Friday, August 20, 2010

Specialty Events: Localization Project Managers Round Table and Vendor Management Seminar

I was having a conversation with a client today who asked me about the benefits of the different types of events. She was specifically asking about the Localization Institute's 2010 Localization Project Managers Round Table to be held in Lake Tahoe next month.

My response was that different events cater to different audiences and that choosing the right one is sometimes hard. But I discussed some criteria that might be useful for you when evaluating events.
  • Specialty events are excellent for sharing experiences with peers. The topics tend to be focused and very relevant for people in a certain position in the organization. That is the case of the Project Managers Round Table promoted by the Localization Institute and the Vendor Management Seminars organized by IMTT. Contrary to larger generic events, the main value of a specialty event is education and peer-to-peer networking. They seldom have booths and few salespeople attend.
  • Geography-focused events tend to address issues that are common to people in different roles in a company, but with a local slant. Good examples are the ELIA Networking Days, the ALC Conference and Think Latin America. The programs tend to address business issues that are common to a certain region and might not appeal to a global audience.
  • Generalist events like Localization World, LISA and GALA tend to provide something for everybody, with varying degrees of success.
So, my final recommendation for this client was to look at her calendar and try to attend at least one Specialty event (she is a client-side Project Manager and is going to the Round Table), a Geography-focused event, and one Generalist event. That will provide her with education, networking, and a bunch of salespeople calling her after each event (but she promised she will stay with Milengo).


  1. Don't forget about virtual conferences - online, free to attend with both generalist and specialty content. We are conducting an event for Freelance translators, one for agencies and agency employees, and one for end clients, or global translation/localization consumers.

    We have panel discussions, webinars with Q&A, on demand video and more. Registration and attendance is 100% free. Registration, program details and more can be found at


  2. Renato's blog is right on. As the former organizer of Project Management Roundtable on behalf of The Localization Institute can attest to the strict regulations that we laid down as far as "no advertising - no product pitches," etc. We even went so far as to announce in the opening session that pricing discussions were "verboten." Of course, we could not control what discussions went on at the many non-organized opportunities to network such as at the dinner table or during coffee breaks. But truly, if you want to learn from your peers and to find out that you are not alone with your issues in your corporate world, this is the event to attend. (Sorry, Drew! All due respect to Proz as well for what you guys do.)

    And I can write this shameless plug because - now as an employee of a tools provider - I can no longer attend! :-)

  3. Barbara Burbach7:11 PM

    Then there was the Localization Management Roundtable, unfortunately now defunct, put on
    by the Localization Institute. THAT was the best ever.