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Learning from the Translation and Localization Conference 2016

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: March 14, 2016

(c) Translation and Localization conference. Used with permission. (c) Translation and Localization conference. Used with permission.

All events organisers know that the world is full of conferences. If you want people to attend, it takes more than a slick social media campaign, interesting speakers and a good location. All of them are ten a penny.

So what makes an event stand out? How about a keynote address from the world’s leading (and only!) professional language creator? How about rival software vendors strutting their stuff?

No, that’s not enough, either! Well, what about talks that deal with practical professional challenges and send you home with brand new skills? How about one of the most responsive and interactive crowds in Europe and an organising team that includes a world-leading expert in the business end of the industry?

Now we are getting somewhere. As a second-time TLCer (as I think we should christen people who go to the Translation and Localisation conference), I knew what to expect: the understated musical comfort of the Sound Garden Hotel in Warsaw, Poland; challenging and entertaining content; a lively livetweeting community (#tlconference)… What I didn’t expect was a networking dinner full of translators jiving and jigging on the dance floor, and the privilege of an ‘Experts Café’ that pushed me to the limits of my knowledge, in a good way.

But the memory that will stay with me for life is seeing thirty or so experienced interpreters publicly giving each other and themselves the gift of honesty. I don’t think anyone will forget that moment.

If you are an events manager, go to the Translation and Localisation Conference to learn what an industry event should look like and how to balance learning, networking, and emotional connection. If you are in the Translation and Interpreting industries, go there to be informed and challenged.

Would I change anything? Perhaps the odd presentation was poorly targeted, perhaps there could have been more content that didn’t involve CAT tools or technical software. But what really makes a conference is the people and those who were in Warsaw will tell you that TLCers are a friendly, open, inspirational bunch. And that is why it works so well every year.

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