The German American Chambers of Commerce’s Southern SME Forum was held this year at the Chattanoogan Hotel in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. The spacious hotel offered nothing less than ballrooms and lecture halls with ample room for presentations and discussions, all to promote business between Germany and America. EVS Translations USA Manager, Bjorn Pruefer, and Elizabeth Bailey from Business Development headed to the event in anticipation of gaining greater insight to business across the region.
To kick off the proceedings was a visit from Volkswagen. Representatives from the company came to the pre-event dinner to showcase the new 7-seater SUV – the Atlas – much to the delight of the dinner attendees. This proved to be an event highlight and set a great tone for the next day.
The forum got off to a good start with a positively relaxed atmosphere. Everyone was in good spirits and people were genuinely interested to network and learn more rather than simply scrambling to hand out business cards. There was something for everyone with a series of workshop sessions to cover topics from cybersecurity to university partnerships with German and American businesses. Attending the different workshops across the hotel opened up the opportunity for Bjoern and Elizabeth to meet people they might not have if everyone had gathered for the talks in one large room.
EVS Translations enjoyed a steady flow of visitors to the exhibition stand, welcoming a mix of those who already knew EVS and interested newcomers. Visitors were impressed that EVS Translations uses teams of professional in-house translators – rather than a reliance on freelancers – and there were several questions relating to the different areas of translations that EVS works in, and quality assurance processes.
Continuing into the evening, a reception took place across the street at the Coker Tire Museum. The Coker Tire Company supplies collector vehicle enthusiasts with tires and wheels, and the museum boasts a showroom full of jaw dropping vintage cars in an array of lurid colours – automotive eye-candy at its best. This was the perfect location for the demographic of the Forum, and offered up bright visuals of the past 100 years of American history.
The USA office has already received its first order from a law firm as a direct result of the exhibit, with another new customer inquiry underway for a business solutions software company.