From the President-Elect: The Final Countdown!

From the President-Elect
Veronika Demichelis

The countdown is on for ATA63! In a few short weeks (or days, depending on when you’re reading this), we’ll gather in sunny Los Angeles on October 12-15 to reunite with old friends and make new ones, talk about the latest developments and the future of translation, interpreting, and localization, and geek out over all things language- and culture-related. That feeling of being part of a strong, vibrant, and committed professional community is something I enjoy the most at ATA’s Annual Conferences. It’s something that’s hard to find in the plethora of online events. You just can’t replicate the in-person interactions and connections.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for ATA63—our first fully in-person Annual Conference since 2019!

Registration: Yes, there’s still time to register! ATA members and student members save more, but we also have something special for colleagues who have never attended an ATA Annual Conference. First-time attendees get a $75 discount on conference registration, so please spread the word!

It’s also not too late to add Advanced Skills and Training (AST) Day courses to your registration or sign up for an ATA certification exam. There are many fantastic AST courses taught by top-notch instructors on the AST Day schedule—from keyword localization to translating sustainability reports, learning about the latest trends in artificial intelligence and machine translation, finding direct clients, upgrading your sight translation skills, and more!

Tips from the Locals: Our fantastic co-hosts, the Northern California Translators Association (NCTA) and Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area (ATISDA), created a wiki-page with tips for local restaurants, attractions, and activities. Their representatives will also greet you on-site at the Hospitality Tables and answer your questions. A huge thanks to Michael Schubert, Marco Díaz, and the NCTA and ATISDA teams for all their hard work!

Conference App: Our conference app is back! You’ll be able to download it approximately two weeks before the conference, and I strongly suggest you set aside some time to get familiar with the app and make the best of all it has to offer. As soon as the app is available, you’ll find guidance on how to use it on the ATA63 website.

With the app, you can browse the latest conference schedule, mark the sessions you want to attend, view handouts and slides, receive alerts for schedule changes, and submit session evaluations. It will also help you network. You’ll be able to see the list of conference attendees and connect with them before and during the conference, create your personal list of exhibitor booths to visit, connect with exhibitors, and see the list of companies participating in the Job Fair. Hot tip: don’t forget to update your own profile and upload your résumé if you’re actively looking for work!

Schedule: Throughout the conference, the ATA63 app and website will be your go-to resources for the latest schedule of sessions and events and other conference updates. There’s so much to choose from, so it’s a good idea to plan your schedule—and set aside some social time! Here are some of the many, many great events on the schedule—and some new ones I would like to highlight:

  • If you’re attending for the first time, don’t miss our legendary Buddies Welcome Newbies program where you can get helpful tips and get paired with an experienced conference-goer who will act as your guide in navigating your first ATA Annual Conference. If this isn’t your first conference, I hope you can attend this session and help other colleagues make the best of ATA63—it’s a rewarding experience for both parties.
  • Get excited about the Welcome Celebration—the best way to kick off our four-day-long T&I fest! Visit the designated ATA division tables to network with colleagues who work in the same subject areas and language pairs as you, talk to ATA Board members, meet the candidates in this year’s election, and have fun! We’re also excited to offer a selfie station this year, with some fun props for your ATA63 selfies and group photos. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ATA63 when you post them on social media.
  • Grab a bite at one of the assigned breakfast tables and meet the candidates in this year’s election, talk to Board members, network with fellow students, catch up with fellow Twitter lovers, exchange tips and tricks with fellow parents of young children, and more. Check the most up-to-date list of breakfast meetups on the ATA63 Event Schedule.
  • Attend the Annual Meeting of Voting Members and Election and help shape ATA’s future. Our Association is only as strong as the commitment and energy of our volunteers.
  • Visit the Book, Podcast, and Blog Fair to celebrate our talented colleagues who double as book authors. New this year, we’re also shining a spotlight on podcasts and blogs for translators and interpreters. If you’re a T&I podcaster or blogger, please check the guidelines on how to participate.
  • Need new headshots? No more excuses—make an appointment online and get professional headshots done at the conference. Three headshots for $40 is a fantastic deal!
  • Let’s face it, most of us are bookworms—it’s the nature of our profession. Don’t miss the Dictionary and Book Exchange—and please thank Jost Zetzsche for this wonderful initiative he started a few years ago. You can donate old dictionaries and find new ones you can put to good use. This year, we’ll also have a Leave a Book/Take a Book table so you can exchange fiction and nonfiction page-turners with fellow conference attendees.
  • If you’re actively looking for new work, add the Job Fair to your schedule and remember to update your résumés and business cards! This is your chance to meet agencies that are looking for talented T&I professionals to join their team.
  • Attending a conference is a chance to focus on growing and building your business—and networking is a huge part of that. There’ll be plenty of ways to network at ATA63, including the popular Stronger Together Networking, Brainstorm Networking, and Speed Networking events. Don’t miss these fantastic opportunities to make new connections and collaborate with colleagues.
  • Many ATA divisions are planning off-site events for their division members, and you can find that information on the ATA63 website, your division’s website, or through the division administrator.

I could go on and on, as there are so many things to look forward to at ATA63—from the glamorous Annual Awards Presentation to the bustling Exhibit Hall and the legendary Conference Dance Party. All I can say is that ATA63 will be one for the books!

I know that COVID-19 is still a concern, and I can assure you that we’re doing our best to make ATA63 not only memorable, but also safe. We’re in close communication with the hotel and will follow the local requirements. I strongly encourage you to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Los Angeles County Health Department’s recommendations as you get ready for the conference.

It has been a great pleasure and a privilege to organize ATA’s 63rd Annual Conference, and I would like to thank all the incredible volunteers and ATA staff who worked hard to make it a success. I hope you enjoy ATA63! See you in LA!

Useful Links

ATA63 Conference Website

ATA63 Conference Registration

ATA63 Conference Hotel Reservations

ATA63 Conference Blog

ATA63 Advanced Skills and Training Day

ATA63 Book, Podcast, and Blog Fair Guidelines

ATA63 Buddies Welcome Newbies

ATA63 Event Schedule

ATA63 General Sessions

ATA63 Get a Glimpse

ATA63 Job Fair

ATA63 Local Host Groups Wiki Page

ATA63 Off-Site Division Events

ATA63 Schedule at a Glance

ATA63 Networking Events

ATA63 Headshot Appointments

CDC and Los Angeles County Health Department’s Recommendations

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