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Virtual coffee break: Deepen connections and expand your network

Virtual coffee break: Deepen connections and expand your network

After a good conference or event I’m always motivated and full of new ideas. I like to make the most of that by going through what I’ve learned and thinking about how I can apply it to my work. And I make sure I follow up with contacts made at the event to get to know them and their work better. Here’s one way I’ve been doing that this week.

Getting to know you

I had a wonderful time at the virtual BP20 translation conference. In terms of content it was every bit as valuable as it would have been if the in-person event had happened in Nuremberg as originally planned. There were also plenty of informal Zoom sessions for group networking. But what I missed were the little in-between chats. You know the ones – when you get into conversation with the person next to you in a session or at one of the booths, and maybe grab a coffee to find out more about them.

Anyone for coffee?

What we did have was a networking app for attendees, so I posted there to ask if anyone would be interested in one-to-one networking in the form of a virtual coffee break on Zoom in the wake of the conference. This was a variation on the “blind business date” activity I organised last year in my favourite online business group and it’s a form of networking that I really enjoy – getting to know someone on a more personal level in a one-to-one conversation.

Of course you can also do this to follow up with contacts made at any kind of event to dive a bit deeper into topics of interest or perhaps find out how you can support each other.

Expanding my network

It turned out that lots of people wanted to meet for a virtual coffee, so I’m now working my way through a nice long list of translators (if you got in touch about this and haven’t heard from me yet, don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten!). I love meeting colleagues to find out what they’re interested in and what we have in common, and of course it’s a great way to expand my network. It’s always good to know translators working in other areas and/or other languages. Not only because it’s fun for me, but also because it means I’m able to better serve clients who might be looking for support in those languages/areas. So far, for example, I’ve have had some very interesting chats with a German to English chemical translator, a patent translator working from English into German, a British translator specialising on travel and tourism in northern Germany and a Spanish translator in Madrid, whose focus is on marketing and transcreation.

So if you need translation support in language combinations or subject areas that I don’t offer, it’s always worth asking me anyway, because I love putting people in touch and probably know someone who can help.

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