ProZ.com International Translation Conference 2015, Rotterdam
June 13-14, 2015
Supporting each other, learning from each other
I was lucky enough to be able to attend this fantastic conference in Rotterdam this year, run by ProZ.com. I wanted to share my experience of the conference, and the wonderful learning and networking opportunities it provided, with those who may not have attended an industry event of this type before.
This conference, organised by Nigel Saych, was held at the beautiful Inntel Hotel in Rotterdam Centre. This was an incredible location and offered spectacular views over Rotterdam - a perfect setting for two full days of seminars and networking events.
Over 300 translators attended this conference, from all parts of the world. Speakers and delegates represented 25 countries between them.
Of course, the seminars were the vital part of the conference. With two tracks running simultaneously, and fascinating titles such as Top Secrets of Effective Proofreading - A powerful though underrated way to learn from each other and The Globetrotting Freelancer: Making the most of your work’s flexibility, it was actually very difficult to select which seminars to attend at times!
My personal highlight from the seminars was Marta Stelmaszak's insightful presentation titled Paradoxes of Freelancing: Maintaining individualism when belonging to a community. I follow Marta's blog and she has been a huge inspiration to me throughout my career. Meeting her in person at the conference was a great experience!
All of the seminars were incredibly well-delivered, by experienced and knowledgeable speakers.
SDL, as one of the sponsors of the conference, had a desk where they provided information and support on Trados Studio. They also gave a presentation of the latest version of the software.
Another important benefit, often overlooked, from attending industry events such as this one is the networking opportunities that can be gained.
The conference organisers did an excellent job of maximising these opportunities - providing a communal room (with a view!), free tea and coffee throughout the conference, and a number of prearranged social events, such as a walking tour of Rotterdam, meals out and even a boat trip!
Having the opportunity to get together with other translators, discuss best practices, and connect as a community is, I believe, crucial for the future of the translation industry. As freelancers working independently, it is easy to feel isolated at times. Events like this serve to remind us that we are not alone!
In conclusion, I found the ProZ.com International Translation Conference to be an incredibly useful and worthwhile experience. I learnt a lot from some real professionals, as well as picking up lots of valuable contacts and some friends for life. I'll definitely be registering for the next conference, and would highly recommend ProZ.com events to others.