LW Shanghai and GALA Activities: Post-Event Report
By: Stephen Lee and Alex Fan Chiang (Syzygy Information Services) - Syzygy Information Services
04 May 2007
On the first day there were multiple pre-conference sessions, including an “East Meets West” discussion and “Speed Networking Activity,” hosted exclusively for GALA members. We found the Speed Networking activity extremely helpful, because we had a chance to efficiently meet other members, exchange business cards, and network with potential business partners and clients. It was a terrific way to meet other participants, especially for new GALA members.
The formal conference took place over the next two days. There were presentations given by company leaders, expos held by exhibitors, and further networking opportunities. Most of the presentations were panel style with a moderator and 2-3 panel speakers. We learned a great deal about the current state of M&A in the localization industry from the "Localization M&A 2007 - Where Do I Fit?" session. The speakers included Matthias Caesar, GALA board member, Daniel Carter, industry advisor and consultant, and Mike Kidd, ProZ.com's executive vice president of marketing and sales. This panel offered valuable thoughts on the M&A of localization companies from the western perspective.
In addition, the speech given by Aki Ito from TOIN, a Japanese translation company, was quite informative. In the presentation, Ito mentioned some problematic issues about reviewing and introducing six-sigma, a methodology to systematically improve processes by eliminating defects, which his company uses. Moreover, he pointed out the importance of using "In-Country" reviewers and of knowing what customers want to achieve. At the end of his presentation, he also noted some culture-related localization issues and offered communication tips to deal with localization vendor reviewers.
Unfortunately, throughout this event, Traditional Chinese was not mentioned at all. This might lead to a misleading implication that Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese are similar enough to simply cover one of them. In reality, however, these two have separate markets and different cultures. Since the goal of this event was to better understand CCJK markets, more focus on Traditional Chinese would have been beneficial. Thus, we highly suggest that the conference organizers invite future speakers to cover this topic, and we hope that the Traditional Chinese market will be introduced to participants in the near future.
As a new GALA member, this was our first time to attend the Localization World event series. Our general impression of the event was positive. Due to this conference, we made many new friends in this industry and exchanged ideas with international participants. Also, we finally had the chance to meet virtual friends and colleagues who we've known only by e-mail or phone until now.
As globalization is an inevitable trend for the translation world, we hope to seize every collaboration opportunity to improve our services. Events such as this offer the opportunity to exchange industry insights and form a better understanding of the industry as a whole - an understanding which we feel will inform the direction for our company's future development.
We appreciate GALA's involvement in international events where we, as GALA members, can learn from each other. We believe that GALA can continue to help make this and other events more international, by bringing together the technical communication and GILT industries while also providing a platform for clients to come to a better understanding of the full cycle of preparing a product for the global market.
Alex Fan Chiang ([email protected]) is a senior project manager and Stephen Lee ([email protected]) is a general manager. Both of them are from Syzygy Information Services Company, a software localization service provider focusing on Asian markets.