The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) is a nonprofit language industry association of global translation companies & global interpreting services.
GALA Global provides programming and resources to help language industry professionals solve their professional challenges and achieve success. GALA is a community and a platform where people learn, share and inspire one another. GALA supports the growth of professionals, businesses, and the global language industry
As the association is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, we interviewed Allison Ferch, the Executive Director at GALA. We asked her about the most memorable anecdotes from the conferences and events.
- In your opinion, which is GALA's best achievement?
At the 20-year mark, there are many things to be proud of and grateful for at GALA. But our biggest achievement is creating and growing the highly-rated and best-loved GALA annual conference. We began modestly with less than 100 people in Cancun, Mexico, in 2009 and hit the 500-attendee mark in 2019 in Munich. After a break during the pandemic, we gathered again in 2022 in San Diego and had rave reviews. There is a lot of competition out there for content and events, and it makes us proud to know that for 13 years, GALA has continued to deliver high-quality content from expert speakers and a top-rated networking experience to an ever-changing global audience.
- Which is the most enjoyable part of any GALA Annual Conference?
Well, that depends on whom you ask! We are best known for our warm, welcoming environment where delegates open up and share their common business challenges. Our networking events are well-respected, and our GALA dinners (along with the dancing) are always popular, too. The Welcome Reception always feels like a wonderful reunion and adds to the community feel that defines GALA.
- Which were the most significant changes in the GALA organization in these past twenty years?
One of the biggest changes took place in 2015 when the organization changed its bylaws and began accepting client-side organizations as full members with voting and leadership privileges. In the years leading up to this change, there was a lot of debate since GALA’s origin story began with LSPs. But now, we are a fully representative organization with clients, service providers, technology developers, teachers, students, public and non-profit organizations, and consultants. Our diversity is our strength. And of course, another significant change happened in 2009 when we began producing our own annual conference.
- Define GALA in three words
Community-oriented. Cooperative. Forward-looking.