For me, Localization World has always been about the networking first. I’ve had years where I went to maybe three presentations and spent the rest of the time networking. Frankly, I find much of the Localization World content fluffy from a software development perspective, with notable exceptions. Attendees are heavily from the localization vendor side, actually outnumbering clients. No matter, it’s worth attending for the buzz, walking the exhibitor floor and reinforcing business relationships you’ve made in the industry. The dinner and the conversations in the hallways and bars is where this conference happens. My general strategy is to set up many meetings in advance and catch up with industry friends like Renato Beninatto, who knows most everyone and is inciteful and delightfully opinionated, Fabiano Cid, who is even more fun, Daniel Goldschmidt who is one very smart guy, the magnificent Kendra Gray and a host of other people I’m leaving out. Don’t miss the unconference sessions, usually managed by Teresa Marshall. For me, these have been the very best sessions to learn what concerns are on the minds of industry constituents. Due to a personal scheduling conflict, I won’t be able to attend Localization World this year. I will miss it. Vancouver is also a great city and it’s worth spending the weekend if you can. Here’s the LocalizationWorld Program: http://www.localizationworld.com/lwvan2014/program.php. First day is for tutorials.
The very next week is the Unicode Conference from in Santa Clara, deep in Silicon Valley. Here the content is exceptionally deep from an engineering perspective. If you don’t have a software development background, most of the sessions will be very hard to follow. Here too, there is great networking and good conversation, but the merry making is less merry. The attendees are almost all from client side engineering teams with heavy attendance (and presentations) from nearby tech giants such as Google, Adobe and eBay/Paypal plus world reknown sites like Wikipedia. You’ll share sessions and meals with people who have played their roles in creating and enhancing internationalization engineering and language support over multiple technologies. I will be attending Unicode and presenting a session on Static Analysis along with Globalyzer customers from Intel, Paypal and Cisco. Here’s the Unicode Conference Program: http://www.unicodeconference.org/conference-at-a-glance.htm. First day is for tutorials.