Industry event not fulfilling your expectations? Create your own!
By Anne-Marie Colliander Lind and Cecilia Enbäck, Nordic Translation Industry Forum
That is exactly what happened in May 2011 when we (Cecilia Enbäck and Anne-Marie Colliander Lind) were participating in the Swedish Association of Professional Translators conference in Malmö, Sweden. We had been working in parallel in the Swedish language industry for many years in different positions but never together. At this 300-person conference, Cecilia noted that she was the only CEO present from a Swedish translation company and that the topics raised in the conference were mainly for freelance translators. Anne-Marie, with her clear business value focus, was equally lost. We ended up sitting at the same table at dinner and started discussing where the other translation company owners were. Why were they not present at this Swedish event? And why didn’t anyone talk business? The conclusion we came to was that the topics raised in this particular conference were of no interest to the management of translation companies. Interestingly enough, we agreed we did not see the executives from Swedish translation companies anywhere else either. They are barely seen at all at international conferences like Localization World, GALA or ELIA ND.
So the question we asked was, is there a need for Swedish language executives to meet? And if so, where? Could there be an interest in creating a Swedish organization for language companies? Or maybe Sweden is too small an arena – would people be more interested to meet with Nordic peers? And, what topics would interest them? That very night at dinner, a few ideas were written down on a piece of paper, exhibitors and potential speakers were identified, and we were convinced we had a winning concept.
The next week we slowly started to discuss this potential new project. Was it as brilliant as we thought? We had the paper. It contained good ideas. Would anybody else but us be interested in attending?
A survey went out to 50 potential attendees within the Nordic translation industry. The answers we got were overwhelming. There really was a sincere interest in creating a forum for translation industry executives to meet in the Nordic region. When all was said and done, we had asked the people and they had answered. With no way out, all that was left was booking a venue and setting the date for the first Nordic Translation Industry Forum.
The first event was held in Malmö on 24-25 November 2011 and gathered 110 participants from 19 countries. The feedback after the conference exceeded our highest expectations and sponsors already asked to put the next event in their budgets. Even though the event was only meant to be a one-off, we decided to continue and make this a recurring regional event. The Nordic Translation Industry Forum was born!
Now in 2014 we are soon to unleash our fourth event. It will take place in Helsingør in Denmark on 27-28 November in the fabulous hotel Marienlyst by the sea. Our theme is “To translate or not to translate” and the focus is on rebranding, talent management, sustainable communication and technology. We will also host a panel discussion with representatives from the largest LSPs from each country in the Nordics, namely Semantix, Amesto, AAC Global, TextMinded, and Synergium. The keynote speaker is Hans Rosenfeldt who is the creator of the TV-series The Bridge that has been sold to over 160 countries in the world.
The Nordic Translation Industry Forum has developed into an amazing international business arena where industry executives from nearly 30 countries exchange experiences and explore new business opportunities. To attend, register on our website! The early-bird rate expires 31 October but don’t wait too long as the number of seats this year is limited. We look forward to seeing you in Helsingør!
Anne-Marie Colliander Lind (left) and Cecilia Enbäck (right)