Onward, to ATA58!

From the President-Elect

Corinne McKay
Twitter handle: @corinnemckay

ATA57 is in the history books. And by almost any metric, it was a huge success. We welcomed 1,822 attendees from 60 countries and offered 176 educational sessions and 16 Advanced Skills and Training Day courses, more than half of which sold out before the conference. In addition to ever-popular events like Brainstorm Networking, Buddies Welcome Newbies, and the After-Hours Café, we added a Job Fair where agencies and freelancers could exchange information. Our local host association, the mighty Northern California Translators Association, served as a welcoming presence and a great source of information throughout the conference. NCTA’s members provided insider information, including where to get a Vietnamese iced coffee when I needed a caffeine infusion!

If you weren’t with us in San Francisco, we hope that you’ve had a chance to see the conference photos on ATA’s website1 and the highlights video on our YouTube channel.2

Since the conference wrapped up, I’ve been having a lot of fun reading blog posts written by our attendees.

  • English>Spanish translator Paula Arturo commented that, “ATA conferences are famous for being well-oiled machines, and ATA57 was not an exception.” Paula also noted that she loved the conference hotel and its “breathtaking atrium” (I agree!), and that every session she attended was “interesting and informative.”3
  • First-time attendee Mingyue Yin wrote about her experience for ATA’s Savvy Newcomer blog.4 Mingyue, who is working on her doctorate in translation/interpreting studies and language communication at Sichuan (China) University, wrote that she was glad to have participated in our Buddies Welcome Newbies program. Mingyue, who was paired with experienced translator/interpreter Farah Arjang, wrote: “Farah’s advice was like a life jacket for newbies, to navigate the oceans of opportunities and insight at 
the conference.”
  • First-time attendee Claire Cox, who traveled from the U.K. to attend the conference, wrote that she was initially “particularly keen to attend an ATA conference because of the strong scientific and technical track,” but ended up enjoying a wide variety of sessions from culinary translation to marketing. Claire summed up her experience by saying, “I’m so glad I went to San Francisco. I learnt a lot, met so many interesting colleagues, and came back with my head buzzing with new ideas.”5 We couldn’t ask for a better endorsement than that!

As your surveys roll in (and by the way, congratulations to Beatriz Figueiredo, the winner of a free registration to ATA58 from the overall survey drawing!), I’m excited to read about your impressions of the conference. Providing your feedback truly makes you a member of the ATA58 conference planning team, because we read, and take to heart, every single evaluation we receive.

As this year’s conference organizer, I want to give a huge thank you to the people who make our conference the must-attend event that it is. ATA President David Rumsey, who served as conference organizer for our Chicago and Miami conferences, answered every one of my (many!) questions with patience and wisdom. Our dynamo Meeting Planner Teresa Kelly makes sure that even the smallest detail is taken care of. Our Executive Director, Walter “Mooch” Bacak, coordinates the efforts of our hardworking staff, who process your registrations, answer your questions, photograph the conference, and more. Our key volunteers who make up the session proposal review team—division administrators, committee chairs, and subject matter specialists—make sure that every track in the conference schedule is packed with informative and engaging sessions. Our speakers spend countless hours developing presentations that get comments like, “I took notes throughout the entire session. This one session was worth the price of the conference alone.” And all of you, who carve out the time and money to attend the conference, make it the top event for the language industry in the U.S., if not worldwide. So, a huge *thank you* to everyone involved!

Now that we’ve all (mostly!) recovered from ATA57, the planning for ATA58 is gearing up. No, really! We’re already starting the planning process for next year’s conference, October 25–28 at the Washington Hilton, in the heart of our nation’s capital.6 Whether it’s your first ATA conference or your 25th, we promise it will be the best week of your professional year. See you there!

  1. You can view the photo galleries by clicking on the highlight links at 
  2. 2016 ATA Annual Conference Highlights, http://bit.ly/ChannelATA-ATA57.
  3. Arturo, Paula. “My Take on ATA57,” Translators Digest (November 7, 2016), https://translatorsdigest.net/2016/11/07/my-take-on-ata57.
  4. Yin, Mingyue. “A Newbie’s Experience at #ATA57,” The Savvy Newcomer (December 6, 2016), http://bit.ly/Savvy-Newcomer-NewbieATA57.
  5. Cox, Claire. “ATA57: Now for the Nitty-Gritty,” Claire Cox Translations (November 28, 2016), http://bit.ly/Claire-Cox-ATA57.
  6. Here’s a peek at what’s in store for attendees at ATA58 in Washington, DC, http://bit.ly/ATA58-promo.
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