Off to the home of the EU, beer, and chocolate. Here‘s how we got on at our first ELIA networking days.

Time flies when you’re having fun is definitely a phrase that sums up last week. On Wednesday we headed to Belgium for our first ever international conference, curious how we’d get on as newcomers. As soon as we got there, though, we knew we’d made the right decision by going. Something that makes ELIA different is their close-knit community, and how both the ELIA team and other ELIA members welcome new-comers with open arms into their ELIA family.

With so many new people to meet, we really appreciated how much time we got throughout the conference for networking. There were two networking cocktails and a networking dinner every evening, plus throughout the day there were plenty of coffee breaks and even a fun networking activity which started off the first day.

With Brussels being home to the EU, we’re sure you won’t be surprised to hear that there was a kind of EU theme that ran throughout the program. The conference was opened by Rytis Martikonis, the director general for translations in the European Commission, who told us a bit more about the amazing work he and his team do (and he even took the time to pose for a quick selfie with us, which you can find on our Facebook :D).

The program organizers did all they could to cater to everyone’s tastes by putting on three different tracks each day. On the Thursday you could choose from Experiences, Business Management, or People. We really enjoyed hearing about opportunities across the ocean by Jenny Bromberg from Bromberg and Associates and we even had a session dedicated to happiness by ALINEA’s Susanne Eifler. The keynotes session by Valerie Arnold gave us lots to think about by teaching us about how to use our brains to make better choices, and we then finished off the day by attending Inger Larsen’s (Larsen G11N) presentation on the best recruitment practices from around the world.

For day two we felt it was only fitting to attend all the EU sessions where we learnt about how to unleash the potential of public sector opportunities and survive the tendering process by Claudio Chiavetta and Jean-Paul Dispaux from Transperfect and Idest. It really taught us that EU and UN translations are really open to anyone wanting to give it go, not just the big fish in the industry. We then listened to a panel of experts discuss their companies localization needs, and then finished the conference with a session on EU taxonomy of skills/competences by Aikaterini Sylla.

Looking back, we absolutely loved our first ELIA conference and hope it will be the first of many. We came away with not only inspiration on how to grow our business but also lots of new industry friends too. The ELIA team did an amazing job and we’d recommend it to anyone, especially first timers who are looking for a nice, friendly place to start their journey into the world of international conferences.

Sarah Pokorná

Business Development Manager – Czech translations/České překlady s.r.o.



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