Bringing own equipment for an interpreting conference?
Thread poster: xxxStrastran
xxxStrastran
France
Local time: 08:56
French to English
+ ...
Jan 31, 2008

Hello all,

I have been asked to do a conference for 30 people in May at a University, but the person says they really need someone who can bring and organise the equipment. I've never been asked this before and am not sure how to approach it.

I have told the person that I will investigate hiring costs but to be quite honest I don't really want to do it as I am not a technician, and if something goes wrong it could be disastrous.

Has anyone managed to do this successfully, and if so how did you go about it?

Many thanks

Patrick


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not so difficult Jan 31, 2008

It is not so hard if you have a source for the equipment, preferably a colleague, who can rent it to you at a fair rate and show you how to use it. Portable wireless equipment is compact and very easy to use, all you have to do is turn it on and away you go. But before starting, check the transmitter and each receiver to make sure they are all working, on the right channel and have good batteries.

At the meeting draft someone from the client´s staff to keep control over the receivers that are passed out, and make sure your contract states that the client is responsible for paying for any that are lost. People do not steal them, they are of no use to anyone else, but they can often just walk off with them in a pocket or purse.

And of course you add the cost of the equipment to your fee, along with a commission to yourself for proving this servce. The number of receivers will be as ordered by the client.


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xxxStrastran
France
Local time: 08:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jan 31, 2008

Thanks for your reply Henry, that's really useful!

I'll investigate hiring costs in that case.


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:56
English to Arabic
+ ...
Additions to Henry's good points and suggestions Feb 1, 2008

Greetings.

If I may add to Henry's good points and suggestions about what equipment to bring to support an event.

Also bring:

1. Spare batteries (lots)(it's smart to replace them every other day in each device as a prudent measure)

2. A couple of electrical power extension cords, at least one with multiple plug-in outlets at one end

3. Roll of duct tape (if possible, in a color that does not clash with the color of the floor covering) if you need to tape down the power cords

4. European-style multi-receptacle power prong device, useful if you travel to another country where different-shaped plugs and outlets are used, as in hotels and office buildings.

(Different voltages and power cycles also need adjustment, but it's better to wait until you arrive and check out the site before the event.)

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke
San Pedro, California
(Late of Riyadh, KSA)


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:56
English to Hungarian
+ ...
One more point Feb 3, 2008

How many hours are you expected to interpret on that conference?

From your posting it sounds to me that they want to hire you to interpret for a group of people (the actual number is irrelevant) for a number of hours. Unless the format of the conference allows you to have substantial breaks between interpreting sessions, (max. one hour at a time) and the conference only lasts for 3-4 hours, it wouldn't be right to expect one person to do it.

They may get away with it if YOU agree to do a half-day conference, but even that is not the acceptable way to deal with - presumably - simultaneous interpreting. Anything longer than that should have two interpreters.

Your fee should not be affected by the fact that they need two people to do it, if that is the case.


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:56
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Insurance? Feb 5, 2008

juvera wrote:

How many hours are you expected to interpret on that conference?

From your posting it sounds to me that they want to hire you to interpret for a group of people (the actual number is irrelevant) for a number of hours. Unless the format of the conference allows you to have substantial breaks between interpreting sessions, (max. one hour at a time) and the conference only lasts for 3-4 hours, it wouldn't be right to expect one person to do it.

They may get away with it if YOU agree to do a half-day conference, but even that is not the acceptable way to deal with - presumably - simultaneous interpreting. Anything longer than that should have two interpreters.

Your fee should not be affected by the fact that they need two people to do it, if that is the case.


I've never done this sort of job, but I wonder if you should consider insurance of the equipment, who is to arrange it and how?
Regards,
Jenny


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xxxStrastran
France
Local time: 08:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Feb 5, 2008

Thank you Stephen, juvera and Jenny.

There will actually be two of us doing this conference, which is to be attended by 30 people.

The trouble is, the other interpreter is just as in the dark as me on this issue!

I have contacted some colleagues and will see what I can organise.


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Jean Bisping  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:56
English to French
+ ...
Equipment issues Feb 5, 2008

Hello Patrick,

I recently experienced this situation for the first time. I was not comfy with the notion, not at all! When there's a booth or furnished equipment, you arrive and things have been set up in advance, with you in mind. Now, you get there, and you start from scratch. It helped me that the colleague I hired had more experience with the gizmos. But all kinds of glitches can appear and now you're on the line. Incoming cell calls interrupted the signal, we had no mute button on our transmitters (i.e., some research for the best may be in order), yet turning them off to cough or clear our throats made the receivers give out a really loud fuzz, audible around the room, let alone in the clients' ears. EGAD!

Arrive much more in advance than usual to iron out any problems and test everything. May be as simple as making sure you have 2 assigned places around the table, and an independent source of water. It certainly added to my stress level, that's for sure. But it was good to experience it, to widen my future choices.

I had the equipment delivered to the hotel independently of my arrival, by the way. So at least I didn't have to loop out to some remote office at rush hour just to get the stuff...

Some ideas for you.

Good luck!

Johnnie


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:56
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Further thoughts Feb 6, 2008

An agency would hire the equipment and a guy (or two from the hiring company) to deliver, set up and assist, pack up and take it away at the end of the day.

The alternative, as it is a small group of people, to do consecutive interpreting. Then a couple of microphones would do it, one for the speaker, and one for you.

If that is not what they have in mind, then the whole caboodle will have to be hired, and as Jenny pointed it out, the insurance needs to be checked. I am sure, the hire company would have the answer to that, and the likely scenario is that they are insured, and it reflects in their price.
The hire company should be responsible to deliver, set up, take away etc. even if it is only a box, and they don't stay there to supervise.

You should check out the room and seating arrangements, and discuss if they meant a cubicle for the interpreters or just a box transmitter, and then you should decide on the position of the various parties.


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xxxStrastran
France
Local time: 08:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Feb 7, 2008

Thanks everyone.

I have obtained a quotation from a company for hiring a booth, equipment and a technician but the customer is reluctant to go for this (and they've not seen the price yet!). They would rather have the interpreters 'sat in the corner' working via a 'tour guide' style system, which sounds like a potential nightmare to me.


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