The JATTOOLS SIG held its first meeting outside of JAT (Japan Association of Translators) with 16 translators in San Francisco on November 3, 2016.
While the SIG has been in existence for several years and has actively promoted discussion and hands-on demonstration of various tools as they are used in work, this was the first time a meeting was held at a non-JAT event. In this case, the event was the annual ATA (American Translators Association) conference in San Francisco, and the venue for the JATTOOLS meeting was ConnectionsSF, a coworking space and meeting venue just a few minutes walk away from the ATA conference venue.
Sixteen people attended the meeting. Discussion was led by Paul Koehler, the JATTOOLS chair, but other members stepped into participate and hook up their laptops to the main display in the room to show other members how their tools work in practice.
One of the pleasant surprises of the meeting was that the attendees were a mix of veterans and people interested in using tools for the first time, so there was a pretty good discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of several available programs. This was a good contrast to the vendor hall at the ATA conference, where each of the companies were lobbying for their own programs without discussing the merits of other options available. This has always been one of JATTOOLS' strengths, and it was certainly on display at this meeting.
As part of JAT's efforts to expand the participation of its members, SIG meetings have been heavily promoted, so JATTOOLS is looking forward to hosting similar events in the future. Please contact JATTOOLS via the JATTOOLS Forum (https://jat.org/forums/viewforum/14/) if you have any other specific questions or ideas for future events!