Last year we heard about LocLunch, a recurring event whose posts and pictures started to spread on LinkedIn. All that buzz around these events arouse our curiosity, until last October we were invited to a LocLunch by Sara Pisano(www.sarapisano.com), who has now enthusiastically accepted to tell us more about her experience. It is no coincidence that we decided to publish this article today, on the second Thursday of March, when this monthly gathering should have taken place if it wasn’t cancelled due to the Coronavirus emergency. Such circumstances remind us the importance of “live” meetings and relationships, often given for granted.
First of all, please introduce yourself, Sara!
Sure! I am 36 years old, I come from Southern Italy (Puglia) but I’ve lived in Rome for 10 years and I am now temporarily living in Turin. I graduated in Translation and Interpreting at the Università del Salento, then I attended a PGDip in Localization at the agenzia formativa tuttoEuropa in Turin. I’ve been working for 15 years as a translator, reviewer and, in recent years, mostly as a Language Lead. I truly believe in the importance of networking and professional associations: I am a proud AITI member since 2008, and as of last January I am also in the management team of the newborn Italy chapter of Women in Localization.
What is a LocLunch?
It’s an initiative started a little more than one year ago by Jan Hinrichs, the owner of a German LSP. A LocLunch is a monthly lunch, usually held on the second Thursday of the month, attended by localization professionals. Every city hosting a LocLunch has its own Ambassador who takes care of the organization – I have been the ambassador in Rome and now in Turin. It is open to anyone, and every participant pays his/her own drinks and food. It is extremely inclusive: at LocLunches you can happen to sit next to company owners, LSP CEOs and managers, freelance translators, students. They all share a common interest, that is, the Language Industry.
What’s the secret of its success?
I think that the reason why it has spread all over the world so quickly is because it is based on a very simple, yet often underestimated, concept: in a highly digitized industry like ours, where many work from home, and where a lot of things happen online, the human factor is still of paramount importance. People need to meet in real life, to engage in in-person relationships, to discuss face to face about work-related matters. The events already offered for this purpose are usually too formal and expensive, as well as intended for separate sectors (for LSPs only, for translators only, etc.). A LocLunch is an informal and inexpensive opportunity to get in touch with other industry professionals in a pleasant and relaxed scenario. Moreover, since participants may have different roles, it is easier to share and collect views and opinions on different topics, bringing down barriers and allowing for a more immediate and comprehensive discussion. Lastly, LocLunches take place almost simultaneously in several cities around the globe: so there is always a lot of virtual excitement around all the pictures taken during these lunches, showing different settings but similar smiles and feelings.
How is LocLunch impacting the language industry?
LocLunch is seeing an exponential growth in terms of cities and people involved. Some countries have Ambassadors in more than one city (in Italy, LocLunches are held in Rome, Milan, Genoa, Turin, Naples, Bologna, Pordenone and Bari). “Special” LocLunches are becoming the norm during the main international industry events. We are all rediscovering how important it is to meet and – why not? – do business in a more personal way.
How many people attend a LocLunch?
I don’t think we have exact figures for this. Every LocLunch can vary according to the city and other factors. We have seen very intimate LocLunches with only two people, as well as lunches with up to 60 attendees!
How does a LocLunch work?
It’s really simple! Just sign up to the event (announced on LinkedIn by the Ambassador), go to the restaurant and enjoy your meal in good company! To know dates and Ambassadors, just join the global LocLunch group on LinkedIn (LocLunch Global) or one of the local groups (LocLunch Italy, for example).
Thank you for your niceness and availability, Sara, and… see you at next LocLunch!