I’m back from last week’s ATA conference in Boston, and I’m happy to report that it was highly enjoyable! If you attended the conference and haven’t yet given ATA your feedback, here’s the online form, and if you fill it out by November 25 you’ll be entered in a drawing for a free registration to next year’s conference in San Diego. Jill Sommer also wrote an informative overview of the conference that you should check out!
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to tweet or blog much from the conference (WiFi issues, more on that later!), but I’ll give a brief wrapup here and then use future posts to summarize some of the presentations I attended. I was part of four sessions: Blogging 101 with Riccardo Schiaffino; Working Successfully With a Translation Partner with Eve Bodeux; the Smart Business panel with Chris Durban, Judy Jenner and ace moderator Jost Zetzsche and a freelancer-agency panel at the annual meeting of the Translation Company Division. If I’m not deluding myself, I think that all of these went well, with sizable audiences and positive feedback.
The ATA staff and officers deserve huge thanks and congratulations for organizing yet another successful conference. Those of us who organize regional conferences for 100 people can appreciate what it takes to run a national conference for 2,000 people, and ATA pulls this off every year with very few logistical glitches. Huge kudos to conference organizer (and now ATA President!) Dorothee Racette!
Some highlights from this year’s conference:
- The hotel was beautiful and in a great location. Although I lived in Boston for 8 years I’m not a die-hard city person, and to me, the New York conference hotel (in 2009) felt very claustrophobic and hard to navigate. The Copley Marriott felt very spacious and modern, and the conference rooms were very pleasant!
- I really like the trend toward more panels and co-presented sessions. It seems as if many of the Divisions are using their meeting time to discuss pertinent issues, and more presenters are willing to collaborate for a better presentation.
- The sessions I attended were really fantastic. The presenters who I always look forward to hearing were great once more, and some of the sessions I attended on impulse got me thinking about new possibilities for my own professional directions.
- Translators are just really cool, interesting and nice people. I know this sounds pollyanna-ish, but it’s true; translators are lots of fun to spend time with, especially when you have three uninterrupted days!
The very minimal lowlights:
- Problematic WiFi. I’m still back in the early 2000s without a smart phone, so my only way to check e-mail, tweet or blog on the road is with my netbook. Normally not a big deal because the netbook has a great WiFi radar and it’s small enough to fit in my briefcase. The conference WiFi just was not great: in the hotel room, in the lobby, even at the WiFi hotspot outside the exhibit hall…ultra-slow connection or no connection at all. But hey, it was nice to spend a few days not worrying about constantly checking things online.
- I agree with Jill’s assessment that the opening reception could be longer and the division open houses need their own rooms.
- Every speaker needs to run a countdown timer so that they know when their session ends and how much time they have left. It’s a problem for the presenter and the attendees if the session runs late or the presenter has to speed through 10 slides in the last 5 minutes.
It was great fun to get out of the office for a few days and reconnect with colleagues and clients in Boston; any feedback from others who were there?