The European Language Industry Association (ELIA) hosts various events for the translation industry, companies and translators.

Recently, COMUNICA participated in the fifth edition of Elia’s Focus on Project Management which took place on 18 November 2020. Our Project Manager Karoline thoroughly enjoyed attending this conference, where she got to benefit from valuable training and inspiring brainstorming sessions with industry peers.

In addition, COMUNICA also participated at a networking dinner held in Malaga (December 2018) where we had the opportunity to forge relationships with new partners and clients.

Based on our very positive experiences at Elia events in the past, we decided to get in touch with Director Diego Cresceri for an interview about the Elia Association and its background, membership benefits, etc. We hope you find it interesting!

Could you give us a short summary of Elia’s history and background? What is your mission?

Elia is the European not-for-profit trade association for language service companies, with members across Europe and beyond. Our official mission is to accelerate our members’ business success. The association was founded in 2005, and we have been growing to become the lead trade association for the language services industry in Europe.

Elia’s Managing Director, staff and board of directors work hard to deliver benefits, events and initiatives for our members. Our goal is to help language service companies grow. It is a hard job, but it is also very rewarding.

What are the benefits to members of joining Elia?

Being an Elia member means being part of a big family. This is the feeling that I got at my first Elia event in Prague in 2017. Today, after four years, that feeling remains unchanged.

Here are some of the benefits we offer, in no particular order:

Amazing networking opportunities

Elia has a reputation for hosting friendly and welcoming gatherings of industry professionals which boost partnerships across Europe and beyond. This is true both of our physical events and of our virtual gatherings, workshops and webinars.

As a plus, many of our members work with each other within their respective languages.
However, even without a working relationship, it is always great to be in touch with peers and to have an opportunity to keep abreast of industry developments.

Visibility

We have a strong calendar of industry events where members can present and showcase their knowledge to a far-reaching global audience, which is made up of peers (language service companies) and translators as well. A natural consequence of this that members also get ample visibility and credibility for their companies.

Relationships

From LSPs and freelancers to leading technology providers, we have a strong network both within and outside of the language industry. And with regards to technology providers in particular, our members can enjoy special discounts on the latest software and tools, which is naturally a huge plus.

Learning

For me and my company, being an Elia member has been an amazing opportunity to upskill myself and my team members, thanks to our programme of conferences and webinars. For me, the most important benefit that the Elia Association offers is the opportunity to grow and develop.

What is Elia doing to overcome challenges posed by the pandemic? (Networking, events, etc. – e.g. the upcoming event “Together at Home” on 24 February 2021)

There’s no denying it, this has been a challenging year for everyone, including our association. The pandemic has strengthened Elia’s commitment to making sure that we continue to offer additional value to our members and the language industry at large. In 2020, we initiated our Focus Forward series of webinars, which offered educational and informative content and organised discussion sessions to discuss the challenges posed by Covid-19 and other matters of relevance to the language industry.

We also set up an extensive Elia resource library, where members can access specialised content including presentations from past Elia events.
In 2020, we had to cancel our together event – the first event of the language industry to be cancelled. It still pains us.

As was the case for all industries, we had to move from in-person events to virtual ones held online. Luckily, our online events have been very well received, with plenty of positive feedback from attendees who have felt that we managed to create events which were still immersive and interactive and which retained the warmth and openness of Elia’s real-world events.

This was where we focused all our efforts: on keeping the relevance of the programme high, as well as retaining that feeling of cosiness which our members appreciate.

Our next event will be Elia Together, which is where vendor managers and freelancers meet. The theme of the event is Together at Home. We will be looking to collaborate virtually and build a brighter future together, without letting the current constraints impede us.

The programme looks great and there will be a lot of networking opportunities, and even a yoga class! I am looking forward to the conference! 

What does the future hold for Elia?

The pandemic has presented us with many challenges, but also with many opportunities.

We want to build on those opportunities and continue offering value to our members.

We also want to retain our position at the forefront of the language industry and to continue serving as a hub where peers can share best practice and form long-lasting relationships. 

Contact Elia for more information.