The Linguist

The Linguist 58,2-June/July 2019

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 35 FEATURES C saba Bán didn't set out to be a conference organiser – less so the owner of one of the fastest growing translation conferences in Europe – it's just that he finds it hard to say "no". The seeds of the BP Conference were sown in 2005, when he was asked by founder Henry Dotterer to organise a conference in Budapest for the translators website. Despite a lack of event- organising experience, Bán agreed to give it a go. "For me, that was a one-off project. I went back to being a freelance translator, but even years later, people would tell me that of all the ProZ conferences, the Budapest one was the best," he says. Then, in 2013, when he had just completed a "gigantic translation project", a friend commented that he now had time to organise another conference. Without much thought, he called the venue he had used in 2007 and booked the entire hotel for a weekend the following May. "Within 10 minutes, I had also bought a domain name." The BP Conference was born. That, of course, was the easy part. "When I actually started organising the whole thing, I realised the immensity of the work that was waiting for me." It was important to Bán that the conference would be independently organised, but this also meant that the entire responsibility fell on him. "It's not affiliated with any national or international association of translators or interpreters, we don't have any membership, we are not funded by – or affiliated with – any CAT tool vendors. That appeals to many freelance translators, who are the main target audience," he says. "I had to set up a website, a way of selling tickets – I had to do everything." Although he had been given a lot of freedom to choose the speakers, theme, accommodation and venue for the ProZ event, he did not have to deal with marketing and sales. "I wanted certain subjects to be represented, so instead of waiting for speakers to contact me, I searched for speakers to cover those subjects. As far as I know, that was something new," he says. Because he had opened things up beyond the ProZ network, he could use these same avenues for his new, independent conference. Sales were much more stressful. He may have been quick to book a hotel, but he had no way of paying for it until ticket revenue started coming in – about four months before the event. "It's a basic cashflow issue," he explains. "I had to negotiate the terms with the venue – something I have to do each year actually." With some venues it has been easier than with others; the hotel in Budapest was not sought-after for large events and was fairly flexible, but the 5-star Marriott Hotel in Vienna insisted on a deposit before tickets for BP18 had gone on sale. © SZONJA BÁN

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Linguist - The Linguist 58,2-June/July 2019