The Annual GALA Conference took place last week in Amsterdam – An enriching experience for members of our TCLoc community.

 

Last week saw the serendipitous reunion of TCLoc Program Director Renate de la Paix, instructor Chris Raulf (SEO and marketing), and TCLoc student Matic Berginc at the world-renowned Annual GALA Conference in Amsterdam.

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA), a TCLoc partner, is the world’s most prominent global language industry trade association, with members spanning 65 countries and almost every continent. Every year, GALA hosts a conference in a different world city, with the association’s principal goals in mind: building community within the industry, facilitating the sharing of knowledge, upholding standards, and advancing technology. Almost 500 people attended this year.

 

Closing keynote at Gala Conference 2017.

Closing keynote speaker István Lengyel at GALA Conference 2017.

 

The conference’s numerous seminars and workshops covered topics ranging from language technology to executive leadership and operations, sales and marketing for LSPs, and buyer/client focus. Particularly hot topics this year were: up and coming cloud-based systems for interpretation, the simultaneously daunting and exciting emergence of Neural Machine Translation, Agile project management, and continuous delivery applied to localization, among others.

The atmosphere was brimming with energy and openness; a community happy to share their ideas and make connections. Everyone was excited to be there, from some of the biggest names in the industry (the likes of Lionbridge, SDL, MateCat, MemoQ, Microsoft, etc.) to smaller or newer members in the business, all with valuable opinions and experiences to share.

To add some extra fun into the mix were events like a boat ride with dinner and dancing at the Amsterdam Maritime Museum, and the entertaining annual GALA Film Fest. The Translators Without Borders Trim, Tint or Tattoo fundraising initiative also brought a comic flare to the event, all the while championing an important and very worthy cause.

 

Woman with "Language Matters" henna tattoo on her back.

A brave participant of the Translators Without Borders Trim, Tint or Tattoo fundraiser.

 

One of the sponsors of the GALA Conference this year was Slovenian translation company BiroTranslations, whose Office Manager is none other than our very own TCLoc student Matic Berginc. He told us: “I really appreciate the atmosphere [at the GALA Conference], the people, and the opportunity to learn about developing trends in the industry.”

The trends Matic found most interesting this year were the development of online cloud-based interpreting, which he believes will continue to grow, and the new developments in Machine Translation. “It’s really important to keep up with current trends,” he says, “That way you can follow which sectors are growing and which sectors are stagnating, and apply this knowledge to your business.”

 

Renate de la Paix and Matic Berginc on a river boat.

Renate de la Paix and Matic Berginc enjoying the Amsterdam sunset on their way to dinner.

 

TCLoc Program Director Renate De La Paix and SEO instructor Chris Raulf also treasured the opportunity to make new connections and learn about hot off the press industry developments.

Indeed, for many language industry professionals, conferences like these are, in a way, an indispensable form of continuing education. Staying on top of the latest developments, processes, and technologies is ever more essential in the quickly evolving and fast-paced language industry.

As localization management consultant Alessandra Binazzi put it at the conference closing ceremony:  “It’s important to continue to be current but also continue to innovate; to engage in the technology, not just to be reactive, but to be proactive.”

We thank GALA for giving us the opportunity to continue our education, and for helping TCLoc do the same for others!