“Meetings and events are first and foremost about communication. When communication breaks down, delegates are dissatisfied and events fail to achieve their goals,” says Jo Debono, chairman of Congress Rental Network, a network of simultaneous interpretation suppliers, represented in the U.S. by ASET International Services, Arlington, Va.

“Consider your event’s communication from a holistic point of view,” Debono says. “Technology needs to be used to create an environment of understanding, where delegates have a variety of access points to each element of the event. Web- and print-based support materials, registration tools, and information need to be available in all the languages of your attendees. Presentations written and displayed using tools such as PowerPoint need to be considered at length: Which language do you choose for the main screen? How many of the attendees speak that language? Perhaps you should consider emphasizing images with very little text?”

Of course, the live element of your event is where the rubber meets the road with regard to communication. “It is vital that the communication achieves its pinnacle at that point, with the highest quality audiovisual and simultaneous interpretation equipment,” Debono emphasizes. “Sound quality needs to be crisp and clear. Interpreters need to be well briefed on the subjects under discussion. If necessary, consider specialist interpreters who are focused on a particular industry. Record each session in as many languages as necessary, then make the podcasts available at a Web site.”

In summary, Debono says, “The availability of instantaneous, high-quality communication today has made delegate expectations higher than ever. Meeting organizers must deliver.”

For more visit the ASET Web site.