I met Central Europe and much more! – conference report by Stevan Ulama

The Meet Central Europe Conference is primarily aimed at Vendor Managers (under the title “Inspiring Vendor Managers”), but also CEOs, project managers, freelance translators, etc. The whole idea of finally dedicating a full conference to vendor managers was realised for the first time last year when it was held in Budapest.

This year, the venue was the interesting “Hotel International Prague” in the Czech capital. It was originally established as a military hotel but it looked to me like it could be a seat for the Communist party :)  Now much renovated, the hotel was very nice, and the conference  well-organized. We really needed a special event for us, vendor managers, where we can network, present and learn from each other. I loved this experience of meeting many colleagues from not just Central Europe but from all over the world. I even met some lovely colleagues from Brazil and Argentina.

The first day of the Conference began with the Job Fair, where my colleague Sophie and myself had the opportunity to meet many new freelance translators and other vendor managers and discuss our potential future cooperation.

This year the Conference welcomed more than 400 attendees, to the organisers` great satisfaction. Naturally, there were many presentations, with a lot running in parallel. We were really spoilt for choice! Every presenter did their very best, with some bravely presenting for the first time! The standout presentations for me were those where we could learn about MT, freelancers’ availability and what usually affects it, how to efficiently and swiftly send a job in a TMS, etc.

My own presentation dealt with the ways that ensure the success of your vendor recruitment efforts by engaging with your project managers and helping them find a good balance when using resources. I compared this to balance of cocktail ingredients, which the audience liked a lot. In addition, I enjoyed the experience of presenting and had a very nice discussion with the audience at the end. It was lovely to hear that the presentation was specific enough, useful and very enjoyable 😊

During the conference, a number of social activities were organized such as: a Prague sightseeing tour by historical tram, morning run, Gala dinner, Gala Loc Mixer, etc. Unfortunately, I only managed to attend the Gala dinner, but it was well worth it because it was held in the lovely and famous “Dancing House”! Even though the restaurant was a bit crowded, the service and food were excellent. The view from there is indescribable, so please take a look at the photos 😊

Finally, I will remember that Friday, 11 October 2019, for a long time, because it was so busy in the city centre of Prague due to the well-known light festival, the football match between Czech Republic and England, and the very long queue of mourners paying their last respects to the highly popular Czech singer Karel Gott. Yet, I still need to get more familiar with the songs of the beloved “Sinatra of the East”.

To sum up, the conference was a great success and I very much enjoyed attending it. We met many new translators; I think I presented quite well and loved the time we spent in Prague. This was my third visit to Prague and somehow it seemed even more charming to me! Having said that, I really can’t wait for MCE Conference 2020 which is to be held in Innsbruck, a lovely winter sports city in Austria.

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