GALA 2023 – Bustling, bigger and busier than ever
GALA 2023 – Bustling, bigger and busier than ever illustration
Aleix Gwilliam
AuthorAleix Gwilliam

What a fantastic time we had at the GALA 2023 conference in Dublin last week! It’s always great to see so many known faces as well as new ones, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to chat to so many people at our booth about language, localization and technology.

There was a real sense of “We’re back now” at GALA 2023, and the energy at the event was palpable from the very first day. The event kicked off with a fantastic keynote from the CEO of Meetup, David Siegel, who told some fantastic stories about his journey with various companies, including Meetup, and centered his talk around his Top 10 decision-making principles (echoing David Letterman’s famous Top 10 every night on The Late Show).

Meetup CEO David Siegel presenting at GALA 2023

We really liked all of David’s insights, and highly recommend watching his session at GALA as well as reading his book Decide & Conquer. 44 Decisions That Make or Break All Leaders (GALA kindly had some free copies for attendees). His top decision-making principle was focused around bias. He explained how you can be influenced by recent success (recency bias), or you may interpret new evidence as confirmation of your existing beliefs (confirmation bias). However, you also need to watch out if you’re continuing something because you’ve invested so much into it already (sunk-cost bias) and don’t want to change things as the current state seems fine (status quo bias). He gave us some serious food for thought and you could see more bold decisions being taken during the rest of GALA.

Bustling in Dublin

The networking opportunities at the event were fantastic. Even if this is to be expected at GALA conferences, it was even more obvious this time, and they helped build a positive energy early on in the event which lasted until Wednesday morning. With around 500 attendees, Dublin equalled the biggest GALA Conference yet. 

GALA is always a fantastic occasion to learn about what’s going on in the globalization and localization industries, and we really enjoyed seeing so many insightful presentations on stage during the two-and-a-half days of the conference.

Great conversation all round at GALA 2023

We had some great conversations at our booth. Themes such as workflow automation, utilizing and plugging in the latest AI, the impact of latest macro AI trends (GPT-4 etc) and doing more with less were regular topics we discussed . There was also a real focus on scaling with conversations focussing on scaling by multiples rather than percentages.

We were also very proud to be part of the presentations program. Our Director of Support Services, Alex Zekakis, led the panel discussion Accelerate Your Business Maturity with Data-driven Processes, with panelists Giulia Tarditi (Qualtrics), Johan Sporre (IKEA) and Oisín Kelly (Indeed), as they discussed the benefits and personal experiences in deploying data structures in their respective localization programs. If you missed the session, you can find out everything about it in our dedicated blog post here.

Our director of Marketing and GALA board member, Dave Ruane also hosted 3 sessions including the GALA soapbox session on Day 1. This was a  new and innovative platform which gave five speakers 8 minutes to develop their topic with no slides or whiteboard. It covered topics such as reengineering the vendor model, new quality-evaluation metrics to consider, Italianità and the brand value of languages, how time is perceived in Africa, and how the translation business is shifting from its roots.

Other standout sessions included the M&A roundtable and the Machine Translation Post Editing handbook created by the MT PE Special Interest Group (SIG), which has made great strides in proposing and creating a standard approach to training post editors.

Jose Palomares, Director of Localization at Coupa on stage at the GALA Soap Box
Marco Trombetti also spoke about how LLMs are and will affect the translation market
Annette Lawlor and panel at the M&A panel
Viveta Gene and panel at the MTPE SIG
The average time it takes to edit machine translation is a good indicator of where are going, and when we’ll get there.

We will be expanding on these topics and more trends in future XTM Insights articles, so keep an eye on this space!

Goodbye Dublin, hello Valencia!

We loved the sense of community and common ground that the event created, which resulted in a highly productive and vibrant conference, which is a very positive sign given the economic landscape we find ourselves in.

This was the biggest and busiest GALA conference we can remember. We loved to see so much appetite for questions and thirst for knowledge from all attendants and were delighted to receive so many visits to our booth as well as demo requests. It was a real pleasure speaking about localization technology and how it can be a key driver in business growth.

Dublin, it was a pleasure as always, and we really can’t wait for GALA 2024, which will take place in the beautiful Spanish city of Valencia. We will see you all there next year!

The XTM team at GALA 2023

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