Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Conferences to Attend - Why?

Here I am, barely back from the International Translators Federation congress in San Francisco, and I just registered for my next conference. This time I'll be going to Boston for the American Translators Association conference.

Is all this jet-setting really worth it? Well, for one, I'm not exactly jet-setting. I try to find the cheapest way to get there (in the case of Boston that is a $15 or so ticket from a discount bus company), then find a cheap hotel that's accessible by public transportation. In Boston, this proved to be harder than it had been for other conferences, but I finally did find something cheaper than half a double room at the conference hotel. Telling from Google maps, it's even within walking distance of the conference - although a little bit of a hike. The conference fee itself is fixed, but I always register early enough to get the early-bird discount.

Despite the economizing, though, I do spend quite a bit of money on these trips. While I have only gotten work as a direct results of two conferences, establishing contacts with potential referrers and/or clients does seem useful to me. In addition, conferences do provide much more in-depth information on current trends and issues in the profession than magazines and online articles do.

Then again, maybe I'm just rationalizing these trips. I really like to travel and going to conferences gives me an excuse to do so. I always try to make room for at least a little exploration of the city in which I'm staying, even if that means staying up rather late or hauling my luggage with me while sightseeing just before the bus/plane back to New York.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on a. cheap accommodations in Boston (the reservation I made can still be cancelled) and/or b. things to see there on a Sunday (the conference ends late Saturday, so I'm staying over until Sunday).

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