From November 6-8, LocWorld returned to Silicon Valley for the sixth time since the conference series first launched in 2003. Given the theme of the 2019 conferences — Go global, be global! — the location was particularly apt. Against the backdrop of the world’s most famous fonts of innovation, localization professionals gathered to discuss some of the pressing challenges facing our industry and the clients we serve. Many generous sponsors supplied the food and festivities, including RWS Moravia, Memsource, Akorbi, thebigword, Venga, and AWS Machine Learning.
Conversations surrounding the tools, processes, and stakeholders involved in adapting content for the global marketplace were couched in broader discussions of how to strengthen brand presence, support local customers, and align localization efforts with growth targets.
The keynote speech was led by investment banker and serial entrepreneur Vitaly Golomb, who discussed the market forces that shape the journey from startup to global enterprise. Golomb highlighted six industries that are on the rise and enjoying high levels of investment:
Though he did not tie his insights directly back to their effect on our industry, Golomb gave the audience an overview of verticals likely to see an increase in demand for localized content in the coming years.
No fewer than four panels were devoted to the question of how to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) on localized content and language technology investments. Buyer-side localization professionals are being challenged to implement ever-more sophisticated metrics to justify spend on localization. The question on everyone’s mind was “how do we measure the impact of localization on user engagement?”
On the panel Being Global: Proving the ROI for Global Content Technology Investments, Rahul Sharma from HP pointed out several of the difficulties inherent to tracking and reporting the ROI on localization. Part of the challenge is that stakeholders in tech, marketing, and product are not interested in the same metrics, requiring a flexible approach to reporting. Additionally, Sharma pointed out that metrics will continue to change and evolve as products are introduced that allow teams to leverage content in new ways.
The conference also continued the Open House initiative, which allowed students and anyone else who wanted to experience LocWorld to attend a panel and visit the exhibition area on Thursday evening. According to LocWorld’s registration manager Bernie Nova, Open House attracted 124 total attendees, including 92 first-time attendants and 39 students from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
As Bernie noted: “As for MIIS students, we are big supporters. We use many as volunteers and offer the other students a significant discount. This conference had a higher rate of regular conference registrations who were students at previous conferences and are now out in the field working for established companies. This is exactly why we think they are very important to our industry.”
For those unfamiliar with it, another strong feature of LocWorld has been the so-called “unconference” sessions. In this format, participants form a roundtable and agree on topics they then brainstorm as a group. Theresa Marshall, Vice President of Globalization & Localization at Salesforce, moderated three unconference sessions during which PMs, loc engineers, and CEOs discussed a variety of issues such as how to design a more user-centric LQA process. The format gives participants space to rethink ingrained processes, question the true sources of challenges, have an opportunity to discuss them with peers, and return home with actionable insights.
It wouldn’t be a LocWorld without the Process Innovation Challenge (PIC), where six finalists presented their solutions that improve upon existing processes or address previously unmet needs. This time Lori Silverstein of SPi Global took home the spoils based on her approach to dubbing – SmartDub – which blends AI and text-to-speech (TTS) technology to generate synthetic voices. SmartDub enables users to produce different artificial voice outputs for multiple languages by changing voice variables such as pitch, tone, volume, and speed.
As Alessandra Binazzi of Asics, one of this edition’s process dragons put it: “The PIC gives our industry an opportunity to celebrate smart approaches and technologies, and gives the audience ideas and tools to leverage and perhaps apply in their businesses.”
You were at the center of this year’s edition of LocWorldWide. Yes, you. Each and every one of you reading this. Because we are all end users of content in one way or another — source or localized. The focus this year was on global end users and how to engage them. And, of course, the role of localization in this endeavour.
In this episode of Globally Speaking recorded live at LocWorld in San Jose, we chat with Patrick McLoughlin, Manager of Localization at Eventbrite, about his localization experience in both a large, global corporation and a growing startup. He talks about how he created order out of a chaotic loc program and how he grew his team using internal resources. Plus, learn how Patrick is getting loc buy-in from other departments such as content and product development and connecting the loc program’s success to their metrics.
The Nimdzi team is ready for LocWorld41. The conference will be held in San Jose, California, on November 6-8. LocWorld provides the opportunity for conference attendees and speakers to attend sessions related to localization -- the business of adapting products, services, and communications internationally to appear native in targeted regions.
School is back in session! In this episode, Michael interviews a panel of localization professors—Max Troyer, Jon Ritzdorf and Jan Grodecki—about how they are preparing students for the future of localization. They discuss how curriculum should both ride the wave of current technology as well as teach students traditional critical skills. Other topics include the […]