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How to Reach a Wider Audience at Your Events 


Events are a powerful way for organisations to engage with their audiences. From big product launches and tradeshows to more intimate webinars and roundtables, events can come in all shapes and sizes, but establishing a closer, meaningful connection is always at their core.  


As a growing number of firms decide to go global, the audience they want to reach broadens. When, for example, launching a new product or hosting a conference, an international organisation might want to reach consumers in a range of markets or regions and need their message to be conveyed across different languages. In this context, interpreters have increasingly become central figures at events, allowing businesses to talk to their multilingual audiences effectively.  


A crucial part of engaging meaningfully with an audience is creating a familiar experience, where communication flows easily. Language is key to foster this environment of familiarity. CSA Research underscored just how important the use of native language is in the relationship between consumers and brands when it found that 40% of consumers will never buy products from websites in other languages. In the same survey, three-quarters of respondents said they are more likely to buy from the same brand again if the customer care is in their native language. 


Beyond the dynamics of purchasing behaviour, communicating with an audience in their own language — whether spoken or signed — is a fundamental starting point to ensure an effective connection — the goal of any international business event. This is why interpreters are an invaluable tool for global organisations as they are the ones bringing language barriers down at conferences, trade shows and sales kick-offs, and making that deep connection a reality while broadening the reach of the corporate message. By doing so, they play a pivotal role in supporting an organisation’s global ambitions. 


Covid-19: more opportunities in a changing landscape 


In 2019, around 1.4 million business events took place in the UK. Without notice, the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly changed life as we know it. In-person events became redundant overnight: as of March 2020, 90% of event professionals said that some or most of their business had disappeared. Presentations, conventions and product launches had to pivot quickly to digital channels and, as a result, the landscape of interpreting for events changed dramatically, with demand for face-to-face interpretation disappearing almost completely.  


While this shift to virtual spaces posed a range of technical and logistical challenges to organisations scrambling to adapt to the new reality, it also brought key advantages.  


Because anyone with an internet connection across the globe can join them, remote events can help amplify reach considerably. With the aid of remote interpreters, webinars, presentations and trade shows can be made available to broader audiences, regardless of where they are and what their native tongue is. Choosing the right interpreter for the task can also become easier, as the geographical barriers disappear, granting access to a larger selection of available talent. This, in turn, can contribute to boosting the overall quality of the event for international audiences watching and listening. 


Cost-wise, online events tend to need smaller budgets than physical events, as the logistics and organisation are usually simpler. They are also more environmentally friendly, as no travel is involved. 


Additionally, digital events can be an efficient marketing tool, as they can easily be turned into evergreen content. They can also be repurposed for different uses: for example, a conference or a webinar can be later utilised as a part of a corporate e-learning course or lesson. If the original content was in one language only, asynchronous interpreting can help create different language versions to suit different audiences.  


The rise of hybrid events 


As the world begins to emerge from months of social distancing measures, in-person events are very slowly re-starting albeit with strict limitations. That is why a hybrid format, that combines both in-person and virtual elements, has become a good option for many organisations. These groups can retain some of the spontaneity and engagement of physical events whilst benefiting from the wide reach made possible by the virtual component.  


According to Event MB, two-thirds of events professionals say this will be their main format as physical events resume, with more than 70% stating that they will continue to have a digital strategy even after the return of in-person events. With a growing number of people getting increasingly used to virtual events, maintaining a solid digital programme in place is essential, even after all Covid-19-related restrictions are lifted. 


In the case of multilingual events, the rise of this format means that, while face-to-face interpreting will slowly make its comeback, remote modes will continue to dominate the events interpreting landscape for some time.  


The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way international organisations communicate and engage with their audiences across the globe. Supported by the flexibility of interpreting, which can adapt to multiple contexts and requirements, they can take advantage of this new landscape to reach broader audiences and keep up their global momentum. 


At THG Fluently, we’ve been providing interpreting services to the events sector for almost 20 years. In that time, we’ve learned what it takes to support organisations seeking to connect with global audiences and grow in international markets. So, if you’d like to learn more about how we can support your business by interpreting at your next event, get in touch.

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We’re always ready to answer your questions and support your journey to international communication.

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