The ITI Conference 2013 took place from 17th to 19th May at the Gatwick Airport Hilton Hotel and was attended by over 200 people. The programme over the three days was extensive, varied and had something interesting in store for all levels, from newcomers like myself to professionals with 20 or more years of experience in the industry. The whole conference was exceptionally well organised by the ITI team.
I attended Saturday and Sunday and was spoilt for choice with 27 presentations in three parallel sessions plus a lively Fringe programme. To name a few, presentations included talks on ‘The quest for the perfect work flow’; ‘When an accurate translation is a poor translation’; ‘ITI’s draft professional development ladder’; ‘Patent translation for beginners’; ‘Business plan mapping for niche markets’ and many more. Keynote speakers included Jost Zetsche and Lynne Everson. One of our YTI members, Andrew Leigh, showed us how ‘Being contract smart’ can help your translation business, why it’s important to have Terms of Business and what to watch out for when drafting and/or accepting a contract between a client and a freelance translator. Lynne Everson from Lifeline Language Services demonstrated a real professional quality approach demonstrating that freelancers and language service providers can work in harmony and that agencies are definitely not all sharks.
The Fringe programme included amongst others the well sought after Atlas CV Clinic, where Clare Suttie from Atlas Translations explained what makes a good CV and gave a lot of top tips for the best way to present your CV for the language job market. I also took advantage of Jules Selmes’ professional photography studio and Anne Diamantidis’ online image consultation room to boost my professional online image and presence. Other attendees including some of our YTI members proved that ‘translators and interpreters sing too’ and practised for a stunning performance on the last day.
ITI Network and Regional Groups met throughout the two days and a friendly bunch of YTI members gathered for pre-reception and conference dinner drinks in the hotel bar. The Conference Dinner proved just as stunning as the rest of the programme with a fantastic round-the-globe menu and a pudding buffet to die for. Attendees had the chance to dance off the calories during the after-dinner line dancing performance and entertainment. After all this activity, attention marathon and networking some attendees even managed a yoga session at 7am on Sunday morning! Very impressive . . . but I have to admit I preferred another hour of sleep.
All in all a great experience, I learned a lot and I’ve taken a lot of good advice home with me. I truly enjoyed the friendly and welcoming atmosphere which marked the conference where ITI members and other attendees shared their professional experiences in the translation and interpretation business with one another.
Birgit Obermuller, Harrogate, 2nd June 2013
The main conference on Saturday and Sunday was preceded by a series of Masterclasses on Friday. I could not miss the opportunity to see (again!) the fantastic Chris Durban and her masterclass entitled “Working the Room” in which Chris offered her valuable advice and insight into seeking out and interacting with direct clients. Chris encouraged us to adopt a professional approach, do our homework and put ourselves in the places where we can meet our target clients. Mixing serious content with a good degree of humour, Chris kickstarted the weekend in fine style!
In the afternoon, I chose to re-acquaint myself with my former lecturer Jean-Pierre Mailhac from the University of Salford. Jean-Pierre led a masterclass on the translation of monetary values in which we explored the many different options available when it comes to the thorny issue of what to do with monetary values when translating from one language to another. Jean-Pierre encouraged us to brainstorm as many different procedures as possible for converting figures and we were shocked at the number of options available and the complexity of the decision-making process involved.
Both Chris and Jean-Pierre led highly informative and lively masterclasses – the perfect way to start a weekend of Conferencing!
Andrew Leigh, Sheffield 10th June 2013