Thursday, October 16, 2008

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.

I have spent the last month travelling. Today, reading an airline magazine article ranking places and restaurants, I thought of a line of one of my favorite movies, Blade Runner. Rutger Hauer says it before dying: “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost in time, like tears... in rain. Time to die. “

Except for the time to die part, I sometimes feel like that. So, taking advantage of my blog (yeah, I know, haven’t written anything forever), here are some of my Best of 2008 (so far).

Best event location. Vendor Management Seminar in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Best cocktail location. ELIA Networking Days in Lisbon (photo). The view of the Lisbon skyline from Hotel Chiado at dusk was amazing.

Best conference room. IV Financial Translation Conference organized by CLS at the Madrid Stock Exchange. It was surreal to see the big board with a straight line down in the middle of the worldwide financial crisis.

Best conference lunch. Our own Localization Vendor Management Colloquium at the Westin Copley Place in Boston. An unexpected surprise in the middle of the day with tasty salads and seafood.

Best translation company offices. This year I visited several offices around the world and I must say that I was impressed by two great locations. The C-Soft new headquarters in Beijing are very modern, functional and beautiful. I was honored to be invited to their grand opening.

LanguageWire’s offices in Copenhagen (picture) have that Scandinavian coolness in an historic building on a cobblestone alley. I was lucky that it was a sunny autumn day, so much so that it made me wish I worked there. However, no corner office beats Alejandro Aguirre’s from Omni Technologies in Guatemala!

Best skyline. The event organized by SunFlare at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo gave me the chance to see all of Tokyo from the 50th floor of a building on a hill. Once again, I was lucky and it was a clear night. The rain only fell the next day!

Best post-event. This week I spoke at an event for Kommunicera in Västerås, Sweden, and I was treated to a great surprise after the event. A concert of the Soweto Gospel Choir. That was fun!

Best agenda. I like the attitude of both ELIA and IMTT who organize events with a Latin flair when it comes to the agenda. IMTT organizes their Vendor Management Seminars in great locations (the next one is in Egypt) and the agenda serves as a guideline for the event. Both ELIA and IMTT allow plenty of time for networking, lunches and dinners. Common Sense Advisory's research shows that these are the parts of events that people appreciate the most. Instead of trying to fit three tracks in a day, these events do the opposite and try to fit a one day event in two or three days. A much better pace!

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