Conference Interpreting: 4 Aspects to Consider When Changing Suppliers

Conference Interpreting: 4 Aspects to Consider When Changing Suppliers

If you have been organizing international events for some time, you will know that there is a wide range of interpreting services for different events, from large agencies to freelance interpreters. You will also know that finding the right interpreters for your conference is key to making sure the whole event runs smoothly.

So here are 4 things to keep in mind whenever you change interpreting providers or hire one for the first time.

Spot the warning signs of a bad supplier

Every interpreting agency and every freelance interpreter will have their own way of doing business, but some of these internal policies are simply there to protect their interests, rather than yours.

For example, some conference interpreting providers may prohibit you from communicating directly with the interpreter assigned to the event before it starts.

Any good event planner knows that sharing guidelines is vital to the success of an event. It is therefore worth asking yourself whether it is really in your best interest to have to go through an intermediary and rely on them to convey information accurately and completely.

If your provider insists on keeping the contact details of your interpreters secret and if, up to the last minute, refuses to even tell you which interpreters they are using, strongly consider looking elsewhere.

Also, if every time you contact the supplier you feel like you are dealing with a different person, this should ring yet another alarm bell. In fact, high-profile suppliers dedicate a totally dedicated contact person to each customer, capable of managing the process in its entirety and supervising the quality of the project.

Another, more subtle, cause for alarm is the quick estimate. It might seem that a supplier who provides you with an instant quote is simplifying your life and saving time, but he is also communicating a very precise approach to work, which probably does not take into account the necessary degree of customization, and therefore quality, which your project requires.

Your event is unique. You will have specialized content, a specific audience and your own set of KPIs to meet. For this reason, the interpreting service delivered to your event will also be unique. It makes sense then that vendors need some time to build the right time and put together a price as unique as your event.

Understand the restrictions and remove the ones that hurt you

Even the best interpreting providers will likely have some restrictive clauses in the contracts they offer. If you have chosen an agency, do not be surprised if among the clauses you find a ban on contacting conference interpreters directly for a certain period of time. It is also not uncommon for event interpreting providers to seek exclusivity agreements.

No condition is wrong per se, but you should ask yourself which ones are right for you. It might be worth asking, for example, whether you should be able to directly hire interpreters you liked. You may also want to have a clause that allows you to request a different interpreting team for future events or different equipment.

Remember, you are the buyer and it is up to you to decide which conditions are worth accepting and which ones are not for you.

How to manage interpreters during an event

There are basically three ways to handle interpreters during an event. Either you identify and manage each interpreter yourself, or you bring in a consultant to build and manage the team, or you book through an agency. There are no wrong answers, but each solution has its pros and cons.

If you directly hire interpreters for your event, you get a short communication chain, i.e. you will be able to speak to (and instruct) the interpreters directly. This is also often the cheapest option. However, it's also the easiest way to waste time and make mistakes. In fact, you will have to personally search for the interpreters and verify yourself that they are good enough and suitable for the type of event for which you intend to hire them.

Hiring a consultant, on the other hand, means giving someone else the task of building the team of interpreters for you. The advisor becomes your only contact person and thus you still manage to maintain a short chain of communication. The disadvantage is that a single intermediary can hardly offer you the same coverage as an agency, as they can rely on a narrow and, necessarily, limited network of contacts.

Of all the solutions, agencies are best at doing jobs in niche industries or managing large-scale projects. The most obvious advantage is their ability to find many interpreters covering many languages in a short amount of time. Working with an agency also means simplifying the whole process, including that relating to payment. An agency, in fact, is equivalent to a single invoice. The downside is that the communication chain is longer. In fact, it could be difficult to get in direct contact with the interpreters who will work on your event.

Fortunately, not all agencies are created equal and some, including

Congressi Internazionali , they root out this problem by assigning you an account manager totally dedicated to satisfying your needs. An account manager oversees the whole project, making sure everything goes smoothly and will intercede for you just like a consultant would, with the substantial difference of being able to count on teams and resources of a much different scope.

Marketing Team International Congresses

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