It was a beautiful Sunday, March 22, when Joanna and I began our adventure. We’re heading to GALA conference! Read on to check out what happened on this amazing and exceptional trip.
We started with a long, 3 hour journey to the Warsaw Airport and we took off to Madrid from there. The flight was nice, at least for me, as Joanna is not a big fan of planes and flying. Thankfully, we landed without any problems and the rest of the travel went smoothly. Without any issues, we found the right train connection from Madrid to Sevilla. A piece of cake. GALA – here we come!
After arriving at the hotel, a quick refreshing, we found the Barcelo Recinamienti Hotel – the venue of the GALA event. We spent a lovely evening there, already meeting some of the nice people from the industry who also took part in the convention. Unfortunately, we missed the opening reception due to the late flight; however, thanks to the people we met, the evening was great, anyway.
So, it all really started the next day. Tons of sessions, all very informative. Joanna attended anything related to project management, technicalities, working with clients, their needs and the projects themselves. I had a pleasure of attending the Speed Networking session. It was a really good time. At the end of the session everyone was tired for sure, however, we did have fun and we also made some new contacts. When I was busy meeting new people, having fun with them and chatting away my one-minute-limits, Joanna was busy talking to interesting people by the booths.
Monday ended with a lovely dinner by the river bank, where we had the most beautiful view of Sevilla by night. This was a time of experiencing new flavors as well as networking, which never stops at GALA. Endless conversations about translation, localization, history, music and even some politics (yeah, I know we should avoid it in general but who could resist), and on top of that some dancing (one more time the title of the Dancing King goes to… you know who). We had our share of fun, which continued later that night with more interesting conversations. We learned a lot during that day and that evening.
Tuesday was even busier. We continued talking to many people from the translation industry, exchanged views, asked and answered questions. We also attended some of the sessions, including KnowledgeFest, where we discussed the challenges of working with XML. We also attended those focusing more on sales & marketing issues, learning how to stand out from the crowded localization industry and also how to improve the sales results.
During those two days, we enjoyed the refreshment breaks. Why? Of course because CONTRAD sponsored them. Interesting talks while having delicious pastry and coffee or juice in a nice atmosphere. We were glad to see the logo of our company on the napkins and hearing from people that they liked it there so much. Thank you, we loved it too!
On Tuesday all the participants had the opportunity to relax a bit while having drinks during the Happy Hour. This was time of fun and business all at once. Again, exchanging views, ideas, having really inspiring discussions, this made our start of the evening great. Later, people gathered in groups and headed out to Sevilla, to pubs, restaurants and Flamenco shows. We had a nice dinner with some lovely folks and went back to the hotel, to continue endless but so great discussions.
Then Wednesday came and it was time to pack. Again, the transfer to Madrid and then the flight to Warsaw. It was a pleasure, as we got to talk about what we experienced, reading and simply enjoying the views outside. Spain is beautiful and interesting, that is a fact.
We arrived home late in the evening, tired, but so happy. Full of new knowledge, enthusiasm and with lots of new experiences. Happy to have met many lovely people from all around the globe and I am sure we will meet them again at other translation industry events. Even though GALA Sevilla has ended, the great experience lives on. We both hope we will have the opportunity of meeting everyone again soon. It was a perfect combination of fun and development. Thank you GALA!
Karolina and Joanna.
PS. We loved all the sessions we attended, but let me mention a few of the ones that we particularly liked:
Freelancers: Angels or Demons? by Milena Rossi, Augustina Pioli, Fernando D’Aloia and Paula Zucherelli
Out of Sight, Out of Mind? The Challenge of Distance Management by Veronique Ozkaya and Anne-Helene Fink
Sales and Marketing on a Shoestring by Fabiano Cid
Positioned for Success: Standing Out in a Crowded Localization Space by Mark Hooper
From Impossible to Possible: Thriving From Disruptive Innovation by Diana Sanchez
The Many Challenges of Localizing XML Files by Ziad Chama