2nd IAPTI International Conference in Athens: Facts & Feelings

Anastasia Giago... 0
2nd IAPTI International Conference, Athens - Group Photo

It's been almost three weeks since IAPTI's conference and I am still struggling to decide what is worth writing about and how to put my million thoughts in order. This morning, as I was surfing in various blogs, translation-related or not, it just hit me! Why not just write this post according to the "3F Rule"! I actually just came up with this rule. It stands for "Facts Follow Feelings" and it's a simple, clean, thought organiser kind of rule… I guess… Well, it works for me! So, let's take it from here!

  •     Social Networking: Live Streaming

As a freelancer I usually spend most of the day in front of my computer. So, this conference was a great opportunity to meet a number of respected and admired colleagues in person. I dined and chatted with well-known professionals whom I "read" every day online and with whom I had a blast discussing anything that goes under the Sun: From serious translation-related issues (e.g. the consequences of donating translations to worldwide famous NGOs - I will extensively talk about it in another post, thank you Attila, for the in-depth analysis) to the delightful Kevin Lossner's story-telling of homemade wine and jam (Kevin, in the next IAPTI conference, you have to bring some samples of all these delicacies)! The conference was also a great opportunity to see old friends from many years back again (Evi, it was so nice to see you after all this time!) and make some new ones (Maria, Valeria, Marta, Sara, etc. you all rock!). All in all, I must admit that social networking in general was a huge success!

  •    Food for Thought

During the conference I attended a number of presentations given by people I've only met online or of whom I haven't heard before. Presentation-wise, it was, once again, totally worth it. I had the feeling that I was part of a global discussion around some of the most burning issues with a direct or indirect effect to each and every professional in the translation industry. Some presentations focused on more theoretical topics, such as pro bono work for humanitarian organizations and all possible dangers for our profession, given by Attila Piróth. Whereas, other sessions dealt with more practical issues, like the challenges of software localisation from a translator’s point of view and possible solutions with a certain degree of creativity, given by Dorota Pawlak. In any case, each presentation gave me a lot to think about: I got plenty of ideas for my blog posts; I enriched my knowledge on issues affecting our profession, such as unethical agency strategies, international rates for translation services, business planning, the importance of branding in our business and many more. In a few words, this conference made me see freelancing and all these burning issues shaping the future of our profession from a different, very enlightening perspective. So, the gaining knowledge goal was 100% accomplished!

  •     Get Inspired

One of the reasons I decided to attend the 2nd IAPTI International Conference was that I wanted to learn. In order to boost my business I needed to learn about the new industry trends, to gain insight of some of the most effective business growth and development strategies and to find ways on how to market my services more successfully. There is no better way to access all these business boosters than listening to the real experts talking in front of big audiences or even giving tips and sharing information during one-to-one conversations. I got inspired by many great presentations, but the one that stood out was Marta Stelmaszak's "Boost your business with a plan. Development and growth strategies for freelance translators".  This session was really inspiring and helped me start creating a business plan that I strongly believe will help my business grow effectively. I can assure you that I left the conference all filled up with inspiration and self-confidence that I am going to make it! If this isn't an inspirational booster, I don’t know what is!

  •    Business Investment

When the conference rates were announced, I was kind of shocked since the price was too high (at least, that's what I thought at first) even if you didn't have to book a plane ticket or a hotel room. Basically, it was the first time I had attended such a conference and I was not aware of the costs. So, at first, high price made me think twice about registering for this event. But, when I saw the final conference program and all those outstanding speakers, I started to think that I really have to register, since it seemed like a huge opportunity for me in many ways. I have to admit it. This was one of the best translation-related decisions I have ever made. These 2 days were full of mingling with gifted translators ready to share their knowledge, new business opportunities and a number of practical ideas on how to improve translators' way of working. To sum up, whether you are new in the translation industry or just need a career booster, attending a conference is a great investment career-wise. All money spent on a conference will be repaid many times in many forms. I have gained so much from the IAPTI event that I have already registered for another outstanding conference I really can't wait to attend! I will tell you all about it when I get back from London!

  •     Translator Fun!

It is not all about work! A conference is a great opportunity to get away from your desk and actually live and have fun with real people.
Freelancing can be so demanding that most of the time, we find ourselves sitting in front of our computers non-stop, even for several days. Most frequently, after a project with a tight deadline has just been delivered, a new one with an even tighter delivery just lands in our inbox. We just keep going and going without realizing that we are about to get sucked by our computer screen! So, what can we do? My advice is to stop this madness and try to have some fun out in the real world! What a better way to do this than get away for a few days at a conference? There, you can get together with fellow translators who can actually understand what you are going through and don't treat you like a newly discovered species from Planet Melmac (trust me, it makes you feel really weird)! At the end of the day, you have the chance to visit a beautiful city, see different places and try some of the local delicacies. You can just even be a tourist in your own city! I did that and I had a blast discovering a whole new Athens! I had so much fun that I nearly bought a magnet for my fridge! Don't just wait for an invisible hand to drag you away from your chair. Go online, find a conference that interests you and book yourself a seat!

This is only a small part of the things you can gain from attending a conference like the IAPTI. There are many things you can learn and you will find many ideas that will help you strengthen your presence in the translation industry. You also have a good chance to acquire new clients or you can make some really good friends along the way.   

For me, it was a totally worthy experience that I would definitely repeat without a shadow of a doubt. So, if you need a boost in your career or you feel that you need to change something in your business but you are not sure how to do that, it's time to take some action and get the ship ready to sail again out in the open!

If you have any translation conference experience that you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.

Anastasia

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January 2012

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Anastasia is a member of: American Translators Association | Associate member (membership number: 254614)  Anastasia is a member of: IAPTI - International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters | Member (membership number: 730)  Anastasia is a member of: Institute of Translation & Interpreting | Associate member (AITI) (membership number: 00013479)  Anastasia is a member of: Panhellenic Association of Translators | Full member (membership number: 399)  Anastasia is a member of: Proz.com Certified PRO Network Translator | Full member  Anastasia is also a volunteer Translator for Translators Without Borders  Anastasia is a member of: Business School for Translators  Anastasia is a member of: Hellenic Tourism Society