Light-Bulb Moments at LocLeaders in Vancouver

180691237Monique Nguyen, Welocalize Business Development Director, participated in the 2014 LocLeaders Forum event, which took place at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver, October 29, 2014. The semi-annual event is a gathering of localization business leaders who discuss trends, challenges and successes.  In this blog, Monique shares her light-bulb moments from the day’s conversations.

What was different about this LocLeaders event? New faces, lots of new faces. We had many first-timers at this Vancouver LocLeaders Forum, all with fresh opinions, ideas, thoughts and discussion topics. The event was held at the Pacific Rim Hotel, in a large glass  room and it gave us the feeling that we were in a bubble filled with conversation and new perspectives. The setting also gave me the feeling that symbolically, the room was a crystal ball and we were all looking to see what was in store for the future of globalization and localization.

There were many questions that were central to the theme of Scaling Up!  Why invest now in localization? What will the long term benefits and ramifications of these investments? What are the up and coming trends on the horizon? What pains are localization and global content managers feeling?

To answer these questions and more, Welocalize CEO, Smith Yewell kicked the day off and set the tone well, describing his Five Stages of Localization Happiness. It provoked strong thoughts in attendees, where am I on the happiness spectrum? Have I found localization nirvana? What do I have to do to reach my globalization paradise?

After Smith opened the day, there were three excellent panel discussions, each led by a Welocalize representative and featured localization client panelists. All panelists had been involved in setting the day’s objectives with the guidance of the LocLeaders Advisory Committee.  They selected three scalability topics:  people, technology and risk.

As the day progressed, idea light bulbs were being switched on all over the room! There were so many “aha!” moments for me and everyone else who took part. Here’s a quick snapshot of my three top light-bulb moments:

Light-Bulb One: You need internal champions to enable success. Having geographical program quality managers helps drive localization through an organization. Locally based, geo-program managers are the voice of reason and can seriously and positively influence an organization’s localization strategy.

Light-Bulb Two: It’s not about return on investment (ROI). Don’t just see localization as a cost. See it as a potential revenue stream. Measure your success by the impact your localization has on your business.  Show the value through the revenue-side of the business. Align yourself with the corporate strategy.

Light-bulb Three: There is no single glue that can tie all systems together. Quite a reality check. We see so many localization goals focused on centralizing all systems and processes; however, there really is no glue that simply and cheaply integrates all systems together. What we need to focus on is how to work around that and drive to better interoperability.

LocLeaders Panel VancouverAll discussions led to clients openly talking about their localization pains and with the Welocalize team, helping each other by sharing best practices. All  of this lead to a great day, full of lively discussions that presented a platform to continue our discussions in the days and months to follow.

Socially, we all got to know each other a bit better the evening before when we all took part in the Welocalize “LocCrawl” through Vancouver’s historic Gastown district. It was the first time I had taken part in a “progressive meal” evening and it was so much fun, a bit like speed dating! We were able to try lots of different local drinks and eats. Because we kept moving venues, we didn’t get too comfortable. This allowed everyone to mix properly and start new conversations.

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who participated in LocLeaders Vancouver.  You created many light-bulb moments with your great discussions and great company. I look forward to the next event taking place in Berlin in June 2015.