LocWorld 2017: Barcelona

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Tom Newman

Tom Newman, Global Recruitment Director at Adaptive Globalization, attended LocWorld 2017 in Barcelona with our Language Services Recruitment team.

Here are his takeaways!

“[Barcelona] is a little and beautiful city, situated near the seashore… Traders with merchandises come to it from all over: from Greece, Pisa, Alexandria , Holy Land, Africa and all its surroundings ” – Benjamin De Tudela, XII Century

And so the traders came again, from all corners of the world, as Localization World rolled in to town this June. Well almost into town, to the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya to be precise, on the outskirts of the city.

This was my favourite ‘LocWorld’ to date without question. Barcelona was hot but ‘good hot’ and having travelled to less tropical Dublin, London, Paris and Berlin for my last European LocWorld experiences, this beautiful city with its multicultural masses, rich European history and Mediterranean border seemed the perfect place for this leading language services conference from the moment it was announced last year; and it was.

Of the hundreds of people I seemed to speak to, nearly all thought that this year’s event was excellent.

Leading LSPs and language technology firms had built smart, expensive looking booths and salespeople guarded them as clients and prospects worked their way through the maize in Pacman-like style.

The seminars and round-tables were on point. Microsoft, EA, Red Hat, Tableau, IBM, Shutterstock, Salesforce, GetYourGuide, HP, Google, Booking.com, eBay, LinkedIn, SkyScanner and others were represented by experts discussing everything from Multilingual Customer Support to Continuous Terminology Management, what Localization did for Candy Crush Saga, the Future of Content, supporting Startup Clients as an LSP etc etc. LSPs both big and tiny offered advice, presented case-studies and discussed trends and the future with aplomb.

As is often the theme, wider, general discussion from the buy-side was around the ever-changing world in which we live and the accessibility of services and products to all consumers all of the time.

When one contemplates the world’s current economic and political uncertainties it’s become normal to be worried about the short and medium term business future.  

Nevertheless this industry reminds you of the sheer scale of global markets, of opportunity, and of the ‘consumer’s’ constant expectation of quality regardless of the source of the product or service. Globalization has created this and it’s inspiring to listen and to learn from those who look to make the world smaller, who create solutions that make us closer, regardless of future events and challenges.

That said, light relief was needed and welcome after a full day (day one) of talking shop. Thanks to Smartling, sponsors of dinner for an amazing experience...

Dinner was at Can Travi Nou, a seriously charming traditional Catalan farmhouse restaurant in the Horta district of the City, I’m sure many will want to return. Here we were introduced to the ‘porron’ a traditional Catalan wine ‘pitcher’ that involves the drinker pouring Grenache into one’s mouth from a distance. Some hopelessly poured the booze over chins and shirts but generally this was incident free, surprisingly so by this point in proceedings.

Thank you to Jonckers, sponsors of post-dinner drinks at the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I hotel; a great success and much needed by all after days of education, excitement, talking and sweating (by some, not all)…

Thanks to the Localization World team for a highly engaging, fun, insightful few days at what I’m guessing and hoping was a successful conference for most in one way or other.