MATI 16th Annual Conference
By Catherine Breckenridge
Over 100 language service professionals gathered together at the MATI 16th Annual Conference on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in Chicago, IL at Conference Chicago at University Center, to enjoy a day of great education and networking with colleagues.
MATI was very pleased to welcome Dr. Bill Rivers as the 16th Annual Conference Keynote Speaker. Dr. Rivers spoke about coalition-based efforts to bring greater visibility to language services. He encouraged all attendees to become advocates for their profession.
Elizabeth Colón led an engaging plenary session, guiding attendees through the steps to transition from freelancer to entrepreneur by shifting our perspective to think of ourselves as business owners and by self-incorporating as a business.
In the afternoon, education was themed along two tracks – interpreter and translator. The interpreter room focused on healthy practices, both personally and professionally.
Erika Shell Castro helped us learn to recognize the signs of burnout and secondary traumatization in interpreters, as well as strategies for self-care and best practices in providing support for those experiencing burnout. Takeaways include protecting work/life balance, developing and deepening professional and social relationships for support and personal growth, and recognizing, listening to, and acting on the warning signs of burnout before they begin to affect our lives and our work.
Moving from healthy mind and body, to healthy business practices, Tony Rosado asked us to carefully consider and value the factors that distinguish us as linguists when setting professional fees. These include professional experience, education, and other types of life experiences that contribute to our expertise. He urged us to see ourselves as a profession, not an industry, and to set sustainable fees that reflect our status as professionals.
In the translator room, Jill Sommer spoke about contingency planning and crisis management, asking those of us in the audience to consider what actually happens in an emergency, what can be done to prepare for unforeseen events and disasters, and how to protect our business and ourselves.
Audiovisual linguist and manager, Deborah Wexler demystified the roles and work of an audiovisual linguist. She broke down technical components of subtitling and dubbing/re-voicing, distinguished between the different uses for this work, such as entertainment or accessibility, and discussed different team roles for each type of work.
In addition to some great professional development, attendees enjoyed connecting with friends and colleagues at breaks and even sharing a drink or two with colleagues during the hors d’oeuvres and happy hour event following the educational program. A few lucky attendees even took home fun raffle prizes.
MATI would like to thank our attendees and our sponsors for making this such a great day! We had a blast. We hope you did too, and we hope to see you in Milwaukee in 2020!