Highlights from LocLeaders and LocWorld 2017 Barcelona

Knowledge Sharing, Networking and Global Teamwork in Barcelona

One of the busiest weeks in the localization industry diary is officially over and what an amazing week it was! Localization professionals and global business leaders flocked to both Welocalize LocLeaders Forum and LocWorld in Barcelona, Spain to take part in the latest industry discussions and network with like-minded professionals.

The week started with Welocalize LocLeaders Forum, held at Camp Nou Stadium. Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell and CCO Erin Wynn welcomed attendees to LocLeaders peer-to-peer global think tank and encouraged the exchange of powerful ideas. Embracing the theme “The Global Journey: Leading the Way with Innovation,” LocLeaders Barcelona attendees shared opportunities and struggles, all under the same stadium roof that has witnessed the rise of global footballing icons, Alves, Hernández, Ronaldinho, Zubizarreta, Amor, Suarez, Messi and more.

Smith also officially announced Welocalize’s 20th Anniversary, and launched the 20th Anniversary Video, charting the company’s success since 1997, when Smith and his wife, Julia set up Welocalize in the basement of their home.

Localization World 2017 followed LocLeaders and took place at the very beautiful Palau de Congressos de Catalunya Barcelona. The theme of #LocWorld34 was “Continuous Delivery” and true to form, there was a continuous stream of excellent presentations, networking and business opportunities for very like-minded people. The Welocalize team hung out at our central booth in the exhibition hall and we hardly paused for breath. This year, there were a lot of language services buyers, and suppliers, seeking advice and guidance on how to go global and scale up their international operations. We were only too happy to help.

Top Five Highlights of LocLeaders and LocWorld Barcelona

There were many highs and not many lows – apart wishing I’d booked a later flight and maybe sore feet. Here are my five highlights from both events:

ONE: MT Session at LocLeaders. This was moderated by Welocalize VP of Technology Solutions and renowned MT expert, Olga Beregovaya. Panelists, including Wayne Bourland, Director of Translation at Dell.com, shared their own MT journeys. Experts discussed the growth of AI and evolution of MT from rule-based systems through statistical and then to neural MT (NMT).

Panelist Stephanie Emmanouel from SoMo Global highlighted that MT is very important as everything digital is real-time and speed is crucial – there are 3.4 billion people online everyday with live content.

With heavy and light MT post-editing, users are able to adjust quality programs, depending on how the content will be used. High impact content, such as compliance and legal materials, still need heavy post-editing and human translation. Low impact content, such as user generated content (UGC), can be published providing the MT output is in line with the brand, and conveys the jist of the information.

And, as Ms. Beregovaya pointed out, “MT accelerates production of global content and is necessary to maintain global presence and extend user experience.”

TWO: LocLeaders Interactive IdeaLab. This afternoon session, run by Welocalize Chief Innovation Officer, Chris Grebisz, took a fresh approach, focusing on creating a culture of innovation within a global organization. We split into teams and went through a series of idea generating exercises and brain-stormed localization challenges and solutions, using innovation as the foundation – how to look at things differently to succeed in the future. The output was fascinating and people had fun too, helping everyone to break the ice and make new contacts.

THREE: Increase of Global Scale. At #LocWorld34, we had so many conversations that started with “We’re looking to expand into new markets and want to scale up to more languages…” This was my seventh LocWorld conference and this year, many conversations were about strategy, service, consulting – having a complete end-to-end knowledge of taking a product to global markets. It wasn’t just about linguistics, language, TM or word count – we talked global business and how to support companies from a wide range of industries, from life sciences through to manufacturing, from product conception to digital go-to market campaigns.

FOUR: Real-life Client Stories. One of the standout presentations was “A Delicious Tale of Localization: How Localization Helped Turn Candy Crush Saga into a Global Phenomenon,” delivered by Miguel Sepulveda and Debra Karneman from social games development company, King. I don’t play Candy Crush, but I know how popular it is – with 45 million monthly active users, it is played in 231 countries. After starting in April 2012, within 15 months Candy Crush had reached 100 million users worldwide. It’s a great example of today’s demands for rapid global scale and just how important agile localization is. An excellent story of how the localization team rapidly became key enablers to King’s global success.

FIVE: Global Teamwork. Successfully going global involves many people, technology, talent and a lot of moving parts. Without global teamwork, international business isn’t possible. At both #LocLeaders and #LocWorld34, there were examples of global teams everywhere. Clients and language service providers, technology partners and service providers, non-profit organizations and industry colleagues, vendors and freelancers. Old teams were meeting and new teams were forming.

One of Welocalize’s four foundational pillars is global teamwork and without it, we wouldn’t have reached the age of 20 and wouldn’t be the seventh largest LSP in the world. By its very nature, the globalization and localization industry brings together people from different parts of the world. If there’s no global teamwork, there’s no global business.

I gained great value from attending each localization event in Barcelona, not just #LocLeaders and #LocWorld34, but also the excellent TAUS Industry Leaders Forum and Quality Summit. I look forward to continuing the discussion and meeting new friends at the next LocLeaders and LocWorld events in Silicon Valley in the fall.

Thanks to the Welocalize team and the organizers at LocWorld.



Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize