As proud sponsors of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2022 Diversity and Inclusion initiative, the aiXplain team worked closely with ACL to deliver a well-rounded experience for all attendees. The continuing goal of the 60-60 “globalization via localization” initiative is to facilitate multilingual scientific communication in all modalities: text, speech, and sign language, across 60 languages, with “60” being derived from ACL’s 60 years in computational linguistics!

As a small startup, ACL2022 was an invaluable opportunity to connect with some of the top minds in the AI industry to share, and learn about,  the latest advancements in the field.

How did aiXplain contribute? 

When ACL asked aiXplain to help with their 60-60 initiative, we were more than happy to oblige. Using our beta platform, we created a set of AI-powered pipelines that helped to translate over 11K paper titles and abstracts into 60 languages, making all ACL papers accessible, regardless of English language ability. All-conference keynote presentations (Hosted on aiXplain) were also translated into the United Nation’s 10 officially recognized languages. 

To support these endeavors our team also produced an instructional video series in which we outlined the process of creating a dubbing and captions pipeline. The team worked tirelessly to make this a fantastic experience, and we are exceptionally pleased with the results. We’re looking forward to our continuing work with ACL, helping to make these conferences even more inclusive and welcoming to all.

We want to say a big thank you to Mona Diab, for her support. She’s a total rockstar and we consider this collaboration a great opportunity to help enhance the ACL community, and support the efforts of the diversity and inclusion initiative, it couldn’t have happened without her. We also want to thank the entire ACL team, and all of the participants, for their amazing work in making this conference a success.

To learn more about how aiXplain contributed to ACL and how the webinars and papers were translated! Please view our “Using aiXplain pipelines for rapid prototyping and deployment” article (stay tuned).

What are the key components of running a booth? 

“Why haven’t we seen you before?” We just celebrated our second anniversary as a startup and, this was the first year the timing provided an opportunity to sponsor and host a physical presence at ACL! The team on the ground was comprised of Hassan Sawaf, our company founder/CEO, Kareem Darwish – Principle Scientist, and myself, Daniel Nelson – Communications Specialist. 

We also participated in the virtual exhibit hall via gather.town, and enjoyed meeting many of you there. Special thanks to aiXplain scientist Mohamed Elbadrashiny, who attended virtually and helped with event coordination…and, of course, the rest of the aiXplain team who all helped in their supporting roles.

This is what we learned from our experience of having a booth at the 2022 conference:

To run a successful booth at ACL, you’ll need a few key components: 

  1.  A good booth location

This can be reserved from the coordinator.

Your ideal booth location is determined by the location of the room’s entrance, as this is where traffic will flow through. However, the cost of such a commodity can be rather expensive, as booth locations and types are determined by the sponsor tier package you purchase.

Different sponsor packages = different booth locations/booth types. 

Your ideal booth location is in the center, although you still get traffic along other rows. 

2.  Video content to engage visitors.

When you are engaged in conversations, it’s often hard to engage with passing attendees. This is why having a video playing on a loop at your booth will help to engage anyone passing by.

Let people see your product in visual form. 

3.  An effective system for contact gathering

You will find yourself losing track of contacts/leads. So it is important to write them down straight away. A simple excel sheet can go a long way toward keeping your mind focused on the goal rather than remembering who you last spoke to 😅.

Write them down or you will forget.

4.  Leveraging social media and event hashtags

Leveraging social media will help target your attendees better. This approach will help you engage with the conference community and bring traction to your booth. 

Bring awareness to your brand and presence at the conference. 

5. Tables and chairs for your booth visitors.

You can have a more in-depth conversation with someone when they take a seat. We discovered that huts/tents offer more open space and thus, are more inviting for attendees to sit down.

Hut/tent booths are ideal for this. When your visitor sits down, they are more likely to get engaged.  

6. Promotional materials for your booth, such as flyers or posters.

Inform everyone about what your company does. Keep posters and flyers simple and to the point in order to capture the attention of attendees passing by.

Tell people about yourself & bring them to your website.

7. Giveaways for your booth visitors, such as t-shirts or sweets.

Everyone enjoys sweets and free goodies, so why not take advantage? Attract attention and engage in conversation. Who knows, they might remember you!

Have something for them to remember you by….everyone loves snacks. 😏 🍬🍪

With these key components in place, you’ll be ready to welcome future ACL, NAACL, and LREC attendees to your booth!

We feel overall that aiXplain was a big hit with attendees, who loved being able to get their paper translations on-demand. We met a lot of great people, got fantastic feedback, and made many friends with other members of the AI community. We’re really looking forward to next year’s conference and continuing to help make ACL an inclusive event for everyone.

We can’t wait to see what next year holds and we hope to see you all there! 🙂

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