Our founding father Agenor Hofmann-Delbor took some time to share with us the following story:
“When I was new in the industry, I attended two conferences: ProZ international conference and Localization World (now called LocWorld). They influenced me on many levels. I learned a lot, and I had this feeling of community that I missed in the Polish translation market. We had some associations here in Poland, but none of them was able to create a broad and open community.”
Agenor was right in his remark that if you want to have a group of people around an event, user forum, or anything similar, you need to be sure that everyone feels comfortable there. Shortly after that, he started to develop an initial vision for a large conference. It was 2007, and almost nothing was going on in the Polish market. The only option was to go abroad where conferences were very costly (even now, 800 EUR per day is a lot of money).
The initial plan was to organize a big local conference and then slowly add up some international elements to it. To some degree, it worked for several years but in 2011, when Agenor founded Localize.pl, he decided it was time to make the dream about the international conference come true. He invited Maria Szpor from Textem to help co-organize the event.
“We started from scratch. We put a lot of effort into making this event run smoothly, without any delays, and giving the participants a great networking space. We wanted to involve everyone – not only freelancers and LSPs but also corporations, organizations, and universities. That is why we treat our conference as an industry platform, not as a freelance or LSP conference.”
Also, the conference needed to have a program for everyone, which was an additional challenge. Three simultaneous sessions were sometimes not enough!
The conference came to be called simply The Translation and Localization Conference, TLC for short, and its Polish counterpart: Konferencja Tłumaczy (Translators’ Conference), or KT.
2020: the reinvention of the conference
In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were forced to redefine the conference completely to adapt it to the new situation. In fact, we were on the brink of calling TLC a thing of the past and stopping organizing it. This perspective was a sad one, and we decided to push through. We eventually combined the Polish part KT with the English part TLC to give birth to KTLC, a stronger, flexible, and fully online conference.
The first edition of KTLC online in 2020, under the theme of “Communicate! Expertise // Business // Culture”, was a time of experimentation. We used a conferencing app that was completely new to us, had to juggle a lot more online marketing beforehand and moderating during the conference itself, and tried out a new format: two blocks of sessions per day with a break, in English and Polish at the same time, with a networking session each evening. That way, we didn’t sit at our computers all day, and had a lot of spare room to juggle the sessions around if needed. The ticket prices also went down compared with the in-person event, as the cost of renting a conference space was significantly reduced.
The 2020 edition came and went with over 300 attendees from all over the world, 25+ sessions, 25+ partner organizations and 8 sponsors, as well as countless new ideas that we decided to implement in our 2021 edition.
KTLC2021 goes by the theme “GAP YEAR: Growth, Automation, Professionalism”. We have expanded the number of sessions to 45+ with 60+ speakers, in four simultaneous tracks: two English ones, one Polish, and one for workshops in both English and Polish. We’re keeping the low prices of tickets (Early Bird at EUR 50 net, Regular at EUR 69 net) and have special discounts for communities of our partner organizations.
Our goal is for the conference to be inspiring with original content and provide insight as well as lots of networking opportunities. This year, the networking will take three forms: discussion threads in a text-based forum; interactive avatar-based sessions in Spatial Chat; and guided networking sessions with the best facilitators around.