ATA Conference Overview October 31, 2011Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Random musings.
I am back home after a very successful ATA conference – a little worn out but full of ideas. It was a little dicey for a while, since Boston was hit with a Nor’easter on Saturday night, and many flights were delayed and/or cancelled. Luckily my flight was Sunday evening, so apart from the plane being full my return home was uneventful. Some of my colleagues were not as lucky.
The American Translators Association met this year in Boston for its 52nd annual conference. This year they unveiled a new tagline – The Voice of Interpreters and Translators. Interpreters have been complaining for years that they didn’t have a voice in the ATA, which I don’t think was necessarily true but what do I know since I’m not an interpreter. I hope the addition of this tagline changes that, and this is the last we hear of it.
I found it to be a very fulfilling conference. Everyone was very pleased with the GLD’s Distinguished Speakers. Craig Morris (a regular reader of this blog and a blogger in his own right (Always Greener – Notes from the other side)) held two sessions on renewable energy, and Jan-Philipp Sendker offered sessions on editing and a bilingual reading and discussion of his work. The photo to the right is of Craig during his entertaining and interesting preconference seminar. I thought the best session was Corinne McKay, Judy Jenner and Chris Durban’s Smart Business Panel. They had a lot of good advice, and the ballroom was packed with attendees to hear that advice (no small feat for the last session on the last day of the conference, which is traditionally less attended since most people have already started heading home). The best advice I heard and one that I hope everyone can take to heart is to stop complaining about low rates/bad clients, etc. and just focus on improving your own bottom line by ignoring the bad and focusing on the good.
I spent more time than I usually do in the Exhibit Hall and really enjoyed myself – getting a free chair massage every day, visiting clients, checking out the various tools and reconnecting with the FBI. I may or may not decide to work with them again, but my old boss has done a good job of convincing me to think about it.
I attended several Tools Tutorials this year too, and Eve Bodeux and I have made a pact to finally install Fluency (we both bought it last year and haven’t gotten around to using it). Every time I see it being used I am impressed. Let’s see how it fares in real life use…
I also intend to help the Language Technology Division reach out to its less technically-savvy members by writing some blog posts about how to effectively use some tools and republishing them in the LTD newsletter or website (or even the ATA Chronicle). There are a lot of people who aren’t as technically curious as I am, so I hope to help them even if just a little bit. My first planned post is how to format effectively in Word.
And of course I enjoyed many lovely meals and get-togethers with my friends and colleagues. The Welcome Reception did not have enough seating options, so several of us sat on the floor in a corner of the ballroom to enjoy the lovely turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing that was served. I also wasn’t too pleased with the Division Reception format (but again, this was because the hotel lacked the facilities). It also seemed too rushed this year. An hour simply isn’t enough time, and the tables did not offer an intimate setting among colleagues. I preferred last year’s format of separate rooms much more. It was easier to talk and hear each other. Also, unfortunately for many of us, the Business Practices Happy Hour was held at the same time as the German Language Division Reception, so I had to choose one. Hey, it happens 🙂 . The GLD was invited to the Goethe Institute, and it was nice to enjoy a glass or two of (free) wine with colleagues. Over the course of the week I was able to enjoy many nice meals – including two lobster dinners and one lobster roll, and for that I am truly thankful.