Why Location is Important When Hiring Conference Interpreters

You are hosting a multilingual event that requires multilingual conference interpreters. Professional conference interpreters are not cheap. A person might feel that doctors and attorneys are expensive.  However, the legal and medical professionals will be quick to point out that their fees are quite reasonable considering the amount of years of secular education required and skill development. Likewise, quality conference interpreters must undergo years of study and work hard a developing simultaneous interpreting skills needed to perform their job proficiently. Additionally, continuing education is a necessity, as one never knows what subject matter will arise at conferences.

No organization has unlimited funding; cost control is necessary. The last thing you want to do is skimp on a qualified conference interpreting team. To do that would be the comparable to hiring a hack unlicensed doctor. An unqualified interpreter can turn a great event into a huge disaster.

There still might be a way to reduce cost without sacrificing quality. That is to seek out quality conference interpreters locally whenever possible. Many conference interpreters are booked one to two months in advance.  Do not wait until the last minute to hire interpreters and equipment.  Once the date is set, schedule your interpreting team.  Interpreters flown in from out of state will have added costs: of travel, lodging and meals.

  • Cost of flight for each member of interpreting team.
  • Premium hotel costs for each person in the team often requiring extra days for set up and take down of equipment.
  • Cost of equipment shipping. Most large conferences require bulky equipment and booths which can be very expensive to ship.
  • Meal cost tend to be enormous. No one in their right mind would opt for fast food when they can take advantage of the finest steak house.

However, these expenses may be unavoidable depending on your location. Alfonso Interpreting is located in Greenville, South Carolina, a great resource for the southeast. It is not uncommon for larger out of state companies to request a quote from us to do the job in their behalf. I find it ironic that we are contacted by out-of-state providers to perform quality interpreting for South Carolina events. Those providers have to jack up the price in order to earn profit (or attempt to offer interpreters a pittance). This cost can be avoided by hiring local.

As soon as you know your event will be a multilingual session, that is the time to contract interpreting services.  The money invested in a capable, expert team will reap you great benefits. Those non-English speakers are coming to enjoy excellent presentations, not a fabulous meal.  It is your duty to give them what they came for.

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