Getting the most out of industry events: Part five 2

This is the fifth post in a series of weekly blog posts with tips to get the most out of translation industry events (see Part onePart twoPart three and Part four). 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)!


During the event

Tip 5: leave shyness at home

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Coffee break at the last ProZ.com regional conference in Porto, Portugal (May 24th, 2014)

Some people are more open than others to new experiences and to meeting new people. However, most of us may inevitably experience some level of anxiety when attending an industry event. At some point, arriving at a place we have never been to before, introducing ourselves to unknown people, socializing or engaging in conversation may make us feel uncomfortable and nervous. This, in turn, may affect how we behave around others, how others see us and how we will be remembered when the event is over.

So, what can we do to overcome shyness and get the most out of networking opportunities during industry events? Here are some tips:

  • Make a mental list of conversation starters: try to think of two or three topics that may interest other event attendees (rates, clients, marketing, CAT tools) and use these to open conversations and keep them going. You may start by introducing yourself and then asking the other person a question (“Hi, I’m Joe Doe. I’m from Spain. Where are you from? Do you offer your services internationally or to local clients only?”).
  • Approach people you know: start by looking for one or two attendees that you may know (from social networks, from past events, from contacting them prior to the event, etc.) and warm up slowly, initiating small talk, asking questions, smiling. Once you feel more at ease with yourself, reach out to other attendees, join small groups, introduce yourself, ask them if they are having a good time.
  • Avoid seating or wandering about alone: during event presentations, coffee breaks and meals, try to always seat or stand next to other attendees. But, careful! Seating next to colleagues or simply standing next to them won’t do the trick (don’t expect others to welcome you just because you are there). Talk to them, introduce yourself, smile, make eye-contact.
  • Breath, smile and relax: most of the people in the room feel just like you and are there for the same reasons: to learn, network and have fun. So, go ahead, take a deep breath, relax your body (no arms crossed!), put your phone in your pocket and give yourself the chance to know them and them the chance to know you.

And if all of the above fails, here is the best tip of all: be yourself. Yes, you are a language professional, but you are also you. You work as a translator or as an interpreter, but you also have a personal life that others may be interested in or may identify with. Keep your personal style, let others know who you are, where you come form, what interests you. This is what attracts not only clients and colleagues, but also friends.

How do you overcome shyness?

Share below.

(Don’t be shy)

The next part in this series will propose tips to make an impression during an industry event. Stay tuned!

 

Getting the most out of industry events: Part four 5

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.

GabrielCabrera

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:

  • PisaConfTwitter

    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!

Meet the speaker: Irene Koukia, proposing a business plan 2

Irene Koukia is a former International Travel Consultant and current full-time freelance English-Greek-German translator. Irene is also a ProZ.com trainer and mentor, and she is getting certified as a Business Coach and studying Business Administration. She has been invited to present at the upcoming ProZ.com 2014 international conference in Pisa, Italy, that will take place on June 28th and 29th.

 

The interview

How did you get started in translation?

Actually, I always wanted to become a translator, but I was afraid that I would not be able to make a living translating. After some health issues during my former occupation as a Travel Agent, I decided to continue translation studies I had left unfinished a few months before resigning and take it from there. I started to learn actively, attend webinars, perform pro-bono work in order to gain experience. At the same time, I created a web-site, filled out on-line profiles, sent resumes, etc. It took me about six months to get established, but I haven’t stopped working as a translator ever since.

What was the most important obstacle for you to overcome in building your career as a language professional?

Actually, obstacles were more than one, but in a few words, mainly the following:

  • extremely low rates and way too long payment terms by translation agencies,
  • direct clients that turn out to be fraudulent,
  • extremely high taxation and social security expenses,
  • insecurity in terms of cash-flow and/or work coming in,
  • long hours working,
  • and gaining experience in order to become competent.

What is the greatest issue facing translators working in your country or with the languages in which you offer services?

I mainly translate into Greek and German, and I recently moved to Belgium from Greece. The greatest issues I had are mainly:

  1. Extremely low competition rates into Greek: Greek translators are marketing their rates way too low compared to other countries. In addition, translation agencies offer them even lower rates, thus resulting in problems getting an assignment at a fair price.
  2. Extremely high taxation and social security expenses: Greek government treats self-employed as ‘thieves’ in general, thus it is very hard to survive as a freelance translator. In addition, if you do work with Greek clients (agencies or direct), you will need to take into account long payment terms and delays due to lack of cash-flow, something that has its roots in Greek taxation policy.

What is your prediction for the future of human translation?

I believe that human translation is something that will always be required. No matter how good automated translation becomes, it can’t replace the human in any case. Automation may help translators work faster, but it will never ever replace them.

You will be presenting in the upcoming ProZ.com international conference in Pisa on the topic of “Thinking of Becoming an Outsourcer? Draft Your Business Plan”. What can conference attendees expect to learn or know from your presentation?

My presentation is about outsourcing. I will highlight all work involved into becoming an outsourcer and provide attendees with useful tips in order to get organized with the minimum possible risk. You already know I am a huge fan of free and/or low-cost software, so you will definitely get some useful tips on that! Of course, I will be very happy to answer on any question. Looking forward to seeing you in Pisa!

ProZ.com international conference in Pisa, Italy

Join Irene and other language professionals on June 28-29 in Pisa, Italy, for the annual ProZ.com 2014 international conference.

Visit event page »            View event program »            View related social events »


Have you ever considered expanding your business by outsourcing work?

Post below or discuss in ProZ.com forums

ProZ.com 2014 regional event in Porto, Portugal: tools and strategies Reply

After the great success of the ProZ.com 2013 international conference in Porto, Portugal, ProZ.com and event organizers Paula Ribeiro and Maria Pereira are organizing a regional event again in the city of Porto for language professionals with years of experience as well as for those who are just starting out in the translation business.

This regional event, scheduled for May 24th, 2014, will offer attendees an entire day of presentations, a pre-event powwow on Friday night and the possibility to learn, network and have fun with colleagues.

The program

The event program includes four sessions, two coffee breaks and one lunch. With the purpose of discussing and learning more about tools and strategies freelancers can use to cope with industry challenges, presentations will cover topics such as project management, personal branding and business issues. To see a full version of the event program, click here.

The speakers

This regional event will have the presence of five well-known speakers of the translation community:

125715_r52cf3322971eeRui Sousa

Holding a Degree in Translation Studies (English/French branch) at the Instituto Superior de Línguas e Administração (ISLA-Gaia), Rui Sousa collaborated with several Portuguese and international companies as an in-house and freelance translator. Between 2010 and 2012, he worked as a project manager at a translation agency in Porto, being directly involved in the agency’s day-to-day business. In October 2013, he created Mind Words® venture in partnership with her colleague Luísa Matos, offering services in translation, specialized training and linguistic consultancy. He is a certified trainer and a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (IoL), reputed translators association based in London. In his free time, he loves travelling and hanging out with friends. He enjoys cinema, sushi and bossa nova.


23970_r511fdbdd6a8bcLuisa Matos

Luisa holds a Degree in Specialized Translation (English/German branch) at the Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administração do Porto (ISCAP). She is a freelance translator and a certified trainer since 2001, and worked as a translation project manager for twelve years. In October 2013, she created Mind Words® venture in partnership with his colleague Rui Sousa. In her free time, she practices Tai Chi, Lu Jong and plays the violin. Also loves reading and music.


1302197_r5106369d6ee1aMarta Stelmaszak

Marta is a Polish-English translator and interpreter specializing in law, IT, marketing, and business. She is a member of the Management Committee of the Interpreting Division at the Chartered Institute of Linguists and a Co-head of the UK Chapter of the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters. She is also an Associate of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, a qualified business mentor, a member of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is currently studying for master’s degree in Management, Information Systems and Innovation at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Recently, she’s been awarded with the Higher Education Social Entrepreneurship Award. Marta runs the Business School for Translator, a blog for translators and interpreters with an entrepreneurial angle recently turned into an online course. Marta is active on Twitter and Facebook where she’s sharing information related to the business side of being a translator or interpreter.


783740_r478376bd9b1fbValeria Aliperta

Valeria, member of IAPTI and Head of External Relations, Associate of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, member of ASETRAD, is a conference interpreter and translator working from English, Spanish and French into her native Italian. Her fields of expertise are IT, fashion, design, marketing, legal and advertising. With a soft spot for blogging and social media (she organised the Tweet‐Up at the 2010 ITI Conference), she was listed as 15th Top Twitterer and 21st Top Facebook Page in the Language Lovers 2012 contest. She runs monthly gatherings of colleagues, the London TweetUps, in London. Along with talks and webinars, she writes articles and guest posts on branding / corporate identity and regularly contributes to the ITI Bulletin. In 2013 she has launched Rainy London Branding, an all‐new sister site to Rainy London Translations, entirely dedicated to branding and identity consultancy. Along with Marta Stelmaszak, she runs The Freelance Box, a series of hands‐on, no-nonsense, in‐person courses on the practical side of the freelance translation business.


12742_r4fb7bb01c2c39João Roque Dias

João is a mechanical engineer and technical translator. He discharged several duties in engineering, consulting and construction companies in Portugal, Israel, Denmark, United States, Bermuda and Mozambique. He is a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International), an independent translator since 1989 and a corresponding member of the American Translators Association (ATA) since 1993, also certified by them in English-Portuguese. João was also an ATA Accreditation Exams Grader from 1994 until 2001 and Vice-chair of the Organizing Committee of contrapor2006 – 1st Portuguese Translation Conference. He also acted as a scientific advisor and speaker at the 2007, 2009 and 2010 TRADULÍNGUAS Translation Conferences (Lisbon, Portugal). A well-known speaker in translation related events around the world, João is also a trainer of mechanical engineering translation and professional development for translators, and author of several articles and glossaries related to technical translation and mechanical engineering. More about Joao can be found on his website or via Facebook.

The event

The event will take place on May 24th at the HF Ipanema Porto Hotel from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM CET. To register for this event, visit the event page and click on “Sign up now”. To save your seat, just click on “Buy now to register” in the pricing box.

What tools do you use to cope with industry challenges? What strategies have you applied (or are you planning to apply) to improve the way you manage your translation business? Share below!

Summary of the V Conferência Brasileira de Tradutores do ProZ.com in Recife 3

Almost one week after the V Conferência Brasileira de Tradutores do ProZ.com, phrases such “Disrupt yourself now!” and “Translators of the world, unite! We are stronger together.” seem to keep echoing in participants’ minds. Nineteen speakers, twenty different sessions, two powwows, Tweets, Facebook posts, feedback comments, pictures and videos made of this conference a great success, reminding translation professionals of the importance of constant networking and professional development.

What did this event offer to ProZ.com members?

  • Twenty sessions divided in two tracks.
  • Two powwows, one at Restaurante Parraxaxá, specialized in Northeastern plates, and a second one at Entre Amigos Praia, a restaurant with the prefect atmosphere to be with fiends!
  • Sightseeing around Recife, the Brazilian Venice.
  • The chance to meet fellow translators, promote themselves among peers and learn how to get the most out of the translation profession.

As a ProZ.com staff member, I enjoyed my visit to Recife and meeting some ProZ.com Brazilian members for the first time and seeing others again. It was a great experience! Thanks Ju Chaad and Nina Cavalcanti for working tirelessly over the past year to bring this great conference to life. Also, thanks speakers for sharing your time, energy and expertise. And, above all, thank you attendees for making this event possible!

What now?

Hope to see you all soon at the next ProZ.com event!

Lucía