Buddies Welcome Newbies: A conference event you don’t want to miss

The hybrid format of this year’s Annual Conference brings with it new opportunities and challenges alike, for all attendees. Are you ready for the ins and outs of next week’s events, whether you are attending in person or virtually? Here are The Savvy Newcomer’s top ten tips for a successful hybrid conference:

  1. Attend Buddies Welcome Newbies

Both the virtual and in-person components of this event will provide first-time attendees the opportunity to connect with a seasoned conference-goer and have their burning questions answered. A great way to start off the conference festivities, Buddies Welcome Newbies will offer some networking advice as well as time to get to know your Newbie(s) or Buddy.

Virtual: 12:15-1:00pm Central time on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

In person: 4:45-5:30pm Central time on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

(We recommend that you check the box on your conference registration to sign up for these events, but this is not required.)

  1. Check the registration desk

You’ll need to visit the registration desk to pick up your conference badge before attending any events, but be sure to also check out some additional accoutrements in the registration area: a) language dots to show what languages you speak or work in; b) ATA branded facemasks available for purchase at the ATAware store; c) colored wristbands to indicate your level of comfort with proximity to others.

  1. Join us for breakfast (in person only)

The breakfast area is always a great place to meet new people, especially so for first-time attendees. If you can’t make it to the Wednesday event the Saturday Buddies Welcome Newbies breakfast is a great opportunity to connect with a Buddy and ask questions.

  1. Attend networking events

In addition to your educational sessions, be sure to work in some time for networking events; these are a great place to connect with colleagues you may never have met otherwise. They are available to both virtual and in person attendees; make sure to check the schedule for the events that may interest you!

  1. Have virtual materials ready

Even if you are attending the conference in person in Minneapolis, it’s a good idea to be prepared with online resources that will allow you to share your contact information with others quickly, easily, and safely. Consider having a QR code that people can scan to add you on LinkedIn or access your website/a contact card.

  1. Prepare some questions

Lots of networking experts will tell you to have an elevator speech ready, and we agree that you should have thought about a succinct way to explain who you are and what you do. But networking is a two-way street! You should also be ready with engaging and open-ended questions that will help you learn about the people you meet and get to know them better. Instead of “So, what do you do?” think something more like, “Have you gained any interesting new clients lately?” or “How did you get started as a translator/interpreter?”

  1. Plan how you’ll collect contact info

You’ll certainly give out your own contact information to lots of colleagues at the conference, but you’ll probably also collect the contact info of many colleagues as well. Do you have a secure means to store this information, whether digital or handwritten? Will your chosen method facilitate follow-up after the conference?

  1. Coffee breaks

Besides being a necessity for those of us with a caffeine addiction, coffee breaks are a good place to connect with people you might not otherwise get to know. Grab a hot beverage and strike up a conversation!

  1. Exhibit hall

The exhibit hall has all kinds of booths, from universities to translation agencies to software vendors. There’s something for everyone (and usually free swag as well!)

  1. Have fun!

Attending your first ATA conference can be overwhelming, but more than anything it should be fun. Translators and interpreters are a welcoming and engaging group of professionals, and we love nothing more than to share about our work and experiences with one another. That’s what makes the ATA conference the best week of the year!

ATA is celebrating International Translation Day – and we want to celebrate with you!

We’re calling all members, followers, translators, interpreters, and students to participate in ATA’s interactive social media campaign to celebrate International Translation Day 2021.

From September 27–October 1, 2021, ATA will release one to three interactive posts per day on each of its social media channels, inviting T&I professionals to interact with questions and prompts about their work. Posts will range from Instagram bingo to Facebook mad libs. Our goal is to share details and facts about our work with the world in a fun and interactive way.

Help us spread the fun! Every day that week, starting Monday, September 27, a post will go live on each ATA platform. All you have to do is:

We can’t wait to see the results! Thank you in advance for your support and Happy International Translation Day!

Buddies Welcome Newbies at #ATA61

This year’s Buddies Welcome Newbies features not only a new format but also a new experience. Read on to learn more about how to make the most of ATA’s 61st Annual Conference and how to prepare for our kick-off event.

Event details:

Wednesday, October 21

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm EDT

We’re already loving that we don’t have to study a map to get to a conference room —you already know where to go! All conference attendees who signed up for Buddies Welcome Newbies on their registration form will be able to access the event via a link in the agenda located in the virtual platform —which will be live in the next few days!

If you did not sign up for the BWN event during your registration, but would like to join us, you can do so up to the day of the conference by using the event link on the agenda.

Have an e-card ready

We will start with a brief orientation about the conference in general and some networking tips, creative ways to make the most of the conference, and even some practice time (i.e., networking) in the main floor.

But don’t wait until Wednesday October 21stat 6:30 pm EDT to jot down a brief introduction of yourself! Draft an e-card ahead of time so you can drop it in the chat with these blocks of information:

[name], [email], [where you live], [what you do].

If you have this in some kind of note on your computer or your phone, it will be easy to copy and paste it into every chat.

Bonus tip: All those new and valuable contacts will now be stored in your computer, tablet or phone, ready for you to follow up during and after the conference!

Breakout rooms: Your first major networking event of this year’s conference

Following our presentation in the main room, attendees will be assigned to much smaller breakout rooms (final count of attendees per room will depend on the actual number of participants; as of today, there are 306 of us attending this event!)

Mimicking what happens in the round tables during the in-person BWN event, there will be one moderator (aka a Buddy) in each breakout room, and you’ll have time to briefly introduce yourself and interact with other Newbies and Buddies in this room. Also, in the breakout rooms you can show your cameras, so be ready to interact like you are having real coffee with each other!

Remember: The chat box is the hallway

That’s where the magic happens, and you will have the opportunity to personally interact with other colleagues. Aside from your e-card and mastering the art of Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V, remember to also learn from people’s questions, have some icebreaker comments/questions ready, and be ready to learn, socialize, and make the most of this year’s conference experience until we meet up in person again!

International Translation Day — It wouldn’t be possible without translators and interpreters!

2020 has been a year of changes and “new normals” but one thing hasn’t changed: translators and interpreters still power the world’s communications. ATA wants to celebrate International Translation Day this year by reminding the world just how critical translators and interpreters really are.

Have you ever wondered how your smartphone went from an idea in an engineer’s mind to the invaluable assistant in your hand… or how translators and interpreters may have been involved every step of the way? On ITD (September 30, 2020), ATA will unveil an informational video that showcases how translators and interpreters help bring smartphones to life. This year, ITD is all about showing the world’s 3.5 billion smartphone users how our work as translators and interpreters directly impacts their daily lives.

The video features the life cycle of a smartphone, from concept to the product in your hand. We will walk you through the many steps it takes to produce a smartphone and the myriad linguists involved in getting the job done. Translators, interpreters, localizers, transcreation experts, proofreaders, editors, and more are critical components to this process that impacts every one of us, and we are excited to show just how fundamental our work is to the global economy.

Help us spread the word! Follow ATA on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram) and share ATA’s posts throughout the day on September 30. You can also visit the ITD webpage on September 30, download the video, and post it on your own social media accounts. In your post to social media, we’d love to see you tell us how your daily work helps the world go ‘round!

A Must-Attend ATA Conference Event: Buddies Welcome Newbies

Whether it’s your first conference or your fortieth, all attendees to the 60th Annual American Translators Association Conference in Palm Springs, CA are invited to attend “Buddies Welcome Newbies,” a time for first-timers and veterans alike to mix and mingle, breaking the ice and getting to know a familiar face before conference sessions get under way.

Why should I attend?

Showing up to a Welcome Reception on Wednesday in a room containing 1500 strangers is terrifying; we want to take the stress out of your first contact with fellow conference attendees. By becoming a Buddy or a Newbie you’ll be able to make one-on-one conversation with colleagues who are just as apprehensive as you are about all the activities and professional interactions that await them in the three days to follow.

Those who have attended two or more ATA conferences are encouraged to return as Buddies so they can help ease the transition for incoming Newbies; we know you remember how daunting it was when you first attended the conference, and how rewarding it can be to make someone else feel at home! Buddies may receive 2 CEPs for participating.

I’m interested. Tell me more…

No registration is necessary to participate in Buddies Welcome Newbies, although if you check the appropriate box on your conference registration form we’ll send you more detailed information by email the week leading up to the event. Buddies and Newbies will be paired up at the introductory event, which will entail a short presentation about networking, a few activities to break the ice, and helpful resources and time for you to get to know your Buddy or Newbie.

Buddies Welcome Newbies

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 from 4:45 to 5:30pm (right before the Welcome Reception!)

What will be expected of me?

Each Buddy-Newbie pair is encouraged to attend one session and go to one meal together. You can even make it a group event and include other Newbies and Buddies in your group—the more the merrier. We ask that you agree on a mode of communication at the session Wednesday and stick to your commitment; we hate to hear stories of Buddies who never respond to messages or Newbies who choose not to take advantage of their Buddy’s expertise!

Is that all?

One more thing! At the end of the conference, on Saturday October 26 at 12:30pm, there will be a wrap-up session for Buddies and Newbies wishing to debrief about their experiences and set goals going forward. You’ll find this to be a great time to collaborate with fellow attendees and hear some of their suggestions about how to make the most of your conference experience.

If you’ve already registered for the conference and forgot to check the “Buddy” or “Newbie” box but would like to receive email updates, just let us know by emailing atasavvynewcomer@atanet.org.

We look forward to seeing you in Palm Springs!