I am not attending Elia ND Focus this year merely to engage in two days of high level business talk. I am going to this event in order to refine my leadership skills and to gain actionable insights to bring back home to STP. It’s always good to talk the talk, but I want to get better at walking the walk.

I am not attending the conference in order to hear how Kimon, Dominique, Gráinne and Roberto built their impressive businesses. I don’t intend to copy anyone else’s story. I am participating to learn how to make STP’s unique service offering more competitive through new strategic concepts and best industry practice.

I am not attending because I long to drink Italian wine with an international group of smart, successful business people. I work with peers like that every day, and some of them I socialise with outside of work too. I am travelling to Sicily in order to develop STP’s existing industry partnerships and to create new ones.

I am not attending in order to practice my elevator pitch. ELIA Networking Days have never been about speed-dating. They offer opportunities for detailed professional discussions that can end up shaping the future of the language industry. Since the group is small and homogenous, it is open for personal sharing.

I am not attending in order to see the most active stratovolcano in the world. Mount Etna may be in an almost constant state of activity, but I don’t mind missing those spectacular eruptions. My focus in Catania will be 100% on business.

That last bit is a lie. I am of course excited about the prospect of standing at the foot of a Muntagna and gazing up at her summit, in awe of whatever volatile mood she might be in.

The third annual ELIA networking event for language industry executives takes place in Italy in the first week of May. It brings together an exclusive group of language company owners and senior-level managers who are keen to make informed decisions about their future and the future of their companies. I am one of them, and I’m looking forward to it. If you are attending too and if you don’t know me or STP yet, please come and find me. Let’s discuss how we can work together, for the success of our companies and our industry as a whole.