Welocalize recently held its first LocLeaders Forum event in London, welcoming localization, global business, content and marketing professionals from all over Europe. The theme was ‘Scaling to Meet Global Needs’ and the venue was the suitably glamorous BAFTA 195 building in the heart of London’s West End. Smith Yewell, Welocalize CEO opened the evening and Welocalize VP of EMEA, Garry Levitt moderated the event with Business Development Director colleague, Steve Maule. In this blog, Garry highlights his five defining moments from the event.
One of the most rewarding things about Welocalize LocLeaders Forums is that the success and value of each event lies with the attendees. We can provide a great venue, but it is the open discussion amongst attendees that has earned LocLeaders its reputation as one of the “must-attend” events in the globalization and localization industry. At the Forum in London, we hosted two panel discussions of which clients and colleagues were panelists to drive the discussion by sharing experiences and knowledge.
There were many defining moments so it is hard to highlight just five. But here are five standout moments that stayed with me after the event:
ONE: NO MATTER HOW DIVERSE THE COMPANY OR INDUSTRY, SOME CHALLENGES REMAIN THE SAME ON A GLOBAL JOURNEY
We had a really diverse group at LocLeaders in London – small startups through to established global brands in multiple sectors including retail, travel, technology, manufacturing and legal services. Although they serve many customers and each have diverse content needs, some common discussion points resonated across the room. Our guest panelists Robert Shaw and Claire Ingram summed this up very well:
“It’s always encouraging to find out that localization managers at other organizations are often undergoing the same growing pains that you are. I’m grateful to Welocalize for continuing to host LocLeaders Forums and for its efforts in helping to build this community.”
Robert Shaw, OpenTable, Content Manager + guest panelist at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017
“It was a really good event and we all took away a lot. In particular, it was interesting that all different kinds of industries with translation and localization requirements face the same challenges.”
Claire Ingram, Epson, Implementation Manager + guest panelist at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017
TWO: FOR TRUE GLOBALIZATION, YOU NEED TO CENTRALIZE LOCALIZATION
In our first panel discussion, ‘Managing Content Complexity and Diversity’, we discussed centralization of the translation process across the organization. There was collective agreement that centralization of localization and translation activity has many benefits. Centralization is an important long-term model, reaping multiple benefits in terms of budget, efficiency, technology, terminology, translation memory, quality and overall, maintaining a consistent global brand voice. With global organizations under constant change and growth, whether through emerging markets or acquisition, a centralized program creates localization consistency across all parts of an organization.
THREE: DON’T LET THE PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD – KNOW THE ROLE OF YOUR CONTENT
Our second panel discussion, ‘Hyper relevant and right first time’ looked at the different approaches to content localization for different use cases. Achieving the goal of ‘Right first time’ can be unrealistic, particularly if content is complex or very specialized, such as legal, patent, life sciences, compliance and regulatory content. For certain use cases like user generated content (UGC), multilingual content can be good, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. Certain global business models require content to be constantly published to meet the demands of customers. Setting the right levels of quality is crucial to identifying translation processes and workflows.
“I found it very interesting to have panel members from different industries, for example logistics and patents. I guess the biggest take away for me was ‘We are not alone with our challenges, others have them too’ and that this is ok. Statements such as ‘Don’t let perfect get in the way of good’ still resonate with me. We hope we have another opportunity to attend one of these [LocLeaders] events in the future.”
Ulrike Helck, Citrix (Europe), Senior Translation Project Manager
FOUR: COLLABORATE, SHARE AND HAVE FUN!
With some organizations still relatively immature in their localization practices and at the early stages of their global journey, collaboration is key. Not just collaborating with approved vendors and suppliers of language services, but also collaborating with other internal divisions and raising awareness of people, processes and technology. Many organizations are expanding through acquisition and this can pose more challenges as more brands join a company portfolio and require localization. Constant communication and collaboration helps educate teams on the importance of localization.
“[LocLeaders London] was a great event, with interesting insights and knowledge sharing. And also a lot of fun!”
Nancy Ferreira da Rocha, Senior Localization Program Manager, TNT + guest panelist at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017
“LocLeaders London 2017 was extremely informative. It is a great forum to discuss common challenges and share successes with other localization specialists doing what we do here. It helps to put things in perspective and share good and best practice around translating and localizing content in a non-sales focused environment.”
Rachida Chekaf, Translations Manager, AXELOS Global Best Practice
“Insightful and fun panel discussions, interesting people, top venue–a great evening overall!”
Eugenia Neumann, Localization Supervisor, Houzz
FIVE: WE ARE ALL WINNERS!
Welocalize has been a major player in the globalization and localization industry for 20 years and we consistently change our approach and redirect to meet the needs of our clients. Anyone working in the constantly shifting landscape of global business must celebrate their success and wins, whilst acknowledging mistakes and moving quickly on to make the most of today’s opportunities. Many LocLeaders London participants work tirelessly to bring important content to multilingual audiences and we’d like acknowledge that we think they are all winners!
I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who attended and took part in LocLeaders London Forum 2017. Our next LocLeaders Forum takes place in Barcelona on Wednesday June 14, 2017. Click here to reserve a place.
Garry Levitt is VP of EMEA at Welocalize.