There are plenty of reasons to be excited for this year’s virtual ACES conference. The president of ACES, Sara Ziegler, went above and beyond with the ACES staff, Kim Lawyer and Ashly Stewart, to make this year’s event a success. They do it for sheer love of the members.
“The ACES conference is a chance for people to brush up on their skills, talk to people about editing and really find your community of editors. We really want to keep that going. The best thing about ACES is the community,” Ziegler said.
An intrinsic part of the ACES annual conference is networking with new people and getting to catch up with familiar faces. While the online format was a change of pace from the normal conference experience, Ziegler is hopeful that attendees found ways to interact and be together as they always do during events like keynote sessions, the annual spelling bee and what Ziegler described as fun, conference-adjacent events that helped fill the void normally filled in person by impromptu scrabble games and karaoke nights.
The transition from an immersive, in-person conference experience may be an unfamiliar one for ACES members, but according to Ziegler, this ordeal can be used to benefit future conferences.
“We were already planning on doing more online offerings for people who couldn’t go to the conference anyways, so this is a good natural evolution for us,” Ziegler said.
She also stressed that, although she views this and the previous conference as learning experiences that will better future online facets of the conference, ACES still fully intends to return back to the in-person format when it is safe for those attending. Those intentions include next year's conference, which is currently scheduled to take place in San Antonio, Texas.