When Communication At Events Is Vital: Q&A With An Event Planner

We are a global, 24/7 business world. Companies often have multinational locations, staff and operate across borders via the internet. Although English is the most common language in the business world, it is still much more productive to bridge any language gaps between English speakers and those that prefer to be spoken to in their native language.

In the world of conferences and meeting planning this is especially true. The main purpose of meetings and conferences is communication. Whether that is communication about a topic, a company, or for networking purposes, being able to convey and understand the key messages is of utmost importance. Additionally, multilingual meetings provide the opportunity to build rapport, promote two-way conversation and gain valuable feedback from the audience.

From corporate meetings, to consumer events, the need for interpreting and translation services is growing. At Metaphrasis, we work with several event planning companies to ensure their meetings go off without a language hitch. We sat down with one of our clients, Total Event Solutions, to chat about their experience and how they find working with a language services company valuable to their business.

MP: What types of events have you planned where additional language support was needed?

  • TE: There are a variety of scenarios where language support is needed: everything from a dealer meeting, where there are 30 countries that are represented in a room, to small group meetings where there is a foreign-based company that needs translation services. Trade shows where business development is a component and there is a need for interpreting is another common scenario. The need arises when there is an international constituency that’s traveling to one common location for a meeting or conference. For our clients, this is often an internal corporate meeting, where they are hosting employees globally or sometimes a global customer meeting.

MP: When language services are needed, what are your criteria for selecting the right service provider?

  • TE: For us, first and foremost is always quality of service. We begin with defining what we need and ask ourselves if the partner we have can fill that niche or need? There is also a huge component around trust. To know someone cares about their business as well as your business, that is really important. Having the skill and professionalism goes without saying. We also take a look at the ease of the working relationship, and then cost. Additionally, we look closely at the experience our language vendor has in the particular area of business and language that we are planning an event around.

MP: How does language service enhance your clients’ experience? What is the value to your clients?

  • TE: Having a language service partner is really a no brainer. What we do in our events is all about communicating effectively. Having someone there who can interpret in real-time is invaluable. Even if someone speaks English and it isn’t their first language there are so many nuances that can’t be understood without an interpreter. The value to our clients is that everyone attending their meeting/event understands clearly what is happening and what is being discussed. For example, when there are events where technical terms are used, having translation/interpreting makes sure clear concise messaging is happening. Total Events operates as an international company and we can include language services for events really anywhere in the world. We always offer language services to our clients when it is appropriate. The value for us, is that by offering these services it appears as an extension of our services to the client. It truly provides them with a one-stop shop when planning a meeting or event.

MP: What was the value add when you chose a Metaphrasis to partner with you on an event?

  • TE: For one, we were working with other language service companies prior to finding Metaphrasis. When we find a vendor, we want one that has the potential to be a partner. We seek out companies that can be flexible and change on the fly. Our first time working with Metaphrasis was on an event with a very dynamic situation. The client had come to us at the last minute, with quite a few interpreting needs. Metaphrasis was fantastic to work with. Metaphrasis exudes professionalism. The team has a very positive “we can do it and make it happen” attitude. We experienced that first with Metaphrasis’ founder and it is clear she has surrounded herself with people that are of a like mind. For us, it really boils down to a level of trust and follow through that we experienced with Metaphrasis.

MP: Can you also speak to us about this experience with Metaphrasis with the Columbian Business Exposition at Navy Pier?

  • TE: This was a new client for us and the Metaphrasis team helped us be successful. There were different levels of interpreting services needed, and being able to talk through specific needs with the team helped us determine what we needed. For example, did we need someone who was a business interpreter? Did we need someone specialized? Metaphrasis provided education to us that we needed to provide the best services. We asked Metaphrasis to provide 37 interpreters to sit with vendors and potential customers and interpret conversations. We also needed interpreters for bus tours for this particular event. The Metaphrasis team did really well. The team was able to support me and make the changes we needed happen very quickly. We had representatives from Metaphrasis’ project management team on-site to address any changes that came up. The client was pleased with how everything went.

MP: Tell us about your experience with us and the major trucking company business meeting in Aruba?

  • TE: This was a corporate meeting for approximately two hundred people with their Latin American customers. We needed many of the presentations interpreted that were taking place on the mainstage to ensure everyone was communicating well. Once again, the Metaphrasis team was extremely professional. We sent two interpreters to the meeting, onsite in Aruba. They were both professional, reported when they were supposed to report and as a bonus, they provided feedback on how things could flow better for future events.

Interested in speaking with us about interpreting or translation services for your event? Please contact info@metaphrasislcs.com or call 815-464-1423.