From the Executive Director: Why Palm Springs and a Look at ATA’s Annual Conference

From the Executive Director
Walter Bacak, CAE

Planning for the Annual Conference starts immediately after the last one ends. In the planning cycle, July always marks the big reveal: the sessions and special events are online, the preliminary program is printed and available with this issue, and registration is open.

ATA’s 60th Annual Conference is set for October 23–26, 2019 in Palm Springs, California. This is the first time ATA has met in Palm Springs.

Why Palm Springs?

  • Palm Springs offers a beautiful location at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains in the Coachella Valley, about two hours east of Los Angeles. The host hotel—the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel—is a short walk to the vibrant downtown area. Adding to it all, the weather for late October should also be favorable.
  • Palm Springs provides us access to a western U.S. location featuring competitive conference hotel lodging at $199 plus tax per night. ATA has reserved a block of rooms at the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel (host hotel) and the Hilton Palm Springs Hotel. The Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel is actually connected to the Palm Springs Convention Center, where most of the activities will take place. The Hilton Palm Springs Hotel is just an eight-minute walk (0.4 miles) from the convention center.
  • Palm Springs International Airport is less than two miles from the Renaissance. The Renaissance offers complimentary shuttle service to/from the airport.
  • ATA’s Board wanted to try the convention center model to investigate opening up other possible cities down the road. What I mean here is that we currently look at hotels that have several thousand square feet of meeting space broken out into at least 20 various sized meeting rooms plus over 600 hotel rooms. By using a convention center, we can use their meeting space while having the guest rooms in smaller hotels nearby.

A Look at the Conference

ATA’s Annual Conference is all about learning and making connections in a welcoming atmosphere.

  • A Schedule Featuring Over 170 Educational Sessions: We’re fortunate again this year to offer some of the best educational opportunities worldwide for translators, interpreters, and language services company owners. In addition, ATA President-Elect and Conference Organizer Ted Wozniak has compiled an impressive slate of in-depth training for Advanced Skills and Training (AST) Day, which takes place the day before the main conference starts. AST sessions are at least three-hours long with limited seating to ensure greater attention from the speakers. New this year, we’ve added a full day of interpreter training by federal court interpreter and well respected trainer Melinda Gonzalez Hibner. (You can register for AST sessions when you register for the conference.)
  • Plenty of Networking Opportunities: In-person networking is one of the key benefits of attending the conference. The conference gives you the opportunity to reconnect with old acquaintances and meet new ones. These connections can often lead to job opportunities and smarter ways to run your translation/interpreting practice. For starters, taking advantage of the Job Fair (offered on two nights) and visiting the Exhibit Hall during the conference are easy ways to make connections.
  • Learning from Your Colleagues: Year after year, first-time attendees tell us how exhilarating it is to be around other professionals who “get” what they do and understand the daily pressures. They also tell us how welcoming ATA’s conference culture is and how speakers are so willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

ATA60 will deliver the education you desire with a variety of networking opportunities. Invest in yourself and register for ATA60 today. See you in Palm Springs!

1 Responses to "From the Executive Director: Why Palm Springs and a Look at ATA’s Annual Conference"

  1. Eve Hecht says:

    Palm Springs may be lovely, but there are no direct flights from any New York area airport. Same is true from several other major metropolitan areas. That means a 9 or 10-hour trip from the east coast. For the first time in 20 years, I’m not coming.

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