Hosting an Online Event with Simultaneous Interpreting: The Ultimate Guide.
This is the ultimate guide to hosting an online event with simultaneous interpreting in 2021.
In this guide, I’ll share with you:
- How remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) works
- When you need RSI
- The PROs and CONs of RSI
- The cost of RSI
- The best choice for your project
So if you’re planning to organize an online meeting, webinar, online training course etc., you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started.
How Remote Simultaneous Interpreting Works
In short, with RSI, interpreters will interpret / translate the speaker’s content in real time, online, and audiences can hear the translation simultaneously as the speaker delivers their speech.
Remote Simultaneous Interpreting has become popular in 2020, the year the whole world suffered from Covid-19.
When travel is restricted and meeting needs remain, online meetings become more and more necessary and popular.
For meetings between global participants, however, language barrier is something that has to be solved. Luckily, thanks to the power of technology, it’s possible and quite easy now.
One of the most heard names for video conferencing is: Zoom.
Zoom is NO.1 in the market of online meetings and webinars by now
Image Credit: datanyze
and their products are liked by not only end clients, but also interpreters who interpret through Zoom.
Below is a demo of how simultaneous interpretation works in Zoom. (Zoom meeting translation, Zoom Webinar Translation)
Of course, there are more names in the remote video conferencing technology world like
- Microsoft Teams
- Cisco WebEx
- Adobe Connect
- Google Meet
- Tencent Meeting
- Dingding (By Alibaba)
- Feishu (By Bytedance)
All these platforms work in a similar way.
But, not all of them support translation features.
And if you use one that doesn’t support it, you’ll need another dedicated RSI platform to work with it.
And Akkadu translation is the technology that makes it possible.
It integrates the simultaneous interpretation feature with almost any video conferencing platforms out there, including all of the the above mentioned ones.
And it works seamlessly with Zoom as well.
Here is how it works:
And it’s trusted by global clients
Remote simultaneous interpreting works both online and offline.
The Zoom demo above is an online example, where all participants can join the meeting and listen to translation remotely.
For traditional offline events, like seminars, conferences, business meetings, interpreters can also work remotely.
Let’s take Akkadu for example.
Traditionally an event organizer has to rent interpreting equipment and ask interpreters to be present.
With Akkadu, there is no need to rent interpreting equipment or ask interpreters to work in the booth anymore.
All that’s needed is an audio input from the event. Interpreters can work anywhere they have access to the internet and audience can listen to translation using their phone, by scanning a QR code or click a link generated by Akkadu for the event.
In cases where there is limited space in the venue, Akkadu’s advantage is more noticeable.
When You Need RSI
RSI is such an advantageous way to reach global audiences simultaneously that it’s usually used in
- online meetings
- product launch conferences
- online training courses
- and all other forms of events that need translation.
In a word, if your participants speak different languages and you want everyone to understand the event in real time as the original language, there is a solution for you.
Press Conference / Business Conference
Below is one of the webinars we provided interpreting service for. The parties include the hosting party, a few guests who deliver a speech and answer questions, and audiences.
Feel free to jump from the beginning to the middle and end of the video as this is a long one.
The recording includes two languages as you will notice while watching, since it was recorded on both channels (switching back and forth) .
Online Training Course
Product Launch Conference
If you need to host an event like above mentioned cases, or in another form, then RSI is the solution.
The PROs and CONs of RSI
The most fundamental advantage of remote simultaneous interpreting is that:
It breaks the language and location barrier and makes it possible for global participants to interact simultaneously in the language they understand.
At a time when people can’t gather, this is a very precious presence.
For event organizers: Reduce cost and improve efficiency
Traditionally, an event organizer may have to pay guests and interpreters for their travel expenses, accommodations and service fees.
With RSI, however, travel expenses and accommodations are eliminated. And this is a big portion of the cost.
There will also not be a need to book a venue from hotels or rent simultaneous interpreting equipment, including interpreting booths, central control unit, transmitter, interpreter desk, speaker, infrared radiator, receivers and radiation boards.
Compared to hosting an offline event where you have to work out a schedule that works for most people to physically be at the venue, it’s comparatively easier to coordinate and confirm a date and time that works for everyone.
RSI is also a game changing tech that will create an Matthew effect for interpreters, whereas experienced, reputable, top quality interpreters will receive more offers, interpret more events and become more experienced and have a higher potential to get more jobs.
And those who weren’t known in the field may struggle for jobs as the boundaries of physical location is not a factor customers will consider any more.
It’s their expertise in a field, experiences of interpreting and previous customer feedback that will help them stand out further.
This way, the interpreting quality will be improved on average.
Interpreters also have more time to prepare for the meeting with the time saved from not having to travel. That also contributes to better interpreting quality to an unmeasurable extent.
Plus, interpreters can actually take more jobs than before. We know some interpreters that work 4-5 events per day whereas he could take 3 maximum for offline events.
RSI is good, but not perfect. And there are usually some problems if not done right.
On the one hand, it requires more technical settings and more attention from every party in the event than traditional offline events.
E.g. It’s usually best practice to use an external microphone for those who need to deliver a speech, or ask a question.
And audiences need to wear an earphone or headset to listen to the speakers.
Image credit: AIIC
However, in real events, there are usually some participants who don’t follow the guide and that’ll severely reduce the quality of sound, and thus the quality of interpreting, as interpreters need to hear well more than anything else.
The cost of RSI
You’ll want to know the cost of hosting an online event with RSI, for sure.
To make it simple and straightforward, we’d like to split the cost into 3 parts:
- Interpreter fee
- Interpreting platform fee
- Interpreting tech support fee (applies to some cases, explained below)
Remote simultaneous interpreters work at almost the same rate as offline events.
Depending on language pairs, interpreter levels and different language service providers, the rate can vary a lot.
Below is a brief introduction to our services.
And many other languages.
|Blockchain||AI & Big Data||IT, Software & Hardware||Eco System|
|Tourism||Sports||Entertainment||Food & Agriculture|
|Consumer Electronics||Automobile & Transportation||Legal, Intellectual Property||Machinery|
And many other industries as well.
Interpreting Platform Fee
Interpreting platform fee is usually displayed on the platform’s website.
Let’s compare a few of the most popular ones.
If you need to use zoom for translation, you’ll have to purchase a Zoom Business, Education, or Enterprise account, or Pro account + Webinar add-on plan.
To have a Business plan, you’ll need to pay 1,999 USD for 10 licenses per year, for up to 300 participants. (You only need one license to host an event, all the rest participants do not need a paid license and they can join using their free Zoom account).
That means, you can pay 1999 USD and host unlimited number of meetings per year, with up to 300 participants each meeting.
Teams doesn’t support translation features and if you need to organize an event using Teams, you’ll need to integrate another RSI tech, like Akkadu.com, to support interpretation.
Compared to Zoom, Teams plans are much lower.
For 5 USD/month or 60 USD/year, you can host unlimited meetings in a year, with up to 300 participants in each meeting.
And if you go with the Office 365 E3 plan, 20 USD/month or 240 USD/year, you can host events with up to 10,000 participants.
Google Meet is free to use and it supports up to 100 participants in a meeting.
Since Google Meet is not offering another plan, it’s not going to work if you have over 100 audiences.
You also need to use a standalone RSI tech, like Akkadu, to have the simultaneous interpreting feature.
WebEx is another popular platform out there and their quality is stable as well.
The starter plan costs 13.5 USD/month and allows up to 150 people to join a meeting.
If video conferencing is the only feature you need, regardless of the differences of features between WebEx and other platforms, Microsoft Teams seems more affordable and supports a larger number of participants with non-enterprise plans.
WebEx doesn’t support translation either, so another RSI tech, like Akkadu, is required to work with it to have simultaneous interpreting features.
Akkadu is dedicated remote simultaneous interpretation technology that works with any video conferencing platforms.
For the RSI feature, Akkadu charges on a per hour basis.
Akkadu Tech Agent Fee
Apart from the above listed prices for the technology, there will also be a 30 USD/hour tech support fee charged by Akkadu tech agents, like WeInterpreters, who will provide support for tests, rehearsals and live events.
A lot of customers like the live support since they can talk to a member from the support team in real time.
This is more like a technical support from the interpreting equipment vendor who will take care of setting up the equipment and standby during offline events.
With that, the agent will integrate Akkadu tech to your chosen remote meeting platform and standby throughout the whole event.
This is also a feature that’s not available in any other above mentioned platforms.
The best choice for your project
By now, you should have an idea about what RSI can do for you, the advantages, disadvantages and rough cost of an online meeting platform with RSI features.
But, which one suits you best?
If you already have a Zoom Business subscription or higher.
You’re good to go with Zoom for unlimited meetings with up to 300 participants.
For events where over 300 participants are required, use Zoom + Akkadu.
If you have a web conferencing platform that doesn’t support translation.
Consider using your own platform with Akkadu.
We’ve heard stories about companies that have already paid for a video conferencing platform and that they need to have simultaneous interpreting features.
In this case, Akkadu is a good fit as it doesn’t require any change from your original platform. You can continue to use the system your team is familiar with and Akkadu tech agent will integrate your system with Akkadu.
If you don’t have any account yet.
Then you may consider the following factors and make a decision:
- How many participants will there be in an event
- How often will you host an event
If you organize events on a frequent basis throughout the year, with less than 300 participants, there are two good options:
- A yearly subscription to Zoom Business Plan
- Microsoft Teams Business Basic Plan + Akkadu
If you organize events with 300+ participants, Akkadu should be a good choice for you. They are known for their flexibility and stability, supporting audiences of as many as tens of thousands.
Akkadu can be used with almost any online conferencing platforms out there, which makes it possible to add translation features for companies to their own conferencing platforms.
I hope you find this guide to hosting an online event with translation helpful.
Would you consider Zoom or Microsoft Teams + Akkadu for simultaneous interpreting?
Or maybe you have a question. Either way, feel free to leave a comment below.