From the President-Elect
Ted R. Wozniak
ATA59 is less than four months away so it’s not too soon to start making plans to come to The Big Easy for four days of top-notch professional development training, numerous networking opportunities, and the chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. (And let’s not forget the beignets, étouffée, jambalaya, and a cornucopia of other foods from around the world that will be yours to enjoy only a short walk from the conference hotel!) Conference registration is open, so reserve your hotel room now. Remember, if you make your room reservations by October 22, you could be one of five lucky attendees selected at random to have one night of your existing hotel reservation paid for by ATA! Need a little more incentive before making a decision? Here’s just a small preview of what’s in store for you at ATA59!
Advanced Training: Advanced Skills and Training (AST) Day takes place Wednesday, October 24. This “conference-before-the-conference” will offer intensive three-hour training sessions on interpreting, technology, neural machine translation, productivity boosters, and, again this year, preparation workshops for the Spanish>English and English>Spanish certification exams. (There will be two exam sittings at the conference for those who are ready.)
Over 170 Educational Sessions: As always, ATA’s Annual Conference will be chock full of educational and networking opportunities. Over 170 sessions have been selected through a rigorous peer-review process to provide you with training in almost every facet of our profession. In addition to the regular sessions by your peers, 15 distinguished speakers have been invited to impart their expertise and perspectives to you. As we’ve learned from past conference surveys, 91% of attendees report gaining a new skill by attending the conference.
Networking, Networking, and More Networking: While education and training are great and are alone worth the registration fee, I know many of you attend the conference to get more work and expand your client base. Previous conference surveys show that 98% of conference attendees made new contacts at the conference. To help you get more work, the Job Fair has been extended to two nights to allow more time to connect with representatives from language services companies. You can also network and gain valuable business knowledge at the ever-popular Brainstorm Networking session and Business Practices Happy Hour, as well as make new contacts at the Welcome Celebration and in the Exhibit Hall. Seasoned attendees can also help newcomers by participating in the Buddies Welcome Newbies program.
Connect with Attendees Before, During, and After the Conference: There’s an app for that! Once the conference app is available, make sure you download it and complete your profile, including uploading your résumé. Not only will this put you in contact with about 1,600 attendees, but also with representatives from language services companies. In addition, you can only provide feedback on the sessions you attend using the app. Your feedback is vital and is used every year during the session selection process for the upcoming conference, so please submit your session reviews. The mobile app works on Android and iOS devices, and the online version works in all browsers.
The Food! Nor should you pass up on the after-hours opportunities! This is “Nawlins ya’ll” and we know how to let the good times roll! If you can’t find a delicious meal in New Orleans, you can’t find your nose in the dark. According to The New Orleans Menu, there are about 150 restaurants in the French Quarter alone. Add in the Central Business District, the Bywater, Marigny, and the Garden District—all easily reached by taxi or ridesharing services—and you have another 200 dining options from which to choose. And that’s just the areas quickly reached from the conference hotel.
Still on the fence about whether or not to attend? Then visit the conference website to see what past attendees have to say about the value of attendance and get more details about the networking and education opportunities that await you in New Orleans. If you still aren’t sure the conference is worth the investment, click here for even more “Reasons to attend.”
So, make your plans to attend ATA59 and come meet me in NOLA. My investments in attending ATA conferences have been paid back many times over. I’m sure yours will be as well!
MORE INFORMATION ON ATA59
ATA 59th Annual Conference Website
ATA59 Advanced Skills and Training Day
ATA59 Networking Opportunities
AT59 Registration Information
New Orleans Menu
New Orleans Official Guide