Simultaneous Interpretation for an insurance conference

One major conference. One cost-effective solution

Our client is Brand X Lab, a major events planner in Singapore.

Brand X Lab contacted Asian Absolute in search of a Language Service Provider which could provide simultaneous interpretation (SI) between Taiwanese Mandarin and English as well as SI equipment for an important insurance conference event.

One of the company’s priorities was to keep costs low. Yet the number of people attending the conference was expected to be high.

What challenge did we take on?

  • The client’s budget was limited – well below what they would normally have expected to pay for interpreting for an event like this
  • They anticipated around 2000 conference participants would require SI, including around 1000 from India and 200 from Taiwan, with the majority of the rest coming from Singapore
  • Simultaneous Interpreting would only be required for an hour-long presentation in Mandarin

What strategy did we propose?

Creating a solution to handle so many participants with such a small budget meant we had to think outside the box.

Asian Absolute’s experience led us to suggest that a remote interpreting solution might be a suitable alternative to traditional SI equipment – especially when catering to more than 1000 people.

We deployed a cloud-based remote interpreting app which would enable us to:

  • Measure the exact number of users listening to the interpretation during the event
  • Charge on a per-user basis
  • Provide pricing tiers for 300, 500, 750 and 1000 people

Given the requirements of the project, this seemed like the ideal solution. All that remained was to discuss the strategy with our client and confirm they were happy with it.

How did we select the interpreting team?

Choosing the right interpreter for this project presented another challenge:

Simultaneous interpreting is usually said to be the most difficult type of interpreting with breaks normally needed every 15 to 20 minutes. Handling an hour-long assignment solo is no mean feat.

The chosen linguist would also need to have the ability and willingness to learn, train on and use the remote interpreting technology we were planning to use for the event.

What did we do?

Locating the perfect interpreter was the job of our vendor management team. Thanks to Asian Absolute’s worldwide network of language specialists, they managed to find an expert with the right skills, attitude and price.

Simultaneously, we showed Brand X Lab how well the remote interpreting solution had worked at other events. The ICN Congress and the HP Intel Sales event made for a convincing resumé. We followed this with a live demonstration of the technology in action.

We collated some more information to answer the few questions our client had and then began the training which our interpreter would need in order to use the technology.

How did we prepare for the event?

Setting up the equipment and laying out all the necessary onsite processes came first.

This involved working with both Brand X Lab’s event team and our interpreter to install the equipment and with our technology team to provide training for our chosen interpreter.

A trial run on the day before the event included all parties – our remote technology team, our client’s onsite event team and our interpreter – to ensure everything was working smoothly.

The final step was to ensure that all conference participants who needed it would download the app during enrollment:

A message was prominently displayed on the enrollment page and several reminders were given to participants during the event to prompt them to download the app to their smartphones before the afternoon presentation.

What was the outcome?

Everything went well! Brand X Lab were very satisfied with both the quality of the interpretation and the technological solution we proposed to make it happen in line with their budget.

We retain that solution in our project toolbox for the future. For events which have more than 300 participants, remote interpreting offers a much lower cost than using traditional SI equipment.

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