A Belated Tale of Two Cities (a.k.a Conference Updates) – Part 2



AIIM Conference – Boston, MA


Following a great week in San Francisco, and a too short stop at home we headed down to Boston for AIIM Conference & Exhibition – where we exhibited as part of the GALA Pavilion. We actually arrived on the day of the 111th Boston Marathon – ordinarily you’d have a pretty difficult time convincing me it was a good idea to go for a quick 26 mile run but with the weather that day I don’t think you could have paid me enough to get out there. Boston’s weather theme for the week was “miserable”. It was cold & rainy (verging on snow) for the entire week – well up until the morning we flew out of course.

The Show: We had gone down expecting a really crazy busy show – with 21,000 registered attendees how could it not be? The reality though, was that it was really quiet. Really, really quiet. Thankfully it wasn’t just us, it seemed in general the AIIM side of the show was a pretty sparsely attended exhibit floor. Part of the challenge I think is the AIIM Show also has a printing industry focused conference called “OnDemand” – this is where all of the big press and bindery equipment vendors come out to show their wares. That side of the floor was packed. There were times I would wander by the Xerox or Canon booths and they were just rammed, I saw it get to a point where it seemed physically impossible for another person to get into the Xerox booth.


It makes some sense though. Nowadays most people in the software industry don’t need to go to a tradeshow to see the latest products & demos etc. – Looking for a CMS? There are a handful of CMS review sites and every vendor either has a demo or webinar you can use to get a look at the product. I’m guessing most people who were there on the software side of things stuck to their conference agenda upstairs in the conference center. With the print industry though there is no getting around the fact that a press is big, heavy and doesn’t easily “demo” through the Internet. It’s something you have to see, touch, climb around and really understand and generally that can only be done in person.

As I’ve mentioned before the nice thing for us is when the show floor is slow we can just flip into Partner mode. The show was a great opportunity for us to get to know our new partners, VistaTEC, better as well as work on advancing some partnerships in the works – in these cases face-to-face time is everything.

In the end we still had an okay show – we had some really good conversations with the people who did come by the booth that we can hopefully turn into something but the jury is still out as to whether or not we’d do the AIIM show again.

The City: As I mentioned before Boston didn’t show us a pretty face, but it did manage to clear enough that we got out for a walk the first day. We made our way down from our hotel (Backbay Sheraton), checked out the Boston Marathon finish line and then went down past the commons and picked up the Freedom trail into Boston’s Italian neighborhood. After grabbing a quick bite we headed back up towards city hall to catch the “T”.

On the way we came across an interesting installation which turned out the be the New England Holocaust Memorial. A very interesting, and haunting design we stopped for a few minutes and made our way through it – if you’re in Boston it is definitely worth stopping by to see. I think we came through it at just the right time as well – it appears dusk-night is when this impressive memorial is best viewed. More information about it can be found here.


Over the next couple of nights we had partner dinners around town. On Tuesday night I made it out to Harvard with a potential partner and we grabbed some good food and even better beer at John Harvard’s Brew House – Wednesday we went out for a fun night with our friends from VistaTEC. Our Project Manager here at Clay Tablet did a little research for us and found a great little place called Red Sky Lounge – on that night they also happened to have a Frank Sinatra impersonator performing. Thankfully he was actually quite good, even if once and a while it was clear from the accent that this “Frank” was from Boston.

Our last night in town we were dying to find a really good meal – up until that point most of what we were eating had been downright inedible (do NOT eat at the convention centre if you can help it) to just barely surpassing mediocre. We’d had one place recommended to us which, thanks to Google Maps, we attempted to get to via the projects. When we finally got there though the place was packed – the hostess pointed us in the direction of some spots a little further down the road where we finally settled on a Sushi/Wine Bar place called Seiyo. I think the three of us demolished their biggest party boat in a matter of 5 minutes – it was quite good.

All in all I preferred San Francisco over Boston but that may largely be a function of weather and the very slow show – I think we’ll be back there in October for the Gilbane show so hopefully I can catch some good weather and get to see the city from a better angle.

VizThink2: On the move…

Thanks to Mark Dowds from Creation Step for offering up some of the Indoor Playground space for VizThink2. Date and time are still the

Capacity for VizThink2 is now 50 people (40 Registered so far!) – If you’re interested there is still some space. Stop by the wiki at http://barcamp.org/VizThinkToronto2 for more info and to sign up.

Why you should consider an integrated Localization/Translation Infrastructure…


At the Gilbane conference a couple of weeks ago one of the sessions in the LISA (Localization/Globalization) track was presented by some members from the team at Sun Microsystems who had been working to bring greater efficiency to their translation process.

Estimated savings attributed to a more efficient translation processes?


One of the key contributors? Integration between their Content Management & Translation Workflow/Globalization Management Systems.

They didn’t mention any ballparks for their investment in getting to the point they are at today but at $1.9M in savings I’m guessing it didn’t take long to get their ROI.

It’s great to see metrics like this starting to float out into the market. Translation/localization has always been one of those areas where organizations wanted to spend as little as possible getting it done. Convincing the higher-ups to spend money on technology/a proper infrastructure? Forget it. Numbers like this show that a little forward thinking and investment can offer an organization huge opportunity to save — and this doesn’t even take into account whatever increased sales or decreased customer support costs etc. that they may have seen as a result of having content translated more efficiently.

How much could your organization shave off below the line by streamlining your translation process?

VizThink2: We need a bigger home!

Well VizThink2 has gone and blown through the 30 person capacity we’ve got here at Clay Tablet so if possible I’d like to find some different, bigger space that could hold up to 50 people.

The event is scheduled to take place the evening of Monday, May 7, 2007.

For more information on VixThink2 check out the Wiki page.

If you’re in the Toronto area and know of a space that has:

Must haves:

  • Chairs (some or all… can source up to 20)
  • Room for up to 50 (more is fine too)

Nice to haves:

  • Whiteboards or Pad Easels
  • Wifi/Internet Connection (even if just for the presenter)
  • Bar/Food Service

We’re mild-mannered, clean up after ourselves and if it’s a bar/restaurant we eat and drink heartily. If you have space or know of space you can leave a comment here or email me at rcoleman(at)clay-tablet(com).

– Ryan

DemoCampToronto13 – Tonight!

It’s that time again – DemoCampToronto13 will be running tonight at “No Regrets” on Mowatt St. (King and Dufferin area). It starts at 6:30 and goes until the last TorCamper leaves (demos/talks etc. usually run about 2 hours). Get all the details on the wiki.

Looks like a good line-up…. Be sure to get there early, DemoCamp12 was literally packed to the rafters so unless you want to stand for a few hours be there by 6’ish.

Unfortunately I’m going to miss it as it’s my turn to take the kid to swimming and considering I missed the last two classes due to traveling I can’t really skip this one – look forward to hearing the reports though.