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"Charity" booth--suggestions?
Thread poster: Jonathan Sanders
Jonathan Sanders  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:55
Jun 11, 2007

Hi everyone,

I am in a pretty sticky situation. I volunteered to interpret for this organization here in the US who will be meeting later this month for almost a week. I had volunteered for the same type of event in Europe and the conditions were not perfect, but reasonable (i.e. booths, good sound equipment, technicians, etc.) and making it possible to do good work.

Well, I find out from this organization after they've selected me as an interpreter, that they don't "have a budget" for a booth. Seeing as they will have multiple plenary sessions, I was naturally hysterical. How on Earth can you interpret a plenary session without a booth? So, I regrouped, contacted some of the equipment organizations I know and asked them if they could give me a quote for one booth for the days of the conference. They said it would be $365/day, which I thought would be affordable. But I just received an e-mail back saying that it wouldn't be possible.

So here is my dilemma. The cause of this conference is one that I greatly believe in. However, I can't work in substandard conditions--there's no way to do a quality job in a plenary session without a booth. I already booked my flight as well, so I obviously probably wouldn't be reimbursed if I gave it up.

My question is: does anyone know of an equipment provider in the US, who might be willing to donate a booth for charity? I need help, because if not, I'm going to have to pull out of this conference.



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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:55
German to English
+ ...
Get organization involved? Jun 11, 2007

This sounds like a terrible situation. If you really want to arrange for a booth donation, I think your only hope is to get the organization itself involved. They will certainly have more leverage than a single interpreter essentially begging for help (I don't mean this in a derogatory way at all).

Without asking you to reveal the exact cause, I think you will have better luck if it is semi-"mainstream", like Unicef or SOS Children's Villages or similar. Doesn't have to be of course. But I would ask if the organization has connections you can take advantage of. Show them this thread, and make it clear to them that your participation is now questionable, despite your commitment of buying an airline ticket. Be a squeaky wheel, especially considering your investment in the cause. Raise hell! Can you contact the advisory board of this organization and explain the dire situation? They may suddenly be able to come up with the $365 per day if you make it totally clear to them the consequences of not doing it. If they can't, the organization will surely have better luck than you convincing someone to donate, especially if you can find a local provider. If the conditions are unbearable, you are totally justified in pulling out of the conference.

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