2008 Conference Report

TM-Europe 2008 International Conference was organized by the Polish Association of Translation Companies (PSBT) and TM-Global and held on 9-10 October 2008 in the Marriott Hotel, Warsaw. With over 130 attendees, 8 top industry sponsors and 4 major industry patrons the conference was a great success.

Krzysztof Przyłucki, President of the PSBT, opened the proceedings on 9 October with a welcome address and closed them at the end of the next day. In the context of the conference theme he stressed the role of competent and informed decision making that underlies all commercial success and encouraged the participants to make sure they benefit as much as possible from the proceedings and networking opportunities.

The first session on October 9 (Thursday) kicked off with the TM-Global Translation and Localisation Market Report. Peter Reynolds (CEO of TM-Global) presented the results of the global market survey and Monika Popiolek (Vice-President of the PSBT and President of MAart Agency) presented the details of the Polish market survey. This unique survey (both in terms of scope and size) had been carried out at the end of September. The survey was addressed to approximately 30,000 industry contacts and over 1,000 respondents fully completed the questionnaire. This extensive market study covered the areas of business and market trends, pricing, technology, and standards and provided very interesting information from the perspective of all types of industry players.

The Translation Technology Showcase that followed featured presentations and practical demos from some of the industry's leading providers of technology. Most of them presented their recent releases or premieres at the conference.

At the same time, in the next room Doug Lawrence of Amicus TransTec UK delivered an excellent Sales and CRM Workshop which was so popular people could hardly squeeze into the room. Doug discussed best practices and effective strategies for selling translation and managing customer relationships for the whole afternoon and the audience still asked for the workshop to be extended right until it was time to start the Welcome Reception in the main foyer.

At the Welcome Reception that evening all the participants were asked to play a networking game using a special code on their conference badges. This involved a lot of cheerful investigation into the Polish literary scene and some strategic coalitions were quickly established with a view of securing the attractive prizes (which predictably enough included a bottle of the famous Polish Bison Vodka and "Travels with Herodotus", the bestselling Ryszard Kapuscinski reportage. Tony O'Dowd of Alchemy was the first to win as he formed a highly successful consortium based on agency agreements with fellow revellers and quickly secured an outstanding amount of business cards. However, some other participants quickly copied his business model or employed other highly successful strategies and the 5 prize sets were soon gone. Ample supplies of snacks and beverages made this game more fun to play and everyone was in great spirits when they proceeded to make their way to the conference dinner at the nearby Grand Kredens Restaurant where the excellent cuisine and ambience contributed to another great social event.

Friday morning started off with a keynote presentation by Paweł Werstler, Key Account Manager at Samsung, who gave a gave a refreshing management perspective on the main aspects of business to business and relationship selling. He illustrated his points with some case studies which he discussed with the audience.

standing room only

In the next presentation Tom Connolly looked at process and project management. He demonstrated that some organizations who believed they did not have good processes in place were in fact mistaken, while others suffered from exactly the opposite illusion. He gave an overview of useful tools that support process management and concluded by stressing the importance of managing information in an effective and productive way. To illustrate his points Tom used a lot of real-life examples and case studies from his work with Apple IMC and project management consultant career.

André Pellet, Chief Operating Officer of, followed this up with a presentation on how the success of business operations could and should be measured. He demonstrated how to use certain metrics and benchmarks to more effectively manage a business or a process. Before joining André was a Vice-President of Welocalize and before that he managed a highly successful translation company called M2 so he certainly knows his figures. He used many examples from all three companies and showed how a company of any size could use these business metrics for better performance.

Microsoft Office is obviously one of the most widely used software applications. Dag Schmidtke of Microsoft gave us an in-depth analysis of how such software is localized and how to approach such complex multi-language projects. His presentation also included information on how Microsoft dealt with MT and he shared data which illustrated how their localization strategy benefited the corporation.

The next presentation was another hot favourite due to the style of delivery and a lot of great practical marketing tips. David Smith who discussed how to "Create a Global Brand for your Local LSP" is the President of LinguaLinx, one of the fastest growing translation companies in the United States. David shared many simple techniques that can significantly contribute to building a global brand and marketing the image of a company successfully on many markets without incurring great costs in the process.

As a prelude to the Warsaw Pact Debate, Rudy Tirry of Lionbridge gave an insightful presentation on the TSP-Freelancer relationship from the big translation company's perspective. His talk "Multimodal resourcing - adding flexibility to efficiency" looked at how his company managed vendors and how their model works to produce the most effective and scalable business results. Next, Terence Oliver, a very experienced Freelance Technical Translator & FIT Secretary for Europe, presented the other side of the coin of the TSP-Freelancer relationship - this time from the freelance translator's perspective. He gave a freelancer's overview of the market and discussed many business and other practical issues faced by his fellow translators on day-to-day basis.

One of the important information gained as a results of the global survey which was carried out by TM-Global was that quality management was perceived as a crucial element of the service process. Translation customers, translation service providers and freelance translators all declared that quality was the most important factor for them. Eva-Maria Leitner, of mss language solutions who is also the Austrian representative to ISO 37 SC2, delivered an important presentation called "Quality Management - Translation Assessment Models". This gave some insight into how to quality processes can actually be managed using models and metrics and there followed a very interesting discussion with the audience of what can actually be referred to as acceptable level of quality and how this can be measured and valued.

André Pellet, chairing the Warsaw Pact Debate

The grand finale of TM-Europe 2008 was the much awaited Warsaw Pact Debate which was streamed live on the Internet and the MAart Agency IT Department was responsible for the technical side of the debate and the recording. The panel discussion focused on the difficult relationship between freelance translators and TSPs that is so often compared to a marriage of convenience, but so rarely openly discussed by the key protagonists and analysed in terms of working out some platform of mutual understanding . André Pellet of chaired the debate with great flair and wit. The three freelance translators on the panel were Terence Oliver (also FIT Europe), Angela Starkman and Krzysztof Zabrzeski (also STP), and the three TSP representatives were Rudy Tirry, Olga Blasco, and Grzegorz Wójcik. Opposite them they had the conference participants and an on-line audience of some 200 people from all over the world who listened on to the debate and contributed their questions and comments on-line. It was a great hit with everybody because practically all the obvious and less obvious as well as the sensitive and practical issues were discussed candidly and constructively in the course of an extremely lively two-hour discussion where all sides contributed democratically and in good spirit. It is obvious that this relationship has to reconcile the often conflicting needs of both sides but it was great to watch and listen to this discussion because it is a rare situation when one can observe such goodwill and determination to work out consensus with the aim of developing the industry as a whole, promoting standards and best practice rather than simply focusing on the usual differences and antagonisms.

The TM-Europe 2008 ended with a prize draw and some more serious networking in the spectacular roof-top Panorama Bar. The conference was hailed such a huge success because the participants went away feeling that they had greatly benefited both from the programme and contact with a host of professional and experienced presenters as well as the many networking opportunities. The organisers are very pleased with the outcome of this event and together with MAart Agency (who was the co-sponsor of the conference) would like to invite all translation and localisation professionals, clients and technology providers to next year's TM-Europe.

The next TM-Europe is scheduled for 1-2 October 2009, in the Warsaw Marriott Hotel, and the prevailing theme will be quality and terminology management, and business terms and conditions for translation and localisation services.

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Conference photos: Warsaw 2008 Photos

Conference Organisers

Translation Management Global

PSBT (Polish Association of Translation Companies)

TM-Europe 2011 is also the Annual Conference of the PSBT (Polish Association of Translation Companies) who are the patrons of the conference

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TM-Europe 2010 is organised by TM-Global
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