Translation events 101: Virtual events 2

virtual_eventsThe virtual event starts in five minutes and you’ve just sat down to your desk, coffee in hand, ready to listen to sessions, view panel discussions, and chat with colleagues via a virtual powwow. Suddenly, as you go to enter the event, an error message pops up on your screen, or you realize that your headphones only work in one ear, or you find out that your version of Flash Plug-In is not supported
by the event platform (whatever that means).

Some pre-event planning

Don’t let this happen to you! Here are some quick and easy things you can do prior to the event to not only ensure that everything runs smoothly from a technical standpoint, but also to make certain that you are getting the most out of your virtual event experience:

  • Complete your bio. First and foremost, introduce yourself to other attendees by completing your event registration form and biography. Just visit the “My data” tab to see the information that will be visible to other attendees.
  • Check your hardware. Make sure you have a working set of headphones or speakers so you can listen in on presentations and group discussions. You also have the option of using a webcam and microphone for voice and video chat during the virtual powwows, so make sure you have those set up beforehand if you plan on using them during the event.
  • Know the program. Take a look at the “Sessions” tab to review the different sessions that will take place during the event. You can even submit any questions you may have for speakers prior to the event taking place directly on the individual sessions pages.
  • Check your software. Make sure some basic software is installed and up-to-date on your computer to ensure that everything runs smoothly when you try to access the event. See the technical requirements to enter a virtual event here: You can also run a systems check to see if your computer meets the minimum requirements necessary to enter the virtual environment by running the test available here: You’ll also need to have Adobe Flash Player Version 10.1.82 or higher installed on your computer to attend the virtual powwows and group discussions. To download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player, visit:
  • Find out who’s going. Browse the list of attendees to see who else will be attending the event. Take a look at the biographies they’ve entered and any interests they’ve expressed to get a feel for the type of people you can meet and interact with on the day of the event. You can even search through the list of registrants by name, country and company fields.
  • Tell a friend. Spread the word about the virtual event by posting to your blog, liking the event on Facebook, or tweeting the event URL and hashtag to your followers.

What to expect at the event

Once you’ve made it to the virtual conference, you can enter the session that is currently underway from the event’s program page (under the “Sessions” tab). Once that session ends, a prompt will appear on your screen indicating what the next session is, and where you can enter it. Here are the types of sessions that usually take place at a virtual event at

panel_discussionPanel discussion: Watch a panel of speakers discuss a particular topic live and via webcam. You can pose questions to speakers via a chat box at the bottom of the page.

  On-demand: Watch pre-recorded videos that are made available on-demand throughout    the entire event, and after.

group_discussionVirtual powwow: Participate in a group chat with colleagues. These sessions are typically fairly informal in that there is no set topic to discuss, and are mainly used as a “meet and greet” or icebreaker activity.

  Group discussion: These sessions take place in the virtual powwow environment, but with    a set topic to discuss.

presentationPresentation: Listen to a speaker discuss a certain theme, trend in the industry, or other point of interest via a pre-recorded or live session. A live Q&A with the presenter takes place after the session ends.

Upcoming virtual events at

Now that you know what to do to prepare for a virtual event, and you’re familiar with the types of sessions that take place during a virtual conference, let’s take a look at some upcoming virtual events at

Online Networking Event
The new Online Networking Event series seeks to connect language professionals across the globe who work in the same areas of expertise. Some upcoming events in this series are the following:


MT Is Useless and The Cloud is Slow – a discussion event
This event will take place on August 22nd and includes a panel discussion and group chat touching on the advancement of translation-related technology over the years.

2013 virtual event series
Don’t miss the 5th annual virtual events series in celebration of International Translation Day. This week-long event will kick off on Monday, September 30.

Post-event checklist

Now that you have an idea of some upcoming virtual events, let’s go over some things to keep in mind after the event has ended:

  • Follow up. Know who you spoke to and connected with during the event, and consider touching base with these individuals after the event has ended.
  • Continue the collaboration. Form a team or start a private forum to include the colleagues that you spoke with at the event.
  • Stay informed. Know that much of the content for these events is made available after they’ve ended. Sessions for virtual events are generally always recorded, and these videos can be accessed post-event by visiting the page for the specific session.
  • Stay tuned for upcoming events. Check in on the virtual conferences page to find out about new virtual events taking place on New events are announced regularly.

Next post…

This is part one of a two-part article on events at Stay tuned for the second half of this article which will focus on in-person events.

Podcast: interview with Irene Koukia on the mentoring program 1

Here’s a new podcast (see announcement).proz-mentoring

This month I had the opportunity to speak with professional trainer and member of the Certified PRO Network Irene Koukia on her role as a mentor in the mentoring program. In this interview, Irene elaborates on some of the challenges, responsibilities and benefits of being a mentor within the framework of this program.

You can listen to the interview here:

Whether you are new to the translation industry, or if you are an established professional willing to help others while further distinguishing yourself and your language services, consider participating in the mentoring program. You can find more information about the program here:

I hope you enjoy the interview. As always, any feedback, suggestions or comments can be posted here or via Twitter @ProZcom



Do you have a plan for your translation business? 4

Make more money, have more free time, translate, translate, translate. This seems to be the extent to which many freelance translators and interpreters would define their business plans.

In a poll featured on April 9, 2011, 19.5% of respondents said that they did not have a written business plan. This number decreased further in a similar survey run on September 6 of last year, in which only 8.4% of respondents stated that they had a written business plan.

Interestingly, over 37% of those who responded to yesterday’s poll answered “Yes” when asked if they had a specific plan or set of goals for their freelance businesses. Another 25.3% of participants said that while they did not currently have a concrete professional plan or set of objectives, they would like to develop one.

One might wonder what this difference in results means. Why did the minority of respondents say that they did not have a written business plan, but the majority of those polled said that they did in fact have, or would like to have, a specific plan or set of objectives for their business?


Should freelance translators or interpreters have their own websites? 6

In the past, the creation of a website to promote one’s freelance language services would have had to involve a team of professional web designers, developers and graphic artists. Nowadays, making a website to showcase your knowledge, skills and expertise as a translator or interpreter is as easy as ever, and possible to do without professional help.

In a poll featured on Nov 2, 2012, 35% of those who responded stated that they had their own professional website dedicated to promoting their translation or interpretation services. Another 27% said that they did not currently have a website, but that they would like one. Additionally, it was noted in the State of the industry: freelance translators in 2012 report that having a professional website was ranked as the third favorite channel for translator marketing, behind online platforms and emailing.


Podcast: interview with Joy Mo on her book entitled “Say Goodbye to Feast or Famine” 1

Here’s a new podcast (see announcement).

This month I had the pleasure of speaking with Joy Mo – a professional trainer and author of the book “Say Goodbye to Feast or Famine.”

In the interview, Joy offers some advice on the following points:

  • Finding quality jobs that reflect your unique expertise and skill set
  • Attracting clients who appreciate what you have to offer
  • Establishing an income generating plan to help your freelance business get off the ground
  • Devising and employing cost-effective marketing and networking strategies
  • Developing a long-term sustainable business based on your unique strengths and expertise

You can listen to the interview here:

You can learn more about Joy and sign up for her free ezine by visiting her website: You can also find Joy’s book “Say Goodbye to Feast or Famine” available in the bookstore. A list of some of the courses that Joy offers can be found here.

I hope you enjoy the interview. Feedback, comments or suggestions can be posted here or via Twitter @ProZcom


Podcast: interview with Lucia Leszinsky on powwows at Reply

Here’s a new podcast (see announcement).

On November 17th of this year, language professionals living in and around the city of La Plata, Argentina are invited to join site staff and other members in an informal get-together known as a powwow. Today I had the chance to speak with the organizer of this event, staff member Lucia Leszinsky, on the role and purpose of powwows at

Some key points of this interview are as follows:

  • What are powwows, and what happens at these events?
  • Who can attend powwows, and who can organize them?
  • Is there a fee to attend a powwow?

You can listen to this interview here:

There are over twenty powwows that are scheduled to be held in various countries by the end of this year. So, if you’re interested in meeting other members and networking with fellow language professionals, please take a look at the list of upcoming powwows found here:

I hope you enjoy the podcast. Any feedback, comments or suggestions for future podcast topics can be posted here or via Twitter @ProZcom


Podcast: interview with Konstantin Kisin on his upcoming workshop series entitled “Improve Your Essential Business Skills” Reply

Here’s a new podcast (see announcement).

This month I interviewed Certified PRO and professional trainer Konstantin Kisin on his upcoming workshops on improving essential business skills. Konstantin’s background in the psychology of communication and human behavior, as well as his extensive experience in the language services industry, give him unique insight as to how freelance translators and interpreters can improve their negotiation skills, be more productive, and achieve a better balance between work and life. These workshops will be held on November 17th, February 16th, and March 30th in the London area:

I begin this interview by asking Konstantin which characteristics make someone an effective negotiator. In his response, Konstantin dispels the notion that a good negotiator must necessarily be tough or confident – but focuses instead on the value of exhibiting what he refers to as “behavioral flexibility.” According to Konstantin, behavioral flexibility is “doing the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reasons.”

Konstantin continues by saying that negotiation skills are essential in allowing freelance translators to put themselves in control of their businesses. These skills are largely what help freelancers determine how much they are paid, when their deadlines will be, and what their working patterns will be like. In short, he explains that negotiation and communication skills are key in fostering successful and healthy relationships with clients.

Later in the interview I ask Konstantin what makes his workshops on productivity different from the rest. He explains that while most productivity courses or training sessions deal with this topic from a general business standpoint, his workshops focus specifically on what freelance translators can do to improve their productivity. As a successful freelance translator himself, Konstantin offers some unique advice focused on what language service providers can do to cut procrastination and be more productive.

Finally, I ask Konstantin to sum up what makes the content of his workshops so valuable for freelance translators and interpreters. He says that, simply put, the topics covered in this three part workshop series are aimed at helping language service providers be in control of their businesses, increase their productivity, and achieve more balance between work and life.

Think these workshops might be right for you? Be sure to check out what others have said about Konstantin’s training courses in the feedback section of the workshop pages:

Negotiation & Communication Skills – Saturday, 17 November 2012

Boost Your Productivity Now! – Saturday, 16 February 2013

Work | Life Balance – Saturday, 30 March 2013

You can listen to the interview here:

I hope you enjoy the podcast. Feedback, comments and suggestions for future podcasts topics can be directed here or via Twitter @ProZcom