We provided a conference interpreting proposal for a large conference in a large United States city. The proposal also had an expiration date. The reason for the expiration date is because we prefer to work with top-notch conference interpreters who already have preferred team partners with whom they choose to work. Conference interpreters are often in very high demand. As time passes, it becomes difficult to retain one, and the chance that the preferred partner is available diminishes.
When our client accepted the proposal, it was at the very last minute. (This can also happen when the event planner’s client procrastinates.) We scrambled to locate interpreting teams. Because of the late timing, we had to book two teams of interpreters. Although the conference interpreters were available at the time the proposal was submitted, because there was no agreement, they accepted other assignments. One team was compatible; we were all pleased. The second team was not. We knew the person was a fantastic interpreter but feared this colleague would renege due to professional incompatibility with the teammate. The partner had less conference experience, making the work more difficult for both.
The event was a great success! Everything worked out because the experienced interpreter was able to compensate for the less skilled colleague. However, the interpreting could have been even better had the proposal been accepted before the initial expiration date.
Conference interpreters earn very good money and provide premium service. For those reasons, they are often difficult to schedule. Once you know you will have a multilingual audience, it is imperative that the client or event planner select an interpreting company. This provides you with the conference interpreters who have the most expertise for your particular event. Your conference source speakers need to be scheduled well in advance to confirm availability and afford them time to prepare their presentations for your audience. Conference interpreters too need speakers’ presentations well before the conference date. The proof is in the interpreting team’s rendition.
Scheduling interpreter services is just one piece of the conference puzzle. Companies also require time to secure the necessary conference interpreting solutions (simultaneous equipment) beforehand so you don’t incur rush delivery fees.
Another piece of the puzzle is interpreting preparation. It is a key element for the success of your foreign language delegates’ attendance. Conference interpreters do not charge for preparation time. Any and all event materials (agendas listing speakers, any prior speech recordings of speakers, speeches, outlines, slide presentations (PowerPoint, etc.)) are essential for preparation and assure that the interpreting team has subject familiarity and terminology knowledge. Your multilingual delegates will receive their money’s worth.
All events require detailed planning. The sooner you retain language services, the sooner the conference interpreting team can concentrate on your project and contribute to truly spectacular event.