To organise a conference with interpreters 通訳が入る会議の準備の仕方

I just came back from a 3-day medical conference in Dubai. The conference organiser's outstanding production skills and willingness to learn from us interpreters were unprecedented. I was genuinely blown away by them. It was honestly the best conference I have worked in. Ever.

Sometimes, conference organising companies are unfamiliar with how the provision of interpretation works, and that could result in depriving some participants of a full conference experience.

So, I would like to encourage all conference organise to talk to their interpreters to learn how best to provide high-quality interpreting services to those participants who need them. I have a few tips to give:

1. If there are break-out sessions, consider setting up a booth in break-out rooms as well as the main room, instead of relying on a tour-guide system as in the picture on the right. Allocating a little more budget to hiring more booths makes a huge difference for end-users.

Interpretation Booths: A Comparison — America's #1 Translation Services Provider | Translators USA, LLC

2. If there is no room for a booth in break-out rooms, think about the sound quality. Equip speakers with a small mic that can be attached to their lapels, rather than a hand-held one, and find a way to give interpreters a direct audio feed rather than from speakers embedded in the ceiling or loudspeakers placed far from them. This can be easily done by connecting speakers and  interpreters via an amplifier, for example.


3. If there is not budget to hire a booth for break-out rooms, consider hiring a Table top partition designed to provide an affordable simultaneous interpreting environment. While this solution is far from ideal and not a match for installing a solid booth, it at least protects participants sitting near the interpreters from hearing interpreters' voices.

Interpretation Equipment | Translation by Design

Table top mini "booth"

Once I attended a conference as a participant where there were just two standing mics in the main room for the speakers and members of the audience (to ask questions). And not surprisingly, there were many gaps in their interpreters' outputs because they simply could not hear the floor clearly enough.


Installing an extra booth in break-out rooms as well as the main room might sound like an expensive option. But wouldn't it be a drop in the ocean compared to the entire cost of running a conference? And if a small increase in the budget can enhance the user experience multi-folds, I don't see any reason not to add an extra booth.







機材レンタル | 株式会社放送サービスセンター – 国際会議・同時通訳システム

ツアーガイドシステム (tour-guide system)




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