How to Prep for Translation Conferences

The new year is almost with us once again, which means a thousand and one up and coming translation conferences you might be thinking about attending.  Nevertheless, if you’re new to the idea and planning to attend a conference for the first time, it can be somewhat on the intimidating side.

There are few better places to network, pitch yourself to others and generally take steps toward enhancing and advancing your business.  But at the same time, you won’t get anywhere unless you know what you are doing.

So with this in mind, here’s a quick rundown of just a few simple tips on how to effectively prepare for a translation conference:

  1. Plan Your Pitch

First of all, if you plan on selling yourself and what you do to others, you need to be able to get across your entire sales pitch in a matter of seconds.  Suffice to say, you aren’t going to be able to do this if you make it up on the spot.  Instead, think exactly about what you intend to say to those you are likely to meet at the conference, in order to avoid stumbling and tripping over your own words at the time.

  1. Business Cards

Printing and handing out business cards for the first time always feels a little bit weird.  Nevertheless, it represents a universally acknowledged mark of professionalism and is a great way of ensuring you aren’t forgotten, when the conference comes to an end.

  1. Research Attendees

Be sure to take a good look at the program in full, in order to see who is scheduled to be there and when/where you need to be, to stand the best possible chance of scoring a few minutes of their time.  Networking isn’t just about randomly bumping into people – it’s also about planning your attack.

  1. Take Cards

One of the key rules when it comes to networking is that you can never have too many names and numbers in your diary.  As such, even when you encounter individuals that you do not believe are of direct importance or value to you or your business, you never know how useful they may be further down the line.

  1. Follow-Ups

Last but not least, you cannot always rely on those you conversed with at the conference to make the first move.  In fact, you can’t necessarily rely on them to even remember who you are.  As such, if you have any interest in doing further business with them in any way, shape or form, take the initiative and make the first move yourself.  Emails, telephone calls or even personal visits – networking at these kinds of events is almost entirely fruitless without the necessary follow ups.




Festive Freelancing – Coping with Christmas

Being a freelancer can be both rewarding and challenging over the Christmas period.  On one hand, you get to choose your own time off without having to request it from a mean-spirited boss.  On the other hand, every hour you take often means both zero income and the possibility that your clients may go elsewhere in the meantime.

So in order to help ensure you get through the Christmas period without having to panic or work yourself to death, here’s a quick rundown of a few essential tips:

  1. Schedule

First of all, you need to create a schedule for the festive period and be willing to stick to it like glue.  Which days you will work, which days you will take off, which days you will work just a couple of hours in the afternoon and so on.  If you don’t, you are guaranteed to find yourself all over the place – struggling while you work and worrying that you should be working when you are trying to rest.

  1. Communicate

If you have any ongoing clients, or clients that come back to you on a regular basis, you need to be as clear as possible when it comes to communicating your plans.  Don’t leave things until the last minute and don’t make the mistake of giving the impression that you will be available as and when required at all times.  Once again, create a schedule you can stick with.

  1. Premium Rates

Should you be presented with any jobs that absolutely cannot wait and will potentially eat into your time off, don’t be afraid to charge a premium rate.  The simple fact of the matter is that anyone else in your position would, so don’t allow yourself to be short-changed.

  1. Season’s Greetings

Never overlook the potential value of what is a relatively small and simple gesture of extending season’s greetings to your clients.  If possible, send each of them a personal e-mail written to them and them alone, or better yet an old-fashioned greetings card.  Just don’t make the mistake of sending out a generic and uninspiring e-mail, with nothing but their name copied and pasted into the template.

  1. Switch Off

Last but not least, the last thing you want is to return to your desk after the festive period, resentful at the fact that you have had no time off or relaxation whatsoever.  Nevertheless, this is exactly what will happen if you do not go ahead and switch off your phone, your computer and all other devices to give yourself a break.  Refer back to your schedule and be as bold as necessary, in order to ensure that you start the new year in the best possible frame of mind.