Conference Interpretation: 6 Tips for Planning an International Meeting

Conference Interpretation: 6 Tips for Planning an International Meeting

In Blog by Rafael Morel

It is vital that your conference interpretation be executed by a qualified expert. Lighthouse Translations has qualified interpreters and staff to help take the stress out of planning your conference. Read on to learn more about planning your international meeting and the use of conference interpretation.

1) Choosing Simultaneous Interpretation vs Consecutive Interpretation

Consecutive interpretation doesn’t require the purchase or rental of interpretation equipment. This results in a less expensive option. But when planning an international meeting, it’s more probable you’ll need to provide interpreting at conferences in several languages, in which case simultaneous translation is a better option for a multilingual setting.

2) Encourage Speakers to Plan Ahead

Encourage your presenters to provide the interpretation team with a biography or background, as well as any hand-outs that will be distributed. The more familiar your interpreters are with the subject matter, the better job they’ll do with your conference interpretation, especially if your guests are going to focus on niche subjects.

3) Don’t Skimp On Equipment

The technical equipment required to facilitate simultaneous interpretation is specialized, and can cost more than expected. But it is worth investing in hiring an interpretation service with quality equipment. An international conference is nothing without reliable interpreting staff and equipment. Be sure your interpreters have the tools they need to do the job. The job of an interpreter is already stressful, even if they don’t have to deal with issues with their equipment. If you don’t want to make their job even more difficult, make sure that they have access to quality equipment.

4) Consider Room Layout

Will your presenter be delivering a brief speech from a podium, or will the presentation be more like a lively TED Talk? Does the presenter have specific display needs, or will there be a round table discussion? The type of presentation will determine the speaker’s requirements in terms of technology and seating plan. This, in turn, will impact the way the conference interpretation team works. Be sure the interpreter is aware of the set-up prior to the presentation, and remember to take the interpreter’s needs into consideration when drawing up the seating plan.

5) Think of Guests Who Have Special Needs

Don’t let your concern with accommodating people from another culture overshadow the need to consider guests who need hearing or vision assistance, or those who need room for a wheelchair or service dog. While interpretation equipment may also be used to provide hearing assistance, the physical set-up of the room might pose problems for guests with other needs. Be sure to plan ahead so you won’t have to sacrifice one set of accommodations for another.

6) Make Interpretation Services More Available

Often, it’s the informal meetings at a big conference that end up being the most productive and memorable. Try to plan for at least one block of unstructured time during which interpreters will be available to facilitate small-group communication. You could also provide portable interpretation equipment for an evening excursion, so guests from different cultures can easily forge relationships that will mean better business down the road.

It certainly is not easy to plan an international meeting that will be a success. Contact us today with questions or concerns about conference interpretation. You can also download the How to Choose the Right Translation Services for Your Event eBook for FREE by simply clicking the button below!