We did it! We reached the tail end of what’s turned out to be quite a year, and we had a very successful virtual Annual Conference. While I never expected to organize a fully virtual conference, it was truly a pleasure to take on this challenge on behalf of our members. Thanks to the more than 1,500 attendees, the countless hours from volunteers, and the intensive behind-the-scenes work of the ATA Headquarters staff, it was definitely a team effort!
While this year has taught us a lot about being resilient, it has also provided a lesson to those of us in ATA leadership to see how we can best serve members in a way that will add value to your lives and careers while supporting you wherever you are.
Even though we couldn’t put on a conference that would come close to the experience of meeting in person, we did our best to give attendees a memorable experience with networking events, 120 top-notch educational sessions, and more. Don’t forget that those who registered for the conference will have a minimum of six months of access to the recorded sessions. If you didn’t have the chance to attend, you can still purchase the conference package, as well as individual Advanced Skills and Training (AST) Day sessions—three-hour workshops that are a deeper dive into a specific, advanced topic. There’s a little something for everyone! As always, members receive a reduced rate on all professional development offerings, so look for more information in ATA Newsbriefs and on ATA’s website.
If you joined us live for ATA61, I hope you had the chance to take advantage of the Exhibit Hall and Job Fair. I have to say, I was happy that I didn’t have to run to the Exhibit Hall on the last day this year just to meet with vendors before everything closed down. It was all at my fingertips and I could peruse their offerings on my own time. I also found the Job Fair easy to maneuver. Avoiding long lines was a definite plus of the virtual experience! I hope you had the same experience.
If you would like to “re-live” the conference experience, be sure to visit ATA’s YouTube channel and check out the conference video from this year’s Annual Conference. We got a chance to see various colleagues’ “conference in your home office” experiences and catch an exciting glimpse into ATA62 in Minneapolis!
Looking ahead to next year, we’re planning for a hybrid conference for ATA62. As we all know, virtual events are here to stay. So, while we certainly hope you’ll make plans to join us in person next year in Minneapolis, we’ll try to accommodate those who cannot make it. Watch for more details in the coming months.
Lastly, thank you all for your support. This year hasn’t been an easy one, but we made it through together, and we’ve all learned resiliency and ingenuity in a time when so many major events were taking place in the world. We couldn’t have had such a wonderful virtual conference without your support and encouragement, so thank you, thank you, thank you!