Oct 012010
 

ProZ Virtual Conference

I celebrated International Translators’ Day (September 30th) by visiting the Proz virtual conference called – translation3.

translation3

There were 9,900 registrants and just over half of them showed up for some of the day. I signed up last year and didn’t manage to take part because I was ill on the day, so I was determined to have a look this year.

This virtual conference is free to the end user. That is to say, you do have to agree to receive some emails from the sponsors during the year, but it’s a relatively small price to pay compared with what’s on offer.

In general the conference went pretty well. There were a couple of minor technical issues from time to time, (mostly speakers on panel discussions not setting their sound levels appropriately).

I ended up missing the first session (problem between keyboard and seat) because I clicked the wrong link and ended up watching Henry’s (interesting) presentation on the next 3-5 years. I clicked the “on-demand” link instead of the live content link. Clearly it wasn’t quite idiot-proof. (Did I just call myself an idiot? Is that good marketing? You’ll have to forgive me, I’ve had a head-cold this week)

Overall I attended 3 full sessions and “popped in” on a couple of others for short periods. Each one I looked in on had around 1000 attendees. Very few complained of technical issues, so I think the system was generally pretty robust.

One feature of the system was a real time chat window, which allowed people to ask questions and interact during panel discussions and talks.

I was quite surprised at the enormous level of stupid comments in the chat window. Some of them were very funny though. Perhaps a bit of moderation would be appropriate? Or maybe it’s just a part of the flavour of an online conference, where you can’t get physically lynched for saying something rude? Or perhaps it stops the panellists taking themselves too seriously? It’s a tough call to make.

There was also quite a lot of promotional plugging by Proz itself in this area – mostly pushing their online training courses. Some of the sarcastic comments were hilarious, but if I had been a panellist, I doubt I would have been blessed or impressed by them.

One or two panellists were difficult to understand because of very strong accents or incorrect microphone settings. That’s one possible area where a small tweak could have a big impact. Most people could be heard and understood pretty well most of the time.

It was the same for the content. Most of the people taking part were good and competent. With one or two, I wondered what they were doing there but most of them were very good.

There was also quite a lot of “on demand” content. I haven’t yet finished going through the sessions that interest me there. Some of them are pretty good. Although some do have rather poor sound quality (uncomfortable to listen to). I aborted one or two “on demand” sessions because my ears wouldn’t allow me to listen to the rasping noise of sound which has been downsampled too much. (It’s either that or poor quality recording in the first place – hard to forgive either way.)

I hope the sound quality for the paid-for training courses on Proz is of a generally higher standard.

There were other conference areas with prize draws and promotions. Some of the major translation memory packages were available for purchase at 50% discount.

There was an area to interact with other translators and also some online Pow-Wows.

There was an awful lot to offer and I’m glad I took part. I think it will probably be an annual thing now, so I recommend you stop by next year and check it out. It was fun.

Alex Eames is the founder of translatortips.com, editor of tranfree and author of the eBooks…

How to Earn $80,000+ Per Year as a Freelance Translator
and
Selling Your Professional Services on the Web

  4 Responses to “Review of ProZ Conference translation3”

  1. Thank you for a great summary! I have nothing but praise for ProZ for arranging and pulling through such an excellent virtual conference again. Most sound quality issues were not under ProZ’s power but caused by all of us all over the world that contributed. I am sure this will improve in the future too. I am absolutely fascinated with the fact that as an attendee you the environment is “almost” like in a live conference. You can visit exhibitor booths and chat with them, you can socialize with fellow attendees and you can participate in several social gatherings, all this outside of the many presentations provided. Well worth participating in and I am already looking forward to the next one.

    • Thanks Tess. I agree it was an excellent event. I enjoyed the marketing panel discussion. Yep, the sound issues seem to be mostly down to those plugging in.

      I was slightly surprised to see that the attendees were down on last year, even though the registrations were >9,900. I wonder why that happened?

      As one of the panellists, did the level of silly comment in the chat window disturb you or were you ignoring it?

  2. Alex, thanks for the thoughtful review. We will definitely be conducting more of these events, and making improvements in navigation, sound quality and more with each event. Don’t forget we have another virtual event in two weeks for LSP’s and agencies – again 100% free to attend.

    Alex, perhaps you would like to contribute by participating in one of these events as a panelist or speaker, please reach out, we’d like to talk.

    Drew MacFadyen

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)