Along with industry calendar staples, here are some off-the-beaten-path conference options for translation and localization sales professionals
For some it's one of the top perks of the job - company-paid travel opportunities to hang out in some of the world's top cities while enjoying good food and drink along the way.
For others, it's a dreaded few days of airport security, taxis, hotel rooms and living out of a suitcase.
Whatever your take on the travel aspect, there are few better prospecting opportunities than conferences, with hundreds of potential customers gathered together with the explicit purpose of finding ideas and partners to drive their businesses forward.
On the localization circuit, there are some established events. LocWorld, TAUS, ATC and the fast-growing Slatorcon among them. To dot the 'i's and cross the 't's, the guys at Nimdzi Insights have made a pretty comprehensive schedule here.
But when it comes to sending sales reps outside of the loc bubble, many companies struggle for direction.
With industry-specific conferences and trade events, results can be hit and miss. Those targeting the gaming space swear by GDC, whilst those with their sights on the LifeSci space favor events such as DIA.
On a more general footing, here are a few conferences Adaptive's loc agency customers have attended with good reviews:
Billed "a world leader in promoting education and training in the fields of Global Branding, Global Marketing, Global Digital Media, and Localization", Brand2Global’s conferences feature speakers and attendees who head up global marketing for major brands. 2017’s speaker list included representatives from Microsoft, HubSpot, GoPro, Gatorade and Citrix.
“The world’s largest community for B2B’ software”. Held over 3 days and attended by 15,000+, the SaaStr conference brings together leaders and learners in the world of software-as-a-service, a favourite IT niche with localization BDMs looking to get in at ground-level with the next company poised for explosive growth. 2019’s lineup is already assembled and features luminaries from Box, Pinterest and Slack, along with plenty of VC and PE experts.
“Before there were tech conferences, there was Disrupt.” Hackathons, ‘Startup Alley’… Disrupt is all about early-phase businesses and bringing together investors and innovators for discussion and collaboration. For BDMs looking to engage early with high-growth companies at a low level of localization maturity, this can be a great base and afford some valuable networking.
The accolades for this event are seemingly infinite: Inc. magazine calls it “the largest tech conference in the world”, Forbes “the best tech conference on the planet”. Attendees top 70,000 and speaker numbers run past 1,000. An all-star featured speaker lineup includes C-level representatives from Booking.com, Twitter, eBay, Nestlé and Tommy Hilfiger. The sheer scale of the event means any brave loc participants need to plan carefully to find relevant sessions to focus on, but there’s no event with more tech heavyweights in one place at one time.
The self-styled “global business and innovation platform of the digital economy”, dmexco focuses on digital commerce, marketing and transformation. Heavily attended by digital services companies for a while, increasing numbers of language service providers are adding this event to their conference calendar also. Past speakers include Jack Dorsey (CEO, Twitter), Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook) and Sir Martin Sorrell (Founder, WPP).
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