Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing for now, let’s go back to those days that shook the event industry in an instant. First to be banned were gatherings of over 500 people. Then it was events of over 50 people. Finally, even gatherings of over 10 people were banned. At that point, the options were clear: cancel meetings, seminars and conferences, postpone them or organize them online.
In a COVID-19 environment, we have found new ways of getting things done. That has surely been one of the most positive aspects of this spring. Emerging technologies have stepped up and proved themselves to be of irreplaceable value in an instant. In the language service industry, arranging conference interpreting remotely has already been possible for some time, but there has not been great demand for the service. Now, demand for remote interpreting has exploded worldwide and there is no reason to expect that it won’t continue for some time to come.
When a conference that was planned to take place on-site is moved online, the choice of which online platform to use is essential for the successful execution of the event. The decision is affected by the functionality, capacity and reliability of the platform. If the conference has participants from many different countries, it is possible to arrange simultaneous interpreting for the participants. It is possible to incorporate interpreting in, for example, the most common videoconferencing services such as Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc. In addition to this, there are hybrid models where the conference or meeting is organised on-site to some extent and only participants attend remotely. In practice, participants can, in both cases, listen to one of the language channels offered either with their computer or smart device. As always, professional interpreters from an expert interpreting service are recommended also for remote meetings and conferences.
There are a few different options for organising Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI). Given that organising Remote Simultaneous Interpreting is a relatively new practice, we have compiled a compact Guide for Remote Simultaneous Interpreting on the different options available. Along with the different interpreting options, the guide has information on the benefits of Remote Simultaneous Interpreting as well as the technical requirements. The technical requirements vary depending on the occasion.
However, we do not believe that all conference interpreting situations will move online. Real-life encounters are once again taking place as well as large, on-site international conferences. Responsibility, green values and locality will continue to be current themes also after the pandemic. This will favour remote events or at least favour the practice of offering participants the option to also take part remotely.
This means that Remote Simultaneous Interpreting is here to stay. Conference interpreting that uses modern technology reduces costs, works during restrictive measures and protects the environment. We are happy to help our customers choose the optimal interpreting method and technology for both virtual and on-site meetings and conferences. If you are ordering interpreting services for the first time, we encourage you to read our Guide for Event Organisers (in Finnish only). The guide provides more information about interpreting in general as well as answers to frequently asked questions. So, if the next time you are thinking of cancelling your event, organise it remotely instead!