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Highly qualified interpreters paired with state-of-the-art equipment and professional setup are a recipe for success at any conference. Translationz was pleased to deliver all of these key ingredients last month in Sydney for a conference held by an eminent wealth management company and provider of first-rate investment, financial planning and insurance services.

For this particular event, we provided both a highly skilled interpreter and a simultaneous interpretation system that was compatible with the audiovisual system used for the event. The client hired 150 units of our "mini" interpreter equipment so that each delegate would have a personal headset through which to hear the interpreter.

We can also provide full conference setup, including booths, receivers, headsets, microphones and audio equipment, as well as supply an onsite technician trained in operating simultaneous interpretation equipment for the duration of the event. Our technicians completely set up and dismantle the equipment before and after an event, a process which requires several hours.

About booths

In a full conference setup, walk-in booths are usually required. Booths provide the optimal setup for minimizing noise distraction. It is very important that all doors close silently and that there are no noisy fixtures or fittings that could potentially distract the interpreters, including air conditioning or electromagnetic audio equipment.

Booths should be located at the rear of the room, facing the rostrum and screen, with a direct view of the speakers. If this is not possible, video feed of the speakers should be provided for all of the interpreters via TV or video screens in front of the booths, as well as a separate video feed of easily readable charts or slides if any are to be used. The video feed should come directly from the video projector, not a video camera in the conference room.

Our booths are equipped with professional interpreter consoles that have a separate microphone on/off switch and a separate cough cut button. These consoles also provide individual volume control for each headset, channel switching if needed and an interpreter console side switch. All controls operate silently.

Booths with curtains or tabletop booths may also sometimes be used, depending on the client's budget. Regardless of type, booths should be placed where delegates or conference support personnel, including the audio and video production team, cannot distract interpreters and vice versa.

Additional considerations

A lapel or neck microphone can be provided to speakers in order to give them the freedom to move away from the rostrum while still ensuring that interpretation is possible at all times.

Integrated headset microphones are our preference, though we will provide tabletop microphones if that is the client's preference. Headsets must always be binaural; monaural headsets are unacceptable, as interpreters cannot interpret effectively with sound in only one ear.

It is important to remember that simultaneous interpretation is an extremely complex cognitive activity that requires intense concentration, and even small distractions or discomforts may hinder the interpreter's performance considerably.

By taking the utmost care and consideration in providing highly skilled interpreters along with superior equipment and proper setup, we ensure that your conference interpreting will go off without a hitch and that both you and your guests will be extremely pleased with the results.

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