From the President-Elect
At every ATA conference, we try to strike a balance between maintaining the events that everyone loves while still injecting some new offerings into the program. A big change for this year is the slate of sessions and activities on Wednesday, November 2, the day before the main conference begins (often known as “preconference seminar day”). We’ve restyled Wednesday into our Advanced Skills and Training day, or AST for short, and we’re looking forward to a full lineup of three-hour courses—morning and afternoon—designed to offer either hands-on training or in-depth information on advanced topics.
In order to focus on advanced topics, we decided to select and invite the presenters for the AST courses. Some of them have received rave reviews for their presentations at past ATA conferences, while others are experts in their fields. We’ll be offering between 14 and 16 three-hour sessions on topics such as direct client marketing, International Financial Reporting Standards, note-taking, sight translation and presentation skills for interpreters, speech recognition software, improving your English writing skills, advanced Trados Studio skills, and more. We’ll also have some special networking opportunities just for AST attendees, making this day like a conference-within-a-conference that you won’t want to miss.
Over the years, you’ve told us on your ATA conference evaluations that you want more advanced-level sessions, and more opportunities for the kind of training that is best done in person rather than by reading a book or attending a webinar. We hear you, and that’s why we’re looking forward to this inaugural AST day (and hopefully many more to come!).
Our plan for AST day has also allowed us to move our division guest speakers into the main conference lineup, where all attendees can attend their presentations without paying an extra fee. Since everyone’s registration fees support the guest speaker program, we felt it was important to make this switch to ensure that anyone can attend a guest speaker presentation.
For this year’s conference, we received nearly 400 proposals for 174 session slots. It’s not an easy job to narrow the pool to the number of sessions we can accommodate. I want to extend a huge thank you to our division administrators, assistant administrators, and other reviewers who took the time to review the proposals for their tracks at the conference and give us their feedback. As the conference organizer, I, along with Teresa Kelly, our dynamo meetings manager at ATA Headquarters, am responsible for the big-picture aspects of the conference and the overall program. But because Teresa and I aren’t experts in all of the areas covered by the conference presentations, we count on our proposal reviewers to tell us what sessions ATA members want to attend. We appreciate their work immensely, and we’re looking forward to a lively (and jam-packed!) program at ATA57.