A conference is a gathering where participants discuss or engage in common interests. Typically conferences in South Africa are hosted by industry professionals, the entertainment industry or the academic community. Conferences feature panel discussions, speakers, workshops or vendors. As entertaining and insightful as a conference is, the is a substantial amount of work put into organising a conference. A conference may have a spectacular output but it takes time and effort to plan, especially if it occurs over one day or more. There are mountains of administrative work to be done when organising a conference. All aspects of the event require preparation, facilities, promotion, speakers and sponsors. It usually takes six months to a year to plan a successful conference. In order to address the chaos, here are 5 Tips for Organising a Successful Conference in South Africa.
1. Manage the Operations of the Conference
Having your operations in order will contribute to the success of your conference. Create a timeline based on how the conference will go by adding adequate time to your schedule, allowing you to finish each phase of the conference arrangements. In addition, establish the size and specifics of your conference. How many individuals are expected? Will you be entertaining a larger crowd or an intimate group? Who will attend to the needs of the sponsors and participating companies? Since most conferences must accommodate different attendees from various cultures or countries, determine necessary translating services at an early stage. Small multinational groups are best accommodated by consecutive interpreting services because they offer a direct interpretation. While large groups require simultaneous interpretation services that require technology and two translators for each language. Preparation for a conference requires paying attention to detail and organising necessary tools to ensure the event runs smoothly.
2. Incorporate Conference Equipment
Conference equipment will advance the standard of the conference. There are two basic categories of conference gear: audio hardware and visual hardware. This technology is necessary to provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of all conference proceedings. For presentations, visual equipment can include screens and projectors, as well as visual sources like images and videos. Equipment for audio conferences includes speakers, headsets, and microphones. Simultaneous interpreting requires audio conference material involving at least two interpreters sitting in soundproof booths, listening to conversations through headphones, and translating foreign dialogue into the headphones of conference delegates. Conference equipment allows everyone to engage, whether watching a video or engaging in a conversation. As a result, the conference promotes a space for learning and engagement.
3. Approach an Interpretation Agency
Selecting a language service provider will assist you in coordinating interpreters for your conference leading to an easy-going inclusive event. Regarding project-related, language service providers like interpreting and translation agencies will address all concerns. This is because agencies usually have experience and offer high-quality language services for multiple conferences. This implies that their services go beyond simple translation and interpretation. Language service providers are most likely to offer equipment and other conference language-related services in packages. By outsourcing an agency, you can be sure that a qualified linguist will be provided, saving your business time. There are no interviews, shortlisting or selection processes as an agency hands over the required translators and interpreters.
4. Coordinate a translator and interpreter
An interpreter and translator contribute to the efficiency of a well-organised conference. An interpreter works with the spoken word, whereas a translator works with text. Therefore both interpreters and translators are needed for the conference. This is so the documents are translated beforehand and the actual conversation can be interpreted. The translation of the convention particulars needs to be prepared weeks in advance by the time guests arrive so the reading material is ready and translated for them. An interpreter also needs to be organised in advance so they are familiar with the programme of the conference. Organising both will work together for the better of the conference output.
5. Confirm the Location
Will the conference be held on the company’s property, or will it hire a site? When hosting a conference, these are the key questions. Hotels are particularly popular choices for convention venues since they offer accommodation, making it simple for attendees to avoid travel and remain the night if the conference lasts longer than one day. The person to contact when reserving a meeting space is a hotel banquet. A banquet manager is in charge of organising every aspect of events and meeting spaces. To book conference equipment, a banquet manager is familiar with the hotel’s policies and procedures. Therefore a banquet will fill you in on the appropriate times to book the venue securing enough time to set up and pack up. The location will set the overall tone and ambience of the conference.
An organisation entails careful planning, attention to detail, and the ability to deal with unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the conference. Draw out all of your activities and programmes to make matters less difficult. Equipment for simultaneous interpreting during conferences will increase participant involvement. For the conference, interpreters and translators are required. So written materials can be translated in advance then actual conversations can be interpreted. Smooth operation is ensured if the interpreter is aware of the schedule in advance. The hotel banquet is also your ally when choosing the location. In summary, those are the 5 Tips for organising a successful conference in South Africa.