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Posted on11 June 2013

So back in March, I decided to book my first ITI Conference. Was it the right decision?

As the ITI Conference got closer, I received regular updates from ITI about the speakers and sessions, fringe events and even the food we’d be eating. It all seemed very well planned and I was seriously impressed. I began to really look forward to it – and plan which sessions I’d go to.

As a Corporate Member, we also offered to run our popular “CV Clinic” as a Fringe event. Twitter was alive with discussions on #ITIConf13 – travel arrangements, roomshares, TweetUps!

Bag packed (quite a lot of discussion on Twitter also about what one does wear to ITI Conference…); I headed for the hotel on Friday night and settled in ready for 2 full days. I admit to some trepidation – representing a translation agency amongst freelancers.

I needn’t have worried. I was warmly welcomed by all – from the ITI staff and organisers to delegates and speakers. I pay particular homage to the French contingent who let me sit at their table at the Saturday night dinner and were exceptionally friendly!

Everyone was friendly – bright, funny, articulate and professional business people with strong opinions, happy to share stories and information. With these people active in ITI the success of ITI in the future is surely guaranteed. With all the talk about the future of translation, automated translations – these people and their skills can’t be replaced!

There was a lot to take in and with three parallel sessions on the go at any time, it was inevitable that I’d miss some great talks and discussions I know I’d have enjoyed. All the talks I attended were excellent and engaging, and the key note speakers were inspirational (with one by a Corporate member – hurrah)!

The atmosphere was so lively it would have been difficult not to get involved. For this, the ITI organisers deserve many medals. As well as workshops and talks, the Fringe events and meals were a focus – what a variety of events always going on – a professional photographer, yoga, singing translators and line dancing. You couldn’t make that sentence up.

I came away buzzing with enthusiasm and ideas for the future, and new contacts I hope Atlas will work with in the future. I met people I’d never met before but had worked with! I met people I knew on Twitter but not real life. Faces to names and getting to know people.

I still have lots of post-Conference work and ideas – some will be more immediate actions, others will take longer to see through. But I got so much out of it and I just wish there had been more Corporate members there to benefit similarly. Yes, there was the odd negative comment about agencies – because we all know that there are some dodgy agencies about. But my lasting impression is that freelancers want to meet their clients, including agencies, so we can have discussions, learn about problems on both sides, and hopefully come up with solutions and a path forward, to everyone’s benefit.

So see you in 2015! Rather than Gatwick maybe Tenerife…. Or Barcelona….. Barbados… ……

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