Communication is key

Communication is the key to any successful event – but if the participants cannot understand what is being said then it is an immediate failure for those people.  In today’s multi-lingual world, the chances of having participants and speakers who speak little or no English at any event are very strong.  Checking the language requirements of participants and speakers can often be a last minute consideration.

It is not just conferences where language may be an issue. Almost any type of event from fashion shows to exhibitions, concerts to road shows can involve people from many different nationalities. Having translation services at hand to help anyone who is struggling trying to understand immediately engenders goodwill and good working relationships.

Thankfully, help is at hand from your Audio Visual equipment supplier.  Even at short notice, suitable equipment can be provided together with technicians to install and operate it.

Such specialized equipment does need to be installed carefully. Very few venues will have permanently installed translation booths.  Most hotels and non-traditional venues such as historic buildings will need temporary booths to be brought in.  You cannot simply hook up a separate room or corner of the conference hall and expect the translator to work from that area.

Translation booths are soundproofed, reducing the possibility of any distractions.  It allows the translator to concentrate on what is being said, and to give an accurate, simultaneous translation.

You will need space to install the booth, and if there is more than one language involved you will probably need several booths. Always take time to discuss with your AV technician the best location for the booth, as it is important to get it right from the beginning. These have to be placed sited carefully so that the interpreters are able to see the screens on which any presentations provided by the speaker are projected.

Take some time to think about the entire event and whether you will need simultaneous translation facilities at any other activities such as after dinner speeches or during workshops? What about guided tours or one to one discussions?  If so, you may need some portable interpreting equipment too.

Allow at least a day for the AV company to set up the equipment. They cannot do it instantly or just a few minutes before the event.  Quite apart from the physical installation, bear in mind that they will need to check out the sound quality to ensure that both interpreter and participant can hear everything clearly.