Written in collaboration with Adam Earl
Have you ever considered attending a trade fair? If you specialize in a particular sector or translation niche then perhaps you should. Trade fairs present a variety of opportunities that can prove to be very beneficial to your freelance translation business. And in this Hub post, we'll show you five different ways that trade fairs can enhance your business.
1. Distribute your contact details to relevant people
At a trade fair, you'll be in an environment full of like-minded people. Whilst it's true that most people at the fair will be trying to sell their wares to prospective buyers, people will generally be open to engaging you in conversation about your role in the sector too. As such, be sure to have a fresh copy of business cards to hand, and you'll be surprised at how effective networking with your fellow peers in the industry can be.
2. Acquire specialized literature for reference
Visiting various exhibitions and chatting with company representatives is an excellent way to stay up-to-date in your field. You'll be able to discuss recent developments and acquire literature that could be useful when referring to technical terminology in a future translation.
3. Subvert the hierarchy
When you attempt to offer your services to a large company, it's easy to get your offer lost in the company hierarchy: usually you will have to contact the administrative department, who will then have to forward your proposal and CV to the right person. But at a trade conference, you have the opportunity to sidestep this hierarchy and reach the person you think you need to speak to. Whether that be a company's CEO or head of marketing, there's a good chance that you'll bump into them on the show floor and be able to chat with them directly - not something that would usually be possible when using the normal contact channels.
4. Network with instrumental people
Even if you aren't luck enough to bump into the ideal person at the trade fair, then you'll still be able to chat with someone from a specific company, whether they be a sales rep or otherwise. This gives you a personal contact with the organization, so when you do approach the company through conventional channels, you can mention that you enjoyed speaking to 'such-and-such' at the recent trade show, and would like to follow-up with someone else regarding some points you raised. When the right person reads your offer, they'll note you already have a personal history with the company.
5. If you're at the show, then you're an industry specialist
Importantly, sector-specific trade shows are places for specialists within that industry to gather, and by attending yourself you're flagging yourself up as a knowledgeable individual in the field. When clients are looking for translators, knowing that they met you at a specialist trade fair will win you extra points! After all, if your potential client is considering various different translators for a single role, then being present at the show as a specialist looks favorouble, and will possibly even win you the contract.
Have you ever attended a trade show for your specific translation niche? If so, how did it go? Was it a useful investment into your business? And what would you do in addition to the points raised above? Alternatively, if you've never attended a trade show before, has this Translators' Hub post inspired you to attend one? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks is due to a discussion thread over at proz.com for providing the inspiration for this Hub article.