23/07/2021

How to Utilize VR in Corporate Training

Training new employees or keeping your current employees up to date on company happenings, industry advancements, and important safety information can be expensive and time consuming. It’s easy to understand why some employers are looking for more efficient and effective ways to train their employees. This is where virtual reality (VR) comes in. E-learning advancements are making waves in the industry, especially VR related techniques. There are many benefits of using VR in e-learning that is utilized for corporate training, such as boosting employee engagement and retainment rates. VR can be incorporated into workplace training in a variety of ways, but three key areas are improving the onboarding process, building on the job skills, and mastering compliance and safety rules.  

For Onboarding Employees

For new employees, the onboarding process is extremely important. It can also be very overwhelming and quite frankly — boring. The onboarding process typically includes an introduction to the organization and its history and key figures within the company, tackles important HR issues, and helps the new employee adjust to the company culture. 

Through games and virtual interactions, VR can make the onboarding experience more engaging and lively, helping new employees weed through a lot of important information in a way that keeps them excited and ready to learn more. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, some companies are even using VR to offer office tours to their new hires safely at home. 

The employees at Ericsson’s USA 5G Smart Factory in Texas utilized VR during their onboarding processes and had almost no face-to-face interaction during their initial training. Instead, they learned directly from their peers in the company’s smart factory in Tallinn from 8,000 km away, thanks to VR-enabled virtual collaboration and knowledge sharing. No travel was required and Ericsson found the process to be more efficient and productive. 

For Practicing On The Job Skills 

One main component of corporate training is to help employees learn how to do their jobs. Employees can practice the skills needed to perform a job across a variety of industries and roles using VR techniques to make training easier and more effective. For example, to make miners’ jobs more safe, cost-effective, and productive, there is VR technology that simulates situations miners encounter at real blast walls. These VR trainings can help them perfect their craft in a safer and less expensive way than building these skills at actual blast walls. 

Airline pilots are another great example of how someone can build their job-required skills in a safe environment. Pilots can interact with virtual cockpits that offer an interactive image of the control panels. They can watch videos of flights from the cockpit jump seat that provide a realistic 360-degree POV. They can also undergo a virtual tour of the aircraft to learn more about their future work environment. 

Compliance and Safety

Employee safety should always be a top priority of employers and VR techniques applied to corporate training can help accomplish that goal. Not only can employees learn the safety and compliance rules they need during e-learning, but if you add in VR, they can also put what they’ve learned into practice to make sure they know how to do their job in a safe and compliant way. There are creators working on OSHA compliance courses that utilize VR techniques.

Jobs that require building muscle memory and to retain important safety information (such as someone who works with live wires) can benefit greatly from practicing their skills in a zero stakes virtual environment. The costs and risks that can come from making mistakes in a VR simulation are practically non-existent, whereas people can get severely injured or even die while training in the real world if they need to perform dangerous tasks. The construction, fire safety, manufacturing, medical, and transportation industries can all benefit from VR in compliance and safety training. 

Why VR Improves Corporate Training

VR offers immersive and engaging experiences that can result in employees learning better and faster during corporate training. That being said, VR is not enough to make up for serious e-learning barriers. For example, language is an important component that can’t be overlooked in corporate training, even when VR is involved. When creating training materials it is imperative that language does not become a distraction for the employee. Localizing e-learning courses into different languages and taking cultural variances into account can help ensure that all of your employees fully understand their training material, feel supported, and stay engaged.


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12/07/2021

Terra Ranked as 2nd Largest Language Services Provider in Latin America

Based on 2020 verified revenues, the annual rankings are the result of the language industry’s most comprehensive, large-scale survey of the language services and translation technology market by CSA Research

The language services and technology industry includes more than 27,000 players worldwide, ranging from boutique local agencies to large global companies. This diverse group of language service providers (LSPs) and translation technology vendors adds up to a multi-billion-dollar global industry. Based on 2020 verified revenues, independent market research firm CSA Research has named Terra Translations as one of the providers leading the delivery of language services globally, ranking it as the 2nd largest LSP in Latin America and the Caribbean.   

Terra is a localization company who provides expert and tailored language services so companies can connect with a global audience. Our dynamic portfolio encompasses every major language, with a focus on all dialects of Spanish.  

“People worldwide prefer consuming information in their own language. Meeting this expectation fuels an indispensable multi-billion-dollar industry of language service and technology providers that keeps growing to support global digital transformation, help companies and governments improve customer experience, and respond to continuing globalization,” comments Dr. Donald A. DePalma, CSA Research’s Chief Research Officer.

Study Methodology 

CSA Research uses structured and documented methodologies to ensure independent and reliable data-driven research for language service providers, technology vendors, global enterprises, and investors. The rankings of the largest suppliers are based on confirmed revenue from 2020. This is the 17th year CSA Research has studied the language services industry and the 5th year Terra has appeared in the rankings. 

Included in CSA Research’s global market study is the ranking of the largest 186 language services and translation technology providers, ranked globally as well as across eight regions.

About Terra

Terra has been at the forefront of the modern work environment since our inception; based mainly in Argentina and the United States, our team is fully virtual. Terra’s global team allows us to better serve our clients by quickly responding to requests regardless of time zones, as well as localize for the world by leveraging talent from around the world.

Since Terra was first established over 20 years ago as a family- and women-owned business, company leadership has worked diligently to embrace all employees as family. This culture is nurtured by promoting a collaborative and supportive work environment, empowering strong leadership at all organization levels, and by celebrating company successes.

About CSA Research

CSA Research, formerly Common Sense Advisory, is an independent market research company specialized in the language services industry. It provides data-based research on globalization, internationalization, localization, interpreting, and translation technology. http://www.csa-research.com | @CSA_Research 

08/07/2021

The Pivotal Role of Culturalization in Video Games

The term culturalization refers to a translation technique that takes the geopolitical and cultural climates of the local markets where the content will be distributed into account. While culturalization can play an important role in any translation project that will launch in a new market — especially when handling creative content — it is especially helpful in video games

Why Video Games?

Good question! Again, culturalization can come in handy in plenty of areas, but video games can uniquely benefit from this translation technique. Video games are not simply games. Within them, complex universes are built. Some based on fantasy and some based on reality. There are countless content choices to be made when creating a video game and culturalization helps make sure the right choices are made when launching a video game in a new market. For gamers to both understand and enjoy a video game, creators will want to ensure that any political, cultural, or religious references don’t offend. 

Cultural mistakes can lead to not only low sales of a video game in a new target market, but can create a public relations nightmare and even lead to a game being banned. On the low stakes side, culturalization can make a video game more relatable and understandable for the player. On the high stakes side, it can stop video game creators from offending an entire culture.

What to Keep in Mind

There are four main cultural variables to keep in mind during the culturalization process in order to avoid creating problematic content when launching in a new location. 

  • History. Both ancient history and more recent events can touch on very sensitive issues in some markets. It isn’t uncommon for many regions to feel very protective of their historical legacy. If history that they feel is inaccurate appears in a video game, the emotional backlash can be strong. It’s nearly impossible to dive deep enough into the nuances of historical events in video games, so keeping how sensitive these topics are in mind can help you make better choices during the culturalization process.
  • Faith. Across different cultures, religious preferences and belief systems can shift massively. Some content can be seen as extremely problematic in a society that is deeply religious and follows a set of sacred rules closely. 
  • Cultural friction. Unfortunately, we don’t all get along. Cultural friction happens on a variety of levels and not portraying cultural or ethnic stereotypes will help avoid offense and make a video game feel more inclusive. 
  • Geopolitical imaginations. Some national governments reinforce their local worldview and their definition of their geographic sovereignty through digital media. A game that disrupts this worldview, even if their content is seen as accurate in other cultures, can lead to a disastrous launch in a new market. 

Creating a Culturalization Strategy

We’re going to further address how to create a strong culturalization strategy in an upcoming article, but for now, let’s take a brief look at how you can begin to create a culturalization strategy. 

1. Be aware. Understanding the cultural issues that can occur in key markets is the first step you need to take. Hiring a translator that is native to that market can help make this process easier. 

2. Ask questions. During development, make sure you ask the right questions to understand what the cultural needs of a target market are. If part of the content raises any concern, dig deeper until you confirm whether or not it will lead to an issue. 

3. Be accountable. For the culturalization process to truly be successful, it should be treated as a standard part of your development cycle. Assigning a standard team member or team to the task can help build expertise and experience in a way that leads to consistently strong results. 

4. Consult experts.  Whenever you launch a product or service in a new target market, it can be extremely helpful to consult an expert on that target market. If you can’t hire a translator that has strong knowledge and expertise surrounding the target market, you can consult other experts who can help inform the translation team of any mishaps to avoid and how to make your content truly resonate.

17/03/2021

Blind Résumés: a Lot More Than Meets the Eye

As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, because the way those parts relate with each other also constitutes the final outcome. The good thing about sayings is that they can be applied to many different situations, and Language Service Providers (LSPs) are no exception. The skilled linguists that participate in a project are not the only factors that can add value throughout the translation workflow. How the elements interact with each other also makes a difference. This includes managing times, human resources, budgets and IT tools, encouraging a culture of teamwork, supplying clients with prompt and accurate solutions, articulating clients’ needs and expectations with the production team. These are only a few of the actions that can contribute to successfully tackle a translation project.

Why résumés are not all

It’s a common practice across the industry to ask for résumés or blind résumés of the professionals that will be part of a project. This way, clients can evaluate the assets and check if they are suitable for the task. Of course, qualifications and experience are a mandatory part of the profile of any translator or editor, according to ISO 17100.

Vendors with a solid background are crucial for quality-driven projects because they bring their experience, expertise and domain mastery to any task. However, sometimes résumés don’t properly reflect that worth. For example, translators may be remarkable linguists, but not that skilled when it comes to preparing an impressive résumé or detailing their vast experience. Because of this and other reasons, the value of the services an LSP offers shouldn’t be measured in terms of résumés only.

In the search of quality

There are other roles within an LSP that bring value to the equation and enhance the potential of their language professionals. For example, project managers schedule deliveries that allow translators to work comfortably while meeting clients’ deadlines. They also assess the need for linguistic resources, such as style guides or termbases, that can be decisive in maintaining consistency within a project. Furthermore, PMs take the best advantage of technology choosing the tools that can automate steps of the process or ensure quality through their features.

But also the contribution of vendor managers is vital because they recruit and evaluate talents. On their end, account managers and business development managers nurture the relationship with clients, whose trust is the headstone of any job. Lastly, language leads attend to linguistic queries and perform quality assurance checks.

So, how to assess value?

It’s true that the managing footprint is less tangible than the written qualifications listed in a résumé. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be tracked. The communication established via emails or meetings, the detail in a project proposal or the information available on an LSP’s website, for instance, can hint at the strengths of the team. With all these considerations in the spotlight, we can see there is more to evaluate than résumés when choosing a translation partner.


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09/03/2021

What is Culturalization and Why Does it Matter on a Global Scale?

While at first glance, it’s easy to mix up the terms localization and culturalization, the latter term plays a different role than localization does in translation projects. Culturalization accounts for the geopolitical and cultural climates of the local markets where the content will be distributed after a translation project takes place. While localization centers around how to tailor content to the target audience by taking current events, local news, and regional dialect differences into account, culturalization goes a step further in order to create content that is culturally appropriate and meaningful to consumers of a specific target market. Let’s look at a few examples that illustrate this concept further. 

Video Games

While culturalization can have a vast impact across any type of creative content project, generally this concept is associated with video games. This is because video games can create richly detailed worlds where there is representation of culture, history, and religion, as well as the use of symbols, body language, and gestures. All of which are elements that may not translate across multiple cultures. Not to mention, there is room to offend a new target market if culturalization doesn’t step in to adjust for that market’s unique history, current events, and cultural preferences. Across the world, different markets have different perspectives on religion, politics, and current events. If a video game (or any other piece of creative content) doesn’t take these differences into account, then not only does the content risk performing poorly in certain markets, it may be banned. The video game Kakuto Chojin was banned in certain parts of the world because it was found to be offensive. 

Television and Movies

While Hollywood may be the film capital of the world, there are brilliant television and film makers from around the world that create content that reaches the far corners of the globe. For a film or television series to thrive in varying target markets, sometimes culturalization may be necessary to avoid offense or to make the same impact contextually.The point of culturalization is to support content, not disrupt it. If possible, adapting the creative vision in a way that will better fit with a new market can make an impact. For example, Disney / Pixar’s massively popular film Inside Out has a scene where a father struggles to feed broccoli to his toddler who is disgusted at the prospect of eating that cruciferous vegetable. In the United States, this scene is relatable and funny as many American children don’t like broccoli. So what’s the problem? In Japan, children don’t take offense to broccoli. Their scary green culprit is the bell pepper. So to make the scene just as impactful in Japan, animators swapped the broccoli for bell peppers in the version of the film released in Japan. Sometimes a small change during the culturalization process can make all the difference!


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25/02/2021

Localization: “Local Focus at Global Scale”

Going global is a big moment for any company. The day they cross borders and expand their products and services to new audiences introduces a whole new world of possibilities. It also introduces a whole new world of language challenges. The efforts required to bring a product or service to a new market goes far past simply translating the text in software, packaging, manuals, marketing campaigns, and other important assets. Culture, current events, and local idiosyncrasies also play a role. This brings us to localization

In order to successfully go global, you need to take a local approach to each market, taking into account the culture and the language variants. This requires research to confirm that the product or service will resonate with that target market. It also requires adapting the language you will present to customers in a meaningful way. Localization prioritizes making text both linguistically and culturally accurate to the region it will be distributed in. Localization goes a step further than a direct translation as that is often not enough to connect with a new audience. 

Follow these tips for going global successfully!

1. Research and Personalize

First things first, a high level of research is necessary when building out a product or service to bring to a market and when it comes time for the localization process. All markets have different language needs. For example, your company’s name may mean something totally different in the language of a target market than it does at home. In some cases that translation may be offensive or confusing. The same thing can happen with slogans, product names, and other key copy details. Just like you wouldn’t launch a product in your home market without doing your research, you should do the same due diligence when launching in a new market. 

2. Meet Local Peculiarities

When determining a localization strategy, doing in-depth research on the region and markets you plan to enter can make all the difference. Research what values a culture has, what their history is, and what their local dialect is like compared to the overarching language they speak. Major companies have spent millions crafting global campaigns to only find out that their slogans or campaign copy translate to something offensive or ridiculous.

3. Build the Right Team

Who is on your localization team will make all the difference when it comes time to make a splash in a new market. Your team will need the right skill sets and talents to launch in your specific chosen market. Hiring native translators who have the ability to transcreate is often necessary as they can understand local slang and vocabulary. A native translator will also be able to capture the tone and voice of your intended audience better. Transcreating steps away from direct translations and involves adapting and recreating marketing and other creative content by preserviving the original message, context, emotion, and tone. The right translators for your team will have not just a strong linguistic knowledge of your target market, but a deep cultural understanding as well.


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23/02/2021

The Role of Translation in the Education of LEP Students in the US

The importance of education is something we at Terra feel strongly about. Education can open doors and provide invaluable opportunities to students. From art history to math to literature, there is no shortage of knowledge worth discovering. Everyone deserves access to a quality education, which brings us to how translation can improve the education of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students in the US.

LEP students face boundaries that students from native speaking families do not. Let’s investigate what the role of translation in the education of LEP students in the US is and how students and their families can benefit from it. 

The Role of Translation in the Education of LEP Students in the US

Every fall, families sit down with their children to pour over their orientation packets, class syllabuses, and schedules. The influx of important information doesn’t stop in the fall, it continues all year long. Which is why it is important that students and their families have access to these resources in accessible languages. 

Many families require vital education information be translated into their native language. In order to provide a fair and equitable education experience to LEP students, education translation services are of the utmost importance. By providing these resources, schools allow families to be informed about and to be actively involved in their child’s education.

Which Documents are Commonly Translated?

According to the U.S Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, schools are required to communicate information to parents with limited English proficiency in a language they can understand regarding programs, services, or activities that are called to the attention of parents. This information may appear in a variety of formats such as:

  • Enrollment and registration paperwork
  • Language assistance programs
  • Special education discussions or meetings
  • Parent teacher conferences
  • Parent’s handbooks
  • Student’s performance reports
  • Acceptance letters 
  • General communications via letters or emails
  • Testing materials
  • Brochures
  • Legal documents
  • Report cards
  • Schedules regarding the school bus or after school activities
  • Course descriptions
  • Class schedules

If schools do not properly translate documents such as those listed above, they risk harming a student’s learning or advancement opportunities.

How Students and Families Benefit

Both students and their families benefit greatly from translated materials. In the US, there are almost 62 million LEP students. Having access to education translation services can help students progress academically. These services assist families in navigating their children’s education and can aid them in understanding the academic needs and opportunities relating to their child, as well as the progress their child is making. A few example of the benefits of education translation services are:

  • Providing clarity regarding a student’s academic development
  • Enhancing educational experiences for students
  • Improving the student-teacher relationship
  • Making educational meetings more productive

Who Provides Translation Services for LEP Students and Families?

Legally, the school is the party responsible for honoring a parent’s request to receive language assistance. This can be in the form of having an interpreter present at a parent-teacher meeting or having access to the written translation of documents. It is the school’s job to ensure that these services are provided by appropriate individuals, such as a professional educational interpreter or translation agency. A professional translator who has experience translating educational materials, as well as being a native speaker of the parent’s language, is ideal.


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28/01/2021

Does Translation Quality Mean Different Things to Different People?

Quality is subjective. The old adage is true, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Chances are, no two people will agree on the quality of every single meal, movie, piece of clothing, or electronic device they encounter. The translation industry is no different. When it comes to creating quality translations, all clients have varying standards. These standards may even differ from what the translator considers a quality translation to look like. This begs the question, does translation quality mean different things to different people?

Standards Vary

There is an expected set of quality standards that top translators aim to meet, such as ensuring that the final text of a translation project reflects the meaning of the source text, delivers the intended effect, and meets all project parameters. Avoiding any errors and accommodating cultural differences are important as well. That being said, clients may have their own idea of what quality means in regards to translations. 

In a sense, quality is accomplished when the client is satisfied with the work. Clients who work in more sensitive fields, such as the medical industry where a mistranslation can lead to fatal misunderstandings, may expect the final text to be perfect. Some clients may feel that a below par translation can damage their brand. Other clients may simply require a translation that is decent enough to convey the overall meaning of the source text. For example, if the text won’t be customer facing or serves internal purposes. They just want to get the gist of it. Because of the time and resources required to perfect translated text, some clients may have lower standards than others. Before commencing a project, it can be helpful to define quality standards with the client. 

Machine Translation and Human Intervention

For most linguists the idea of quality means that the translation has no errors in meaning, is free of typos and conveys a message very accurately while keeping in mind the culture of the target language. Some translators feel it is inconceivable that clients may be content with a complete machine translation output. When asked to perform post-editing and improve the text quality, many translators find it very difficult to just correct serious mistakes and avoid a complete rewrite of the translation.

While machine translation is a very helpful tool that can save both time and money, human intervention can help avoid mistakes in a translation project and can make capturing the meaning of the source text in a natural and intuitive way easier. However, if perfection is not the goal, a client may find that MT and MT+ post-editing processes meet their needs. 

The Takeaway

Unfortunately, there are no official metrics or benchmarks that translators can follow to achieve quality, as a one-size-fits-all approach to translations can’t universally meet the needs, purposes, and budgets of every client a translator will encounter. The goal of service providers should be to ensure the client is satisfied and to be mindful of their expectations of quality. If the expectations of qualities are clear at the beginning of the project and ultimately met, then both parties should be satisfied with the service provided.


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22/09/2020

Terra Receives Focus on the Future Award for Its Employee-Centric Culture

Terra Translations was established as a family business over 25 years ago and is currently operated by second generation CEO, Marina Ilari.  Over the course of the company’s history, leadership has always been aligned to make employees the number one priority.  Like many new businesses, the first few hires were friends and family. “This created a very special atmosphere within our team that we have been able to maintain as the years passed and the number of employees grew.  Our company culture is based on ‘family first’ values that are extended to every member of our team,” said Ms. Ilari. 

Terra Translations is the proud recipient of the Focus on the Future Award in the True Colors category for maintaining an employee-centric focus by managing the health and well-being of their workforce. 

Terra works diligently to ensure that everyone feels that their voice is being heard and valued. It is a culture of quality.  This focus on quality is not only applied to the work the company does in the field of linguistics, but as well as the quality of relationships with employees, clients, and community.  Supporting employees’ whole being serves as the basis of a strategic, financial, and successful human capital strategy. This has resulted in employee loyalty and an extremely high retention rate.  Especially during these unprecedented times of uncertainty, Terra encourages companies more than ever to embrace their most precious assets: their people. 

However, this commitment to a strong culture and people-first attitude has not always been easy. Maintaining a strong family culture within the company presented many challenges as the company grew, especially considering employees work remotely. The Terra team is spread across four different countries and even prior to the current global pandemic, every employee worked from a home office; the team only meets in person sporadically for audits, trainings, and an annual event. This unique work environment creates flexibility for employees to work from anywhere in the world, and for Terra, the company can hire the best possible talent without being limited to a geographical radius.

As many companies were forced to adopt a work from home environment beginning in March 2020, members of the Terra team are often asked how the company has been able to maintain a family-friendly culture while expanding the team and working virtually.  “It takes a lot of hard work and determination from company leadership. Our values of quality, care, loyalty, and a deep commitment to family and community are present in every decision we make. Leadership in our company are thought of as ambassadors of our values and make a constant effort to listen and value each employee, promote this culture for new hires, and constantly share the history and vision of the family business,” said Ms. Ilari.  Decisions to safeguard the culture of Terra are not easy and, in some cases, can potentially impact profitability. However, time has shown that when a company can support and value employees and community with a broader focus than just profits, the company continues to grow stronger and more profitable.


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05/08/2020

The Virtual Conference – Some Thoughts and Takeaways on LocWorld 42

Unprecedented.  Virtual.  Pivot.  Since March 2020, our daily conversations have been saturated with a combination of vocabulary reserved for a unique scenario most people never fathomed they would experience – a modern day global pandemic.  The world has worked to persevere with an attitude of flexibility, productivity, and efficiency, but overwhelmingly people are missing the opportunity for in-person, human interaction. It is sad to say it, but the novelty of Zoom happy hours have definitely lost their luster and the more serious situation being considered is how industries will work to cultivate new ideas, spark innovation, and connect with colleagues as the virus continues to loom.  One idea – the virtual conference. 

Like many professionals in the translation and localization industry, the team at Terra Translations was primed and excited to take on LocWorldWide 42, which was scheduled for the end of July in Berlin, Germany. Since its inception, the LocWorld organization has created a “marketplace of the localization industry”, initiating an opportunity for networking and knowledge exchange. So, it was only fitting that LocWorld leadership did not shy away from forging ahead to deliver the benefits of LocWorldWide, but on a virtual platform for their first online conference.  Like many maiden voyages, some things were smooth sailing and there were a few bouts of rough waters.  At the end of the day, thought provoking ideas were debated, organizers and participants had great attitudes, and there were a lot of laughs!

What can you expect from a virtual conference? Here are some things to keep in mind.

The pluses

If you are a regular at industry events, a virtual conference can create an opportunity to see some new faces.  A major perk of LocWorldWide 42 was that it created access for many people who had not been able to budget or justify the costly expenditure of a global conference in the past.  In addition to no global travel or shuffling from exhibition halls to banquet rooms, participants still had the benefit learning from keynote speakers and panel discussions while enjoying plenty of (their own) coffee and meeting peers from around the world.   

The virtual platform also allowed for the flexibility to change when things were not working so well.  For example, the LocWorld staff did a wonderful job of listening to participants who asked for more opportunities to directly network; two happy hour sessions were added at the end of each day allowing for plenty of connection and conversation.  The ability to pivot in real-time based on audience preferences was slick.

Some minuses

As to be expected, there were a few hiccups that would not have occurred had the conference been in-person, specifically involving technology and time zones.  The conference was executed on a couple of different platforms to accommodate presentations, virtual exhibitors, and networking.  Unfortunately, a few of the initial sessions did not load properly, so participants were unable to view them at the scheduled times and were left either with nothing to watch or an option to jump into another session.  The technical issues were resolved quickly, and event organizers were very transparent on their efforts to ensure it did not happen again.  Truly, it is important to keep an attitude of flexibility as everyone leans so heavily on internet connections and user platforms to function properly.  

The other major downside to this style of event is the time zone predicament.  Because the event was planned to take place in Berlin, the organizers kept with that time zone (Central European Standard Time) as a nod to the original event.  Instead of suffering through jet lag and being dazed and confused, but in the daylight, participants in other parts of the world were logging on in the middle of the night. This might not sound like a major inconvenience, but when the alarm clock sounds at 2:00 am, employees may question how anxious they are to participate. Even with a learning curve, organizations like LocWorld are doing a great job of filling the void to help their respective industry advance and recover some semblance of normalcy.  Technology will improve, experiences will be enhanced, and the virtual conference just may become a permanent component within the professional arsenal for information sharing and networking.  Certainly, in person conferences, and all the ceremonious grandeur involved, will return and when they do, the world will be ready.

But for now, consider logging on for the next virtual industry conference; it is a good reminder that the world is a little smaller than we think.