Handle last-minute changes to your event like a pro

 | Interpretation best practices

What should you do if new speakers get added to the program at the last minute, or if a speaker suddenly requests to present in her own non-official language? What if an interpreter gets sick? Anticipating potential issues can help you handle them smoothly when and if they should occur. Here is a list of experiences from our members, and advice on how to handle them.

Our team of seasoned simultaneous interpreters can help you deal with any last-minute changes at your next conference. After months of hard work and event planning, you are just a day away from the big conference.  You are all packed and ready to grab your international flight to the event destination. However… one of your speakers just told you she would like to present in her native language. What will you do? Don’t panic. If you recruited the right team of simultaneous interpreters, chances are you may be able to cover the additional language at no additional cost. (See step four of this blog series on types of interpretation and languages).

Scheduling interpreters’ flights

How should you prepare for general assembly meetings with elections or other types of meetings that have the potential to run late on the last day of conference? Make sure your simultaneous translators don’t have to catch a flight that night. It would be better to plan to have the team stay through the night and return home on the following day, rather than risk missed flights and costly rebookings.  

And speaking of airlines... delays, strikes or cancellations can happen on a moment’s notice and have the potential to wreak havoc on your event. While these situations are beyond your control, you can schedule flights to ensure a minimum of disruption. For example, avoid booking all your interpreters from the same country on the same flight.

Create a contingency plan for interpretation services

What about treaty negotiations that turn into all-nighters? What if an interpreter gets sick with food poisoning and cannot show up for work? It is essential to have a backup plan so that you can make up for absences or for additional and/or after hours work. Build some leeway into your service plan, in particular if in remote corners of the globe.

Interpretation services beyond the conference rooms

While simultaneous interpretation mainly takes place in meeting rooms, conference interpreters are often expected to provide much more. For example, interpreters may be called upon to interpret bilateral meetings, lunches or dinners, not to mention the official reception that gets accidentally omitted from the program! Again, you might create a contingency plan in advance and recruit the right number of interpreters to make sure your team can cover it.

It would be impossible to anticipate every issue that could pop up during your event. But organizing a team of seasoned interpreters with the right skills to deal with these hurdles will provide a good foundation. This can be complicated, but we can make it easy for you. Please get in touch with us to discuss your upcoming event.

This concludes our 7 steps to getting the best conference interpretation solution for your event. We hope you found it fruitful. Please feel free to share it now on your Twitter feed, LinkedIn status, or on Facebook. Thank you in advance.

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