Looking Ahead to ATA59

By the time you read this, registration will be open for ATA’s 59th Annual Conference, to be held October 24–27 in New Orleans—definitely one of the best conference destinations in the United States!

In January of this year, President-Elect and Conference Organizer Ted Wozniak, Professional Development Manager Adrian Aleckna, Executive Director Walter “Mooch” Bacak, and I visited our host hotel, the New Orleans Marriott, to get a feel for what we’ll be experiencing during the conference. Here are a few highlights:

  • Adrian described the Marriott as “a meeting planner’s dream.” We’ll have a full ballroom with sit-down tables for breakfast, then you’ll walk just a few steps across the hall for the Opening Session and Annual Meeting of All Members. The hotel atmosphere is bright, upbeat, and inviting, and the session rooms are well situated and easy to find.
  • If you attended our 2006 conference in New Orleans, this location will be one step better—on “the French Quarter side” of Canal Street, so that you can walk right out the door and into the heart of the action.
  • New Orleans truly has something for everyone, regardless of your definition of fun. Many people limit their impression of New Orleans to the bars on Bourbon Street. (And they’re definitely there if bars are your thing!) But—as someone who is more into good food and jazz than late-night partying—I really enjoyed exploring the historic district on foot, people-watching in Jackson Square, and capping it all off with beignets and café au lait at Café Beignet (Ted, a New Orleans local, promised me that it would be “better than Café du Monde,” and he was right!).

At each ATA conference, about a third of our attendees are there for the first time, and about a third have attended five or more ATA conferences. We’re committed to offering a wide range of opportunities, from our Buddies Welcome Newbies program to our Advanced Skills and Training Day sessions. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, don’t forget to book your hotel room soon before the room block fills up, and start planning your networking time to make the most of your investment in this “face time” (real face time, not the iPhone version!) with your colleagues from around the world. We expect attendees from throughout the U.S. and over 50 countries, and we need you there too! Thank you for being an ATA member, and I hope to see you soon in New Orleans!

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