Conference interpreting was not immune to the Covid-19 crisis, which led to a generalised use of online meetings, and "conventional" meetings are becoming more and more rare.
This disruption has generated numerous possibilities, such as reduced travel, thus saving time and money.
However, the drawback is the complex nature of these meetings in terms of coordination. While the crucial components of a physical meeting are determined in advance, such as hiring a suitable room with all the facilities and organising travel and accommodation for participants, the success of an online meeting depends on meticulous preparation, as well as the involvement of a technical moderator from start to finish. Prior to the meeting, each participant must have the appropriate equipment, a sufficiently powerful internet connection and access codes to the platform, while also being aware of the discipline required for this type of online interaction.
During the meeting, the moderator grants each participant access to the "conference room", ensures that the microphones or cameras are on/off, fixes any technical problems and ensures the coordination of the interpreters, as well as the smooth operation of the multilingual interpretation.
The interpreter's task is also more complex in the context of online meetings, which is another important aspect to consider. Other than the management of simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter is confronted with a multitude of additional constraints which are likely to fatigue them: the inconsistent quality of the sound that they receive — linked to the equipment used by the speakers — and the management of IT equipment, to name just two examples. To produce quality work, we systematically ensure that the interpreters are working in optimal conditions.
While online interpreting is a new reality for the profession as a whole, European Interpreters offers concrete solutions based on the experience acquired by its two founders since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, so that your online multilingual conferences are a real success.