| Why so popular?? || Oct 8, 2008 |
This is a condensed version of my reply on another proZ forum about why this conference has attracted so much interest and so many registrants.
Hopefully the information will be of interest to others who are coming or thinking of coming.
And of course if it sparks off any questions in your minds, please just ask away; that's what this forum is for!
I will be posting some great news about free products for delegates and special offers as well as some of teh great prizes tat are being finalised for the prize draw.
The Translator as Strategic Partner is a conference sponsored jointly by ITI, CIoL and ProZ.com. It has been advertised not only through the usual ProZ.com channels but also in the ITI journal (“ITI Bulletin”) and the CIoL journal (“The Linguist”), which are circulated to many thousands of translators across the UK. It has also been promoted on the websites of exhibitors and sponsoring exhibitors such as Grant & Cutler, Lexicool, LTC, SDL Trados and others.
In other words, the event has received much more coverage than previous UK ProZ.com conferences and quite a few of the registered delegates are new to ProZ, having joined to sign up to the conference and its early-bird offer.
That’s one reason why the numbers are “so high”.
What this also means is that the cross-section of delegates will be different from previous CIoL, ITI or ProZ.com conferences in being drawn from all three communities, bringing them together to network and share experiences. All three organisations will also have exhibition stands at the conference, where delegates will be able to meet representatives and members of the organisations to discuss the support they provide the profession and their plans for the future. This could be particularly relevant to many UK ProZ.com members following the recent launch of the Certified PRO Network scheme.
This partnership theme across the three organisations is part of the overall strategic partnership theme of the conference itself.
Interest in the conference is also high not only because of the topicality of the whole question of the translator’s role, but also of the high interest in the speakers themselves.
Jost Zetsche is well known as an authoritative, frank and stimulating industry commentator and speaker, above all but not only on matters technical, as well as for his very popular guidebook the Translator’s Toolbox, and regular e-zine.
Ros Schwartz, who is leading the style workshop, is an award-winning literary translator and a representative of the Translators’ Association of the Society of Authors. At the same time, she is also also one of the UK’s leading specialists in cross-cultural corporate communications. The workshop itself will be quite radical, presenting a series of technically perfect but strategically weak texts for analysis and amendment. It will be an exercise in strategical analysis as much as style and of interest to everyone, irrespective of the markets they work in.
Bill Maslen and his company The Word Gym are similarly one of the UK’s best-respected transcreation specialists. Bill has consistently been acclaimed as one of the most motivational and inspiring speakers at many UK conferences.
Cate Avery, is one of the UK’s top patent specialists with a tremendous reputation for her practical patent translation workshops.
Nick Rosenthal, owner of hi-tech translation company Salford Translations and President of the UK Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication was one of the very first translators with a regular column on translation technology and continues to be a leading maker and shaker in current trends.
Jay Kettle-Williams in one of the UK’s top high-profile language consultants to industry and an extremely sought-after speaker.
I could go on like this for each and every one of the speakers. Suffice it to say that any of these professionals could be the headline or keynote speaker promoting a normal conference. Getting them all together in one event to examine related themes and being able to hear them discussing how they work with their clients, presenting together with those clients, conducting workshops and engaging in outspoken debate with one another as well as with some of the leading translation technology companies in the world - these make the Translator as Strategic Partner a very special conference indeed. The high number of registrants reflects this.
Practical information on translation technology will also be provided, including a recommended products list. That will be part of my contribution. If you’d like to find out more about what I will be bringing to the conference, there’s a selection of articles from my 15 years’ contributions to translation journals and conferences etc. in the Resources section of my website, here: http://www.michaelbenis.com/index_files/Page341.htm
The whole conference has in addition been structured to support networking and debate, with the delegates being seated around large tables that allow mini-break-out sessions in the workshops while facilitating discussion and socialisation between sessions.
This will be particularly interesting because the conference has attracted a strong mix of delegates both across and from outside the translation industry (a further reason for the high numbers): end-clients, project managers and account handlers, translation company owners, technologists and of course freelance translators.
And then we shouldn’t forget the main theme of the conference itself: how the translator's role is changing and growing. This conference won’t just provide an array of interesting talks, it will equip delegates with an integrated series of approaches for strengthening their translation and customer support practices, together with their marketing. It’s a conference that has been designed by some of the industry’s most successful professionals to provide a framework that can help all attendees achieve immediate practical results. The programme has therefore been structured as an integrated whole and the different sessions inform and support one another. That’s why there isn’t a range of simultaneous smaller sessions. We went for quality and integrated coverage in the sessions, not the quantity of speakers and sessions.
Doing things any other way simply wouldn't have enabled us to offer so many practical opportunities to explore industry’s questions about the translation profession and to provide translators and translation companies with an immediate practical return on their investment, something many conferences are criticised for failing to deliver.
Lastly, about the meals: well, the same thinking is at work there, too. We’ve reserved private rooms to provide a secure and somewhat quieter networking environment than would be possible otherwise. Despite getting hold of the largest restaurant rooms available, with the capacity to seat up to 75 on the Friday and 100 on the Saturday, it’s clear that although - yes - there are till places left, many more people will be wanting places than there are places available. If the numbers keep rising, we can try and add rooms or venues, but only advance planning and advance booking will allow us to do that.
Incidentally I have now posted the menus for the meals in another thread of this forum, so you can see exactly what you will be getting.
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