#LocWorld34, liquid gold for my brain (or why it's worth attending to industry events)
I’m on the plane, sitting in a chair …. in the sky! 😃 back home…. I can’t stop thinking about the words that Andreas Ekström - delivered in the keynote of #LocWorld34 in Barcelona. His talk was brilliant and he walked us through how quickly we adopt technology and innovation as part of our lives. This video he played during his talk was a great example to illustrate his point. Hilarious, simply brilliant!
The keynote we had in the LocWorld was not really related to the language industry but it was very inspiring… which is one of the reasons why I think attending to this kind of events is so rewarding.
And this is what I’m going to cover today in my post, what’s the value nowadays in attending industry events.
Attending a conference isn’t something that can happen every month, true, but when you feel like groundhog day, or when you feel that new ideas are not coming or that perspective dodges your creativity, it’s probably time to find a conference. It’s time to attend LocWorld!!, it’s time to stimulate the senses and provide the opportunity to think more freely
It’s true that we can Google pretty much everything to know trends and get more knowledgeable in any topic, it’s also true that we can use LinkedIn to network and get in contact with people. True, I can’t deny that, but attending physically to these events work like magic. This is why I attended LocWorld, and this is what I learned.
1. Sharp my axe
As the saying says "A dull axe won’t cut a tree nearly as effectively as a sharp one”. LocWorld was great to get ideas. I returned from this event with new ideas and approaches that it will make me more effective and efficient at work (I hope 😃) I’m quite eager to start exploring more next week and read about those growing seeds that different presentations and speakers put in my brain. LinkedIn presentation about Continuous Delivery for Localizing Marketing Content gave me a new perspective about how to handle content creation and integrate it in marketing activities. EA presentation about Player Expectations and Continuous Delivery and the idea that “Customers always demand more” connected a couple of dots in my head that I think I might apply to my current challenges. I heard things new to me, and that’s important to expand my perspective.
2. Renew my excitement about the work I do
“By default” I’m a person that I manage to self-motivate myself pretty well. But sometimes just sitting down too much time behind a desk week after week, month after month can be a huge energy drainer. This is why attending this event is so rewarding for me. Getting out and hearing from people who are doing what I do, but in a different way it's an energy booster for me!!!
3. Present our ideas and thoughts to others
We were lucky enough that our proposal to present at LocWorld was accepted (thank you guys!). We were presenting in the Main Conference track! Which is quite unique for a gaming company. LocWorld promotes equally all the different players in the Localisation industry. But usually, there’s not a big presence of video game publishers in the main conferences. It was a good opportunity to attend to this event to present our work. I find it’s good practice in talking about what we do with a variety of people from similar (related and/or completely) different areas within our Localisation industry. I believe that when we present it makes us feel more confident about the work that we do, also when we receive questions sometimes it gives us a new perspective even to our own processes!! Because somehow we are getting a mix of feedback and questions from some of the experts in this industry. This provides a new insight. Additionally, presenting help to keep improving our presentation and delivering skills, but I will leave that part for a future post where I’ll talk about public speaking and some Toastmasters update I want to share with you, stay tuned 😃
4. Meet colleagues face to face
This year I was honoured to be part of the Advisory Board of the Preconference sessions :), concretely for the Games Localisation Round Table. I had the opportunity to finally meet my colleagues face to face. We’re able to connect, collaborate, share information easily and quickly while on-line. I will not deny that. Collaborative tools close the distance gap and we can work remotely. Fair enough. And we were doing that for weeks to prepare the pre-conference, but having the possibility finally to have a coffee with them in the morning and a glass of wine in the swimming pool area at the end of the day is priceless. The networking opportunities that we have at LocWorld are for me a really good reason to attend these events. Good conferences have opportunities for attendees to mix and mingle, form new relationships, and strengthen existing ones. And you never know what you might get in any of those moments during the whole day!! as it might happen that during the day you may find yourself sitting next to your next customer! or find someone who might inspire you. For example, at the bus on our way to the venue for the dinner, I was sitting next to a CSA researcher. And we started to talk … and she had papers and research data about a topic that I was looking for some numbers and KPIs for a process I’m shaping!
Now I know to whom I need to contact next week to get the full report! Yay!
5. Evaluate new vendors and test tools
These events are a great opportunity for language service providers to sell services, no doubt about that. But these events are also a great opportunity for buyers! While I was there I had the opportunity to have 2 very good demos of some tools that it might provide a solution to a problem our internal Loc process is suffering. Also getting to know new vendors in those markets traditionally difficult to crack (i.e Japan) is valuable. I had a good conversation with a company which they do Japanese transcreation, and I must admit that these guys services looked quite promising … to be continued with them in the next weeks ...
So yes. There are tremendous and very real benefits to leaving your workplace and attend the LocWorld. I feel today sleepy and tired, yes, ... But this will go away soon, this afternoon to be specific with a siesta :), but what it will NOT go away is all these great energy, provocative thoughts, and ideas. This is going to stay with me for a few months. These ideas are starting to dance in my head, and this time some of the ideas dancing are quite good and inspiring! And I’m ready to dance, cha-cha-cha, salsa or freestyle 😮 so stay tuned for further updates and you might see something worth it to share in the next LocWorld that I can attend 😃 the one in Santa Clara maybe? :)
In the meantime, I wish you from a chair in the sky a great w-end and feel free to comment what are your main reasons for attending conferences?