International events, whether held here in the UK or in another country, are a great way to reach new customers and win business. But to make the most of these opportunities it’s important to be able to communicate effectively by having marketing and product materials translated and localised for your target markets.
After all, translated and localised content can make your business stand out from competitors and attract clients from all over the world. Customers and business associates in overseas markets also really appreciate having materials available in their native language, as this demonstrates that you value their business and want to engage with them.
In this blog post I share some of the key factors to consider before attending an event, as well as advice for effective translations and communications.
International events – who will be there?
The event you’re planning to attend may attract people from all over the world, so it’s important to identify and prioritise which languages you’ll need to cater for. You may already have some marketing materials translated for markets you’re already targeting, but for other markets it’s important to understand the likely return on investment (ROI) you can expect from translating your content.
For example, if you plan to attend an event in Germany, translating a range of materials into German (you could also engage a German interpreter to help you communicate face to face) is a great asset to make you stand out from the crowd. Bearing in mind the level of English proficiency your target market may have, ensure you choose valuable and useful material to be translated which will help to advertise your business.
Consider also how popular the event might be with businesses from neighbouring markets by checking the exhibitor list or the event hashtags on social media and decide which languages you’ll want to translate your materials into. The event organisers should also be able to provide you with data on visitor demographics.
Communicating with non-English speakers
Some events may offer interpreting services on site, for example headsets may be available when you attend a seminar or panel discussion so that you can understand what is being said. However, to talk to people on your exhibition stand you may need to hire an interpreter to facilitate conversation. After all, if you provide information for attendees that has been translated into their native languages, they may want to talk to you about it!
So you’ll need to consider how well visitors from certain markets will be able to speak English and whether it’s worth hiring an interpreter to support you on your stand to answer any questions.
If yes, make sure to hire an interpreter with sector specific experience to make communication much easier and more effective – they will have a good understanding of the jargon, terminology and concepts specific to your industry.
For more on this read James’ post on business interpreting and international events.
Localisation and event material
I’d also recommend considering how localisation can help to promote your brand. This is the process of adapting content for a target market, not just translating it. The localisation process can involve changing images, graphics and colours to make content more effective in a different market; as well as transcreation (creative translation), where text is subtly adapted to align it with your international customers.
Localisation takes a translation to the next level, making it highly relevant and engaging for customers or prospective business partners in that market. Not all content requires localisation, but certainly marketing materials and brand messages should be reviewed to see whether it is needed. If you need any advice as to whether your content may need localising, take a look at my blog post on preparing content for multilingual translation or get it touch with us directly!
In summary, plan ahead! Research the opportunities the event presents well in advance so you can decide which languages to prioritise and allow enough time to translate materials, source interpreters etc.
As always if you require any support with translation, localisation and interpreting, please get in touch!
You may also find our guide Languages in International Business useful. Download it here.