E.g., 04/05/2020
E.g., 04/05/2020

GALA 2016 – Why Was it Different?!

By: Wafaa Mohiy, General Manager - Egypt Office - Saudisoft Co. Ltd.

30 March 2016

The GALA 2016 New York conference was not my first one, yet I had a different experience this year. GALA conferences are known for their open and friendly platform with great networking opportunities. However, above that this year I experienced new and different things, and I thought to share them with my colleagues in the localization industry!

  • Let's start with the location... New York is a very busy and interesting city. Despite the weather—which included snow and frigid temperatures—I enjoyed exploring the Brooklyn borough during a walking tour with other GALA board members. Above all, I was thrilled by our colorful and enthusiastic tour guide, Uncle Jeffery.
  • Moving indoors…The program had a different format this year, particularly in the breakout sessions. I took many notes from the Master Class sessions. The un-conference sessions were also introduced for the first time and I really appreciated the collaboration that took place in these discussion groups.
  • Advice and answers to questions and issues that some of us have and/or suffer from were available at the conference. Below are some of my main takeaways:
    • The question to the keynote speaker (Renato Beninatto, Moravia) on the last day: "What is your advice to a new sales member?" Renato's answer was very short and to the point. He mentioned that it is all about how he/she should communicate. The sales person should talk about things that generate translation, not the translation! Ask your customers, “how will you reach your non-English customers?” It may sound simple and known to experts, but I believe this is a smart approach to practice with new sales team members.
    • How can an LSP measure localization project management productivity? This is an interesting topic that we discussed and realized during the LSP un-conference. Of course there were different matrices across companies. We discussed the revenue vs. project size factors, but what was really interesting and found even more visible is to measure against "Gross Margin."
    • With translation volume getting smaller and localization effort staying the same or maybe increasing, there was a great discussion about how to abolish the per word pricing model. What should we measure to standardize cost and come up with standard fee for our services? Both customers and LSPs should be open and share information about legacy process, volumes, etc. Putting things together will help LSPs assess the effort, cost and therefore price.
  • I had the chance to have great discussions during lunch with the Women in Localization members. I am currently encouraging more women to join such a wonderful group.  
  • The great movies at the GALA Film Fest, hosted by Translated in Argentina, got the group in the Hollywood atmosphere.
  • I met with very enthusiastic students from Brigham Young University, Kent State University, and the University of Maryland who were helping in the event organization.
  • A unique experience at the Marriott with no water…!
  • Last but not the least, being a GALA board member for the first time this year came with new responsibilities. I am looking forward to working on the 2017 Conference program within my Board responsibilities.

I want to take this chance to thank all the conference attendees. I look forward to collaborating this year for a successful GALA Conference in 2017!

See you all in Amsterdam,


Wafaa Mohiy

I started my career more than 25 years ago in the international and localization industry as a software engineer. I then moved to localization in 1994 and since that time I managed and helped to manage many localization projects for clients across the world.

My main areas of expertise cover management (account management, project management and resources management); automation and process enhancements; internationalization and localization; and translation automation and tools. I am now a member of Saudisoft’s board and am helping to set the company’s strategic directions and goals.

It was an an honor to be selcted by my colleagues in the localization industry to be a GALA Board member for the 2016-2017 period and I look forward to cooperating with everybody.