On 18 and 19 May 2013, the first Ukrainian Translation Industry Conference took place in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. According to both formal and informal feedback from conference attendees, the event was well organized and the content was strong, including engaging interactive sessions and experienced speakers.
For InText, the organizers of the UTIC, it was a very unique event. As always, unique experiences are a great opportunity to learn and rediscover. So what has Ukrainian Translation Industry Conference taught us this year?
1. The first step is always the hardest. �Starting the project was on a par with challenging the status quo and becoming a mover and shaker of the industry. We had to face some vigilance and aloofness before people started to show interest in the event,� admits Stanislav Kalenyuk, CEO of InText. �Prior to the event, we held a series of planning meetings in Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv to had the chance to meet with the local communities and start a dialogue. It turned out to be a very good strategy and an invaluable experience in challenging the existing rules and going for something more.�
2. Embrace the unknown. Stepping out into new uncharted territory turned out to be a lot of fun. We knew little about the translation industry in Ukraine and for all we knew, the Ukrainian market was driven by new technologies and fast paced favorable changes in the economic situation. �It is important not to stifle the development by uninformed fear of the unfamiliar, lack of knowledge about its players and miscommunication between them. That�s why we were so excited to see the interest toward the conference among the translation community and hope to start new discussions and forums with the launch of the UTIC project to catch up on the evolution of the industry and plan its future.� � said Constantin Shevchenko, Director of UTIC.
3. Figaro here, Figaro there! It is only a large event such as the UTIC that could create the necessity to turn 80 percent of the team towards conference services. And of course, our clients, both existing and new ones, should feel our usual support and devotion. Careful planning, coordinated teamwork and a bit of luck: that's what it took to make it a reality. �I think we put in a lot of effort, and I certainly would like to thank all the project managers who were working in Kyiv at the event and also the ones who have been backing us up in the office.� � says Anna Kraineva, Head of the PM Department.
4. Bridge the gap between educators and employers. The dialogue between universities and representatives of translation business is gathering pace. There are projects going on in Europe, the EMT project in ELIA is just one example, GALA is collecting and sharing information on current education and training programs across the globe. We were delighted to see that Ukrainian educators are ready to add their voice. A lively discussion on education standards was started at the conference and, hopefully, it will continue online and will develop into an initiative helping us improve the quality of education and the chances of young graduates to find the job they are really looking for.
5. Website localization and content management is hard. Having the opportunity to be in the shoes of a company in need of website translation taught us a lot. Frankly speaking, we blew it. Until the last moment we denied the necessity of hiring a project manager who would take care of this project. But when the volume of content reached its peak and we were piling up posts and pages to be translated, we gave up and hired ourselves to do the translation!
6. We are the generation of Social Media. The UTIConf Facebook group and page have grown and engaged people, helped us gain awareness and support, share news and communicate with our future attendees. Not to mention that even those intextians who have been in complete denial of Facebook joined it by the end of May. Next year, Twitter!
7. Cooperation begins where competition leaves off. It�s a risky venture, they told us. Many asked if we have thought it through and whether we are afraid that other companies attending the event may steal our vendors and our vendors may partner up with our clients. But the fact is, organizing an event like this shows a different perspective, a wider outlook on the industry, a clearer understanding that it�s not competition, but coopetition (cooperation+competition) that would take us to the next level of development.
8. �Ukraine is like the promised land for translation technology developers� � Jost Zetzsche claims in his most recent post inspired by the UTIC. Here in Ukraine, numerous companies have created great quality applications and plug-ins to help in managing your jobs, processing the file formats, translating, proofreading � everything to make you an accomplished and successful freelancer. And the nicest thing is that all of them we met in one place - at the UTIC.
9. Going against the trend. Latest industry trends are multifaceted but can be generalized by one word: fragmentation. Sizes of jobs are getting smaller, the number of tasks on your tasklist is getting larger, the fruits of our labor are getting more and more obscure. The event we organized went against all trends. �UTIC was unique for Ukraine, calling industry experts together, encouraging communication, revealing common ideas, interests and passions to share them, collect and integrate.� � says Kseniya Kasyan, the administrator of the conference.
10. If you�re making history, you need to have a plan. �It was impossible to keep everything under control.� � admits Maryna Bogdan, Head of HR and Marketing, organizer of the conference. �But it is very much possible to keep most of the things that may go astray noted, and be proactive and flexible.�
Managing a team takes patience, eloquence and discipline, especially when the task is new. But teamwork is what allows common people to attain uncommon results. The conference was truly remarkable in revealing the best in InText�s team. It made us more confident, more sociable and more reliable.
We would like to thank all the people who supported the creation of the conference, all our clients, partners and friends who contributed into the project. We hope to see you next year!
Please visit the UTIC Facebook group and page to find photos of the attendees and read impressions and feedback on the event. Official conference pictures are available on Flickr.
Visit the UTIC website to download presentations and read about the speakers, and stay tuned because soon we will start sharing video materials from the conference.