In an industry that can seem rather isolated, with the norm being to deal in emails rather than personal contact with clients, suppliers and often even colleagues, the opportunity to put faces (and voices!) to names is always welcome. Add the word ‘barbecue’ to the mix and that’s a sure-fire way to pique our interest as we desperately try to cling to some semblance of the Great British Summer. Fortunately, we’re not the only ones to think so, which we learned when an invitation to attend a summer party dropped into our inbox from our friends at Surrey Translation Bureau. Needless to say, we were definitely on board.

Getting to Farnham from our Leeds office was always going to involve a good half-day’s travel, although things were complicated slightly when a train cancellation resulted in a diversion via Manchester. For a company that prides itself on punctual project deliveries, the prospect of now arriving late didn’t sit too well, despite the event being an informal affair with people coming and going at various points throughout the afternoon. As it happened, our head translator Melanie Smith arrived just in time for the welcome speech from STB’s Managing Director, George Cooke, so some might say the timing was perfect after all!

While this was our first appearance at the annual barbecue, the sheer volume of people in attendance was testament to the popularity of the STB team, who were as friendly and welcoming in person as we’d expected. Resource Manager Allison Spangler was the perfect hostess, on hand to greet everyone as they arrived and show them to the ‘goodies bench’, which was laden with name badges (definitely a useful idea!) and branded gifts. Melanie might not have won the raffle for a bottle of champagne, but she was delighted with the opportunity to chat to the project managers and translators on a more informal level, and even make some new contacts along the way. As the event officially came to a close around 19:30, the remaining members of the party stayed to enjoy the live music and balmy summer evening – at least by northern standards! – from the garden of The Mulberry pub.

Thank you once again to Surrey Translation Bureau for their outstanding hospitality, and congratulations on hosting such a well-organised event. We’re already looking forward to the next one.

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