From the President-Elect: ATA61: Virtually Anywhere for Everyone

From the President-Elect
Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo
Twitter handle: @mszampaulo

ATA61 is right around the corner and there’s a lot to be excited about! While we’re all itching for the time when we can once again gather in person, this year’s Annual Conference (October 21–24) will be more accessible than ever. No matter where you are in the world, you can join colleagues right from your home office to make the most of an event that we look forward to all year.

All conference attendees will have access to the 120 educational sessions for at least six months, possibly longer, after the conference ends. We’re working out the technical details to make the sessions available on ATA’s server for longer-term access. A huge perk of attending a virtual conference is the ability to catch up on any sessions you miss or that don’t work for your schedule simply by accessing them later on demand. You would be hard pressed to find another event with this level of education at your fingertips. So, why not check out the conference website ( and register today!

Here’s What Else You Can Expect

AST Sessions and Buddies Welcome Newbies: We’ll kick off pre-conference activities on Wednesday with 16 Advanced Skills and Training (AST) sessions presented by some of the top speakers in our professions. There are a variety of workshops related to interpreting, translation, and business skills. At the end of the day, first-time conference attendees will have the opportunity to meet veteran conference goers as part of the Buddies Welcome Newbies experience.

Mindful Movement and Zumba: Each morning we’ll get the day started right with two options for healthy movement before a day of meetings and sessions. I would like to thank Eva Stabenow and Cris Silva for agreeing to share their energy with us again this year as they lead the virtual Mindful Movement and Zumba workouts.

Annual Meeting of Voting Members and Meet the Candidates: On Thursday morning, attendees will be invited to attend the Opening Session, followed by the Annual Meeting of Voting Members. Members who are unable or do not wish to attend the conference can still attend the Annual Meeting of Voting Members and the Annual Meeting of All Members. We’ll have the chance to hear from the seven candidates running for three director positions this year. As usual, there will be time for you to ask questions of the candidates. If you would like to spend some additional time getting to know the candidates, I invite you to attend the Meet the Candidates event while sipping your morning coffee or enjoying an afternoon cup of tea—wherever you are in the world! (Don’t forget to check out the candidates’ statements in this issue and their interviews on The ATA Podcast.) All voting will take place via proxy this year. You can choose to vote prior to the conference or wait to hear the candidates’ speeches on Thursday morning. Proxy information will be sent to all Voting members so watch your inbox!

Sessions, Brainstorm Networking, and Stronger Together: We’ll hold 30 of the 120 educational sessions on Thursday afternoon. Don’t forget to wrap up your day with colleagues during the Brainstorm Networking event, hosted by the Business Practices Education Committee, or attend our new evening networking event, Stronger Together. Details about these and all networking events and sessions can be found on the conference website.

Coffee with the Board and the Annual Meeting of All Members: Join the Board on Friday morning during Coffee with the Board, or fit in some more movement with Eva Stabenow and Cris Silva before the Annual Meeting of All Members. This meeting is when you’ll hear from ATA leadership about the Association’s activity for the year, including the treasurer’s report, advocacy efforts, and more. As always, attendees will be able to share questions and comments.

Six New ATA Awards: Following the Annual Meeting of All Members, we’ll have a short break before coming together to celebrate this year’s honors and awards recipients. In addition to the long-standing awards, ATA is kicking off six new ATA awards this year. The Honors and Awards Committee has put together a wonderful program to honor our colleagues. You don’t want to miss it!

More Sessions, More Networking, and the After Hours Café: After the Awards Ceremony, there will be 40 educational sessions before a second round of the Stronger Together networking event and the popular After Hours Café, hosted by ATA’s Literary Division.

Closing Session: We’ll kick off the last day of the Annual Conference with a slightly later start. You’ll get one more opportunity to attend Mindful Movement or Zumba before selecting from the final 50 educational sessions. As always, we’ll end the conference with a brief Closing Session to celebrate another successful event and the opportunity to come together, in addition to sharing what’s to come next year in Minneapolis for ATA62.

Exhibit Hall and Job Fair: In addition to networking events and conference sessions, attendees can take advantage of the Job Fair throughout the conference to connect with those looking to hire freelance translators for specific language pairs and specializations. Access the Exhibit Hall throughout the conference weekend, interacting with exhibitors and gathering information about the tools, products, and services they offer.

Get Set for an Interactive Experience!

While nothing beats the in-person experience of a conference in a fun city, I look forward to seeing you—even if from a virtual distance—very soon!

Useful Links

ATA61 Advanced Skills and Training Day

ATA61 Conference Home Page

ATA61 Conference Registration

ATA61 Continuing Education Credit Information

ATA61 Conference Sessions

The ATA Podcast (Interviews with Board Candidates)

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