Preparing for Event Interpretation: 5 Things to Consider
If you are targeting delegates who speak different languages for your event, it is paramount that each of them receives the message in a dialect that they understand very well. Keep in mind that event interpretation can make or break the success of your event. That is why event interpretation needs serious strategizing as well as partnering with experts who understand the task at hand. If you don’t compromise on this area, you can be sure to eliminate embarrassing gaffes that can taint your reputation and credibility. In addition, your message will be received in a manner that makes a meaningful impact on your attendees.
If you are focused on getting it right on event interpretation for your event, regardless of the scale, here are 5 things that you need to consider.
- Interpretation needs
Different events call for different event interpreting needs. Understanding the different methods of interpretation that are available can help you decide which one best suits your event.
Simultaneous interpretation is when the speaker and interpreters speak at the same time. The interpreter keeps up with the pace of the speaker to deliver an interpreted version to the audience instantly. Consecutive interpretation is when the speaker speaks and then poses to let the interpreter interpret the message to the audience.
If you are holding a workshop where clarity of the message is needed, consecutive interpretation is ideal for you. Otherwise, simultaneous interpretation will work well if you are not looking for clarity. However, if you plan to have a workshop portion in your event, you might need to use both simultaneous and consecutive interpretations.
- The equipment
If you are going for whisper equipment, you would know that it consists of headsets, microphones, and transmitters for interpreters and headsets with receivers for attendees. However, booths come in different sizes. There are table-top booths that sit on a table and only accommodate the interpreter’s upper body and the equipment. They are open at the back, so they don’t provide complete sound insulation. Then there are full booths that are standalone enclosures. The interpreters sit inside together with all the equipment.
The size of the venue and the setup time available will determine which booths you choose for your event. If the venue is relatively small, table-top booths are ideal. You might also need to consider them if the venue managers allow for a limited time to set up. Full booths are completely soundproof, but they can take a whole day to set up depending on their size.
- The languages that you will need
Your event will not make any sense if you have the wrong language combinations. It is very important that you get your homework right to understand which languages you will need. The best way to know is to request your attendees to indicate their most preferred language when registering for the event. Remember to do it in a way that will not be intimidating, but will compel them to freely share with you.
In addition, don’t make the mistake of generalizing people who speak a certain language. You need to keep in mind the different variations in all the languages. This will help you mirror in on the specific dialects, which is essential in enhancing attendees’ experience.
- Preparing early
Event interpretation is a high-demand service. It would be a great mistake to assume that interpreters and equipment will be there on demand. Identify the agency that you want to work with several months before your event. This will ensure that you get the right interpreters for your event. In addition, it gives them enough time to prepare for the job. Though they are subject matter experts, having enough preparation prior to the event only makes their interpretation job easier and excellent. Additionally, securing the equipment early enough gives you peace of mind knowing that it will be available on the day of the event.
On top of booking interpreters early, ensure that you provide them with event materials such as handouts, speech outlines, PowerPoint presentations, and any other material that they need to aid their preparations. This will help them familiarize themselves with the terminologies, industry jargon, and presentation style among other aspects necessary for successful event interpreting.
Another area that you need to prepare in advance is booking a venue for your event. Some conference venues come with built-in interpretation booths while others don’t. You also need to keep in mind other factors such as the location and proximity to amenities such as the airport or hotels. The number of your attendees and interpreters also matters. You need a venue that can accommodate everyone involved. The earlier you start looking, the higher the chances of finding a venue that meets your standards.
- The small details
It is very important that everything runs well on the day of the event. You need to work closely with your interpretation agency to ensure that equipment is set up on time and is working well. Your vendor should also provide technical support on standby in case of any mishap.
If you have several speakers, it is important to remind them of the best practices when delivering their speeches that need interpretation. They should enunciate clearly, avoid slang and speak loudly but not shouting. This gives the interpreters an easy time when interpreting.
Though you have previously given your interpreters copies of the event materials, it is beneficial to bring extra copies on the day of the event. In case they forgot to carry their copies, you can be sure they have all they need to aid them when interpreting.
Another detail that can be easily forgotten is last-minute changes. What happens if an additional speaker is added at the last minute? It could very well mean additional event interpreting needs. As an event organizer, it is important to anticipate such scenarios so that you can be armed on the best way to approach them.
How well you plan for event interpretation will determine the outcome of your event. There are many things to keep in mind as you prepare for the event. However, the most important include determining your interpretation needs, deciding on the best equipment, and getting the languages needed right. Moreover, start preparing early in advance and not forgetting the small details can go a long way in making your event a success. Most importantly, vet your vendors well to ensure that you work with experts only.