962, the United States made the first attempt to send a spacecraft to Venus. The spacecraft –known as Mariner 1– experienced some difficulties shortly after launch that made steering impossible and directed it toward a crash. According to the Post Flight Review Board, the omission of a hyphen in coded computer instructions in the data-editing program allowed transmission of incorrect guidance signals to the spacecraft, causing the computer to swing automatically into a series of unnecessary course corrections with erroneous steering commands which finally threw the spacecraft off course. Total research, development, launch, and support cost for the Mariner series of spacecraft (Mariners 1 through 10) was approximately $554 million.

While sometimes spelling mistakes may cause someone to lose their reputation or job, it may give others the chance to make money at the same time. In 1995, Argentina issued a series of one-peso coins with the word “PROVINCIAS” (‘Provinces’ in English) spelled wrongly: “PROVINGIAS”. Since then, people have been hoarding these coins in the hope their value rises, while some are already selling them online for over twelve pesos (way more than their actual value). A similar mistake was noticed in thousands of coins issues in Chile in 2008, where the country name was spelled as “Chiie”. Still, these mistakes resulted in a good number of people losing their jobs.

An analysis of website figures made in 2011 by Charles Duncombe, an on-line entrepreneur, shows a single spelling mistake can cut on-line sales in half. So no wonder why a spelling mistake may turn into a tragedy. Duncombe says that sales figures suggested that misspellings put off consumers who could have concerns about a website’s credibility and that –believe it or not– poor spelling is a serious problem for the on-line economy.

No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes – I know I do. However, proofreading should be a must for anyone publishing. In the end, there is always the possibility to spellcheck twice or three times, while businesses, reputations or lives may not get a second chance.

How about you? Do you spellcheck everything you publish (your social network content and comments, information you share in social and professional profiles, your e-mail messages?)

Do you know any other famous spelling mistake?

What’s in a good business name? 5

As a  recent ProZ.com poll shows, while the majority of translators offer their services with their own names (68.5%), there are still professionals who choose to do business with a completely different name (22.4%) . Some may go for an invented name, others may simply add the words “Translations” or “Language services” to their real names. Still, it seems that coming up with a good business name requires some thought and time, especially if you are just starting out in the business and still building up your professional identity.

If you are in the process of naming your business, here are some tips for you to choose a memorable and winning business name:

  1. Define your client:  decide the type of client you would like to attract (clients in a given field, clients in a given country, etc.) and think about what you want your client to understand from your name.
  2. Check competitors’ names: navigate the web and familiarize yourself with business naming trends and requirements. Would you need to add “Inc.” or “Ltd.” (or none!)? Would you call your business a “Bureau”?
  3. Use short, but powerful and descriptive words: make sure the word(s) you choose for your business name are descriptive enough and that the entire name is easy to spell and to pronounce.
  4. Check for name availability and similarity: confirm that the name is not already in use or that there isn’t a similar name that may be confused with yours. Check social media for profiles that may be using the name you want and possibly taken domain names.
  5. Check for possible translations and connotations: confirm that your name has the same connotation in other languages and that it is not considered offensive or vulgar in other countries or cultures.
  6. Narrow your options: try to come up with a list of 5-10 names and then narrow it down using the criteria listed above until you choose one name, a business name that you will have to use for the rest of your business life.

Once you pick a business name, it’s time to let the world know that such business exists. Register your domain name and get your website running, get a logo and some business cards, invite clients and colleagues to network with your business. Choosing a good business name is one of the most important branding strategies you will have to apply when creating your business image, business presence is what comes next.

More on business naming and branding:

Do you have a business name? Please share it below!