Organizing Interpreting Teams

How do I organize interpreting teams for my next conference?

See also "Speakers"

Important information for the conference organizer:

  • Be sure to book interpreters and technicians well in advance: we also have our high season.
  • On your invitation to participants, specify that the conference, congress or meeting will be held with conference interpreters, in simultaneous mode.

    For the conference, prepare a slide with this type of information:
Your interpreters Ihre Dolmetscher Vos interprètes
E = channel x D = Kanal y F = canal z

to be projected while participants enter the conference room

  • Speakers' interventions should be sent to the conference interpreters at least 10 days before the conference, by e-mail or regular post: a "red thread" is often enough.
  • Annual reports, voluminous PowerPoint presentations and other "heavy" files: please DO NOT send them by e-mail, but do so with the texts of each presentation! Also, on the day of the conference, please print out on paper and place in the interpreting booths each presentation that has been changed, modified or added to.
  • For the proper preparation and successful work of the interpreters, please also provide in ALL available languages: lists of products, services, divisions and, IMPORTANT, lists of abbreviations. If biographies or résumés of speakers are going to be read out, please add these too to our preparation documents.
  • Don't forget to inform ALL speakers that you are working with interpreters. Point out to speakers that if they read out papers at top speed, then their listeners will go back home having grasped little or nothing!
  • Always ask all speakers what language they intend to speak (not always their mother tongue) so that we can take this aspect into account for the language split within the team of interpreters.
  • Please provide comfortable chairs in the interpreter booths: 6 hours on a bar stool or plastic chair do not really help us give our best.
  • Badges: please remember to also prepare a badge for your conference interpreters, with their name and “ Conference interpreter” below. More than once, after a break, re-accessing the venue was refused to us because we could not be identified as such. Thank you!

FINAL TIP: if you require interpreting services, always make sure that the intermediary (or agency) does not offer interpreters with three mother tongues or one person who will interpret for 3 hours alone (generally substandard and overpriced). Professional training takes 4-5 years, and professionals will only work simultaneously into a foreign language in exceptional cases! There is a grey market, of course, but there are also professionals. The latter are the ones who will always give you good value for your money, as well as the discretion customary to the profession.