Alternative types of conferences?
Thread poster: Ivana Friis Wilson

Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:30
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Jul 27, 2008

As the conference season nears, I find myself regretting that I do not have the time or money to attend any conferences in the foreseeable future.

I also see a starting trend in the conference industry for conferences without physical attendance - due to the environmental impact from travelling and the cost for larger corporations - and it should be very interesting for busy translators.

Conferences are being held as "webinars" ( or conferences held in virtual worlds such as Second Life.

What are your thoughts on online conferences? Personally I find it very exiting, as I would save a lot of time and money this way, but I fear that the translation industry will be the last to follow - we are a very suspicious bunchicon_wink.gif


Lia Fail (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
My first thought .... getting off the computer for a change:-) Jul 27, 2008

It's nice to meet colleagues for real rather than just through a website or webinar. We are already isolated enough as professionals.

It's not necessarily hugely expensive, last year I was in Madrid for 3 days and, if I remember rightly, it wasn't hugely costly. Travel was OK, I shared a room at 30 euros a night, and we paid for very little else (drinks). And the conference, of course, was paid months previously, so it was all spread out a bit. The year before I was in Tenerife, and there - becuase it's such a small place keen to be hospitable to conference goers - we paid for nothing from the moment we arrived to our hotel to the time we left.

One way to reduce costs is to get involved. Some organisers offer reductions to speakers, for example, or to people who volunteer to help out with organisation.

I forgot to add that networking is also potentially profitable, I, personally, have gotten work through participation in conferences. All in all, though, what's most important for me is the people and the training.

[Edited at 2008-07-27 18:26]

[Edited at 2008-07-27 21:06]


USER0059 (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:30
English to Finnish
+ ...
Webinars can be very useful—or very tedious Jul 27, 2008

Conferences are being held as "webinars" ( or conferences held in virtual worlds such as Second Life.

What are your thoughts on online conferences?

They are quite useful. Almost every week, I find myself attending a security-related webinar produced by (ISC)² or ISACA, and hosted by BrightTALK, a good provider.

On the other hand, I frequently also receive invitations to webinars which would require me to install proprietary software. I promptly transfer such invitations to the null device; if they are not Trojans, at least they speak of an amazing lack of basic clues. (Sheesh… what if every web site would require their visitors to install a new program before being able to view the site?)


RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:30
German to English
We need to get out a bit more... Jul 27, 2008

While I can see a place for webinars in the context of short training courses (max 1.5 hours), I really must agree with Lia that getting away from your desk, away from the computer, and interacting with real people in a live environment is a very important aspect of conferences, seminars and workshops for translators.

Two or three events a year (in addition to local evening or weekend meetings, that sort of thing) are perfectly feasible and should be budgeted by any professional translator. Environmental impact can be reduced, certainly, but the fact that you have to fly somewhere shouldn't deter anybody from going.

As both a trainer/presenter and frequent attendee, I can vouch for the benefits of personal attendance, including the opportunities for networking with colleagues and clients - and the simple fact that attendance helps reduce "cabin fever".

In my experience, "knowledge acquisition" (including conferences, seminars and workshops, as well as books and subscriptions, and so on) should account for around 10 percent of a translator's revenue so that we can keep abreast (or even ahead) of developments in both our own industry and our chosen subject area(s)



Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:30
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Real vs. virtual Jul 28, 2008

As a participant of two international, one local, and organizer of a conference yet to take place, I can only confirm Lia's words - it's nice, useful, and potentially profitable. Paying for a conference is not just spending money; it's investing in one's own development, and the return on this investment is pretty high.

Another important aspect is that it's real - as opposed to an enormous percentage of our lives spent in the virtual world. Meeting those you've known virtually for ages, interation with people who speak your language - psychologically, not linguistically - is a very refresing and encouraging experience! My life is too virtual as it is, and I wouldn't make it even more so by replacing real personal interations with e-relations, online trainings and webminars.



savaria (X)
Local time: 18:30
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I would be happy to attend free webinars Jul 28, 2008

Webinars are a great opportunity to get to know about what our colleagues are doing.
Hearing each other's voice has already become only the question of a microphone and of course of having a computer that is connected to the internet.
If arranged webinars even for non-paying(that is free) members,I would be happy to attent these webinars,especially if the fact that one has been present on such a webinar would be mentioned at my profile.
And if somebody gave a speech,than he/she could even get ID verification,as by then you can already be sure of the fact that he/she is not only a registered noname account but a real person,as you heard his/her voice and maybe even seen his/her face through webcam.
And well,ID verification is important,because you can only propose a powwow if your ID is verified,but as for me for example,the thing is,that all the powwows are arranged far away from me(for the moment even Budapest is too far from where I live(from Szombathely,the land of the antique Roman Savaria),but I would never risk using my credit card/bank card by paying 5 $s for any internet organisations.


Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:30
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Thanks for your comments Jul 28, 2008

Thank you for your comments.

I do agree with you - as we spend so much time alone in front of the computer, it is a good thing to meet colleagues etc. face to face every now again.

I do still think that smaller scale seminars and coneferences can be held online - maybe there will be a bigger audience for this.

Thor, I like the idea of your webinars - I will have to look for similar things in my fields.


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