From the President: Palm Springs, Here We Come!

From the President
Corinne McKay
Twitter handle: @corinnemckay

By the time you read this, registration will be open for ATA’s 60th Annual Conference. Translators and interpreters will be taking over Palm Springs, California, from October 23–26, and we can’t wait to see you there! Included with this issue of The ATA Chronicle (or online, if you receive the digital version), you’ll find the preliminary program and hotel reservation information so you can start planning for four days of education, networking, and fun!

I attended my first ATA conference back in 2004 in Toronto, Canada. At the time, I had been freelancing for about two years and had never been away from my toddler daughter (now a rising high school senior!) overnight. The trip was a huge leap—financially, professionally, and emotionally. Walking into the opening reception, I felt like I had just landed at a family reunion with over a thousand attendees, about four of whom I knew by name.

Throughout the conference, I forced myself to hand out business cards to everyone I met. I took notes during every session and made an effort to connect with some of the speakers. It was an overwhelming experience, but it also—through a chance encounter in the hallway—connected me with a new major client. In the year following that conference, I doubled my freelance income and finally knew that I was going to make it as a freelance translator.

Over the years, I worked my way up the conference ladder. Finally, I was no longer a newbie! I knew more than four people, and I didn’t have to eat breakfast alone! After a few years, I got up the courage to submit a session proposal, which led to even more contacts and a higher profile in the profession. ATA’s Annual Conference became—and still is—the highlight of my professional year. It also seems fitting that ATA60 is where a chapter in my own professional life will close, as I rotate off the ATA Board after seven years, leaving you in the capable hands of our current President-Elect, Ted Wozniak.

Attending ATA’s Annual Conference is an investment. We know that not every member can attend every year, and that’s why we’ve enhanced our offerings in terms of webinars and one-day seminars. But if you attend the conference, we promise that you’ll be glad you made that investment. The quality of our sessions is top-notch, the networking opportunities are one of a kind, and this year’s venue in Palm Springs allows for plenty of face time (real face time, not the app!) with other attendees. As an attendee commented a few years ago, ATA’s Annual Conference truly is “the experience you can’t download.” We hope to see you soon in Palm Springs!

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