All freelancers, including translators, attend conferences in their fields to gain new insights in their professions, to open their minds to new ideas, to meet peers and to network with other colleagues. The next conference of this kind I am planning to attend is the Second International IAPTI Conference in Athens in September this year (here you may find more information on the conference).
Should a freelance translator limit the time available to attend conferences only related to translation? There is not always enough time (or even a budget!) to attend other conferences, I give you that, however, these are some benefits that I have gained by attending conferences beyond the field of translation!
Turning hobbies or believes into friendships
Having a natural interest in a specific field could lead to results beyond imagination! Say, for instance, that you are an animal lover and you decide to register with one of the local animal welfare societies that help animals in need. Apart from being a practically helping hand to this society, you are bound to meet new people that could easily become acquaintances and finally very close friends. People with common hobbies or interests find it easier to form new relationships. As an internal animal lover, I attended a workshop teaching us how to treat a wounded stray animal in a safe way. There, I met the president of another animal welfare society and she told me that another workshop will be held the month after in which non-Greeks will take part and she will need my professional services. Bingo!
Enrichment of knowledge in fields of expertise
Having translated more than 49 websites in the hospitality and travel industries, it was a delight for me when I found out that a conference would be help earlier this month in Athens (100% Hotel Show– information in Greek). During the same period, my part-time job was sending me to Athens to help in the daily event of Safer Internet Day annual celebrations (the link is in Greek). Stars in my eyes! I could combine both events in one trip! Time was limited so I did not have the opportunity to fully experience the 100% Hotel Show, and to be honest I did not know what to expect. Next time, though, I will be more prepared. Experts in both fields came together and discussed the future of the hospitality industry and the future of safe social networking and other illegal online activities respectively. I left both evens up to my ears in new incentives to explore these industries further.
Gaining information on more conferences
Conferences, workshops and events of this kind are the perfect place to be so that you gain first hand information and tips on new events coming up. Such events are always communicated between delegates and they are even announced by speakers of the events. Delegates are there waiting for you to speak to them and give you information and other interesting facts on the subject-matter!
Meeting the experts
A conference is like a hive and honey attracts all those interested in the topic. What a great place to be together with all those scientists, intellects, exerts! While working on a translation and great question marks present themselves that even a search of the internet is not adequate or even close to the explanation you expect for, those delicates could be the answer to your prayers!
Do you attend non-translation conferences? Have any opportunities ever come your way?