Are professional conferences and organizations valuable?
May 21, 2012 § 6 Comments
After the success of this weekend’s NAJIT conference in Cambridge Massachusetts, just like every time a big professional event takes place, many colleagues question the value of attending a conference or workshop. I must confess that I was not able to attend this weekend’s conference due to professional reasons, but I attended the American Translators Association conference this past October in Boston. It was one of the best conferences I have attended in my life, and believe me; I have attended many of them. For many years it has been my practice to attend at least the ATA, NAJIT, and other two or three conferences or workshops every year. I also attended the FIT conference in San Francisco last summer. To me, attending these conferences and workshops, and belonging to our professional organizations has tremendous value.
Despite the ever-increasing quality of these conferences, I have run across some colleagues who do not go to these events because they claim that these conferences are boring and have little academic content. They believe that the professional organizations do very little for their individual practice and therefore they are a waste of money. I would like to hear what you have to say. Are professional conferences and organizations a valuable tool for the interpreter, or are they simply an unjustified expense?