How to facilitate communication at your international event with business interpreting

Whether you are organising an international event or attending one as an exhibitor or delegate, you will want to maximise your opportunities for doing business.  Not surprisingly, a key consideration has to be how you will communicate with prospects, customers, suppliers and other connections during the event.

In this post I will explore the various business interpreting services you may require; how to engage professional interpreters and how to work with them. If you have an event coming up and need support, please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss your best options.

Event Organisers: This Is For You!

(If you are attending or exhibiting an event, scroll down for specific advice on using interpreting services.)

Many companies and organisations are putting on international conferences and events to reach target audiences in their local markets. Whether these are for prospects and customers, or for employees or industry contacts, managing language considerations is a fundamental part of a successful event.

While English may be the dominate language in business, to make sure that all event attendees get maximum value it’s important to provide some language support. For example, by providing simultaneous conference interpreting, so that delegates understand exactly what is being said. This service can be offered in as many languages as you require; so, if you have delegates flying in from around the world they can receive the interpretation via a headset.

You may also want to engage liaison interpreters to interpret questions from the floor, or provide one-to-one interpreting services for meetings. Guest speakers, VIPs or senior executives may request these services so they can communicate throughout the event. As well as during talks or presentations, interpreters can also help facilitate communications between individuals in meetings and networking sessions. Depending on the circumstances and individual preferences, interpreters can either relay what has been said sentence-by-sentence or after a short speech (consecutive interpreting), simultaneously or by whispered interpreting (chuchotage).

If you’re organising an event, even if you don’t require interpreting services internally, it’s worth partnering with a trusted interpreting provider and recommending their services to international delegates. Your event’s success depends on clear communication between all parties involved, and therefore language is key.

Interpreting Services For Delegates And Exhibitors

To get the most out an international conference or trade show, you’ll need to consider how you will communicate with others. A liaison interpreter is a great option for one-to-one conversations: for business meetings, networking sessions, and when exhibiting on a trade stand.

When selecting an interpreter we would recommend that you use professional interpreters that have industry specific knowledge. This will ensure a smooth interpretation service, as they will have a good understanding of the subjects being discussed. This is especially important if they’re likely to be interpreting technical terminology – there may not be an equivalent word in the target language so the interpreter will need to convey the meaning accurately using different terminology.

Before the trade show opens, or before a meeting or networking session, make sure you meet up with your interpreter to discuss the objectives for the event. This is a good opportunity to highlight any potential issues and build rapport. They may also have a few tips they can share with you to aid the interpreting process.

For more tips on using interpreting services, read this post that shares our top ten.

As suggested above, the event organiser may be able to recommend a certified interpreter that you can employ during the conference or business event; alternatively contact a business interpreting service provider like Comtec, which has a global reach. We have an extensive network of linguists around the world, as well as here in the UK for companies who wish to provide business interpreting services for their international clients and associates.

For more advice and support with your international events, please contact me on +44 (0)1926 335 681 or

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