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Conference interpreters have the task of facilitating communication between a speaker, i.e., a person giving a talk, and a foreign audience. This role is increasingly in demand, especially due to the new professional opportunities offered by this specialised sector.

interprete conferenza

MICE is a fast-growing sector

MICE is a specific kind of ‘business tourism’ that allows companies and professionals from all over the world to meet, network, exchange and acquire expertise, advertise, celebrate their successes, and lay the foundations for future business partnerships.

The main events covered by the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) sector are:

  • meetings: from training courses to board meetings;
  • incentives: group trips for deserving employees and contractors working for important customers;
  • conferences: lectures and talks on a specific topic;
  • exhibitions: trade fairs and other events where companies showcase products and services to attract new customers.

MICE events often take place at prestigious locations and involve important guests and luxury entertainment (such as parties and dinners), all of which are required to create a high-level experience for attending professionals.

When are conference interpreters needed?

Conference interpreters are needed when a speaker who does not speak the same language as his or her audience attends an event.

If the speaker is attending from abroad but the audience speaks a different language, an interpreter will perform consecutive translation. In these situations, the speaker takes breaks to allow the interpreter to translate what they have just said.

This style of interpreting, however, doubles the length of conferences. As a result, simultaneous interpreting using microphones, booths, and headsets tends to be a more popular option. Conference interpreters – who take turns during very long conferences – translate while the speaker delivers their speech. The voice of the interpreter is then transmitted into the earpieces of the people sitting in the audience.

If the audience includes people who do not speak the same language, several interpreting booths are set up, each of which transmits the voice of the interpreters into the headphones of listeners belonging to a certain nationality.

Of course, when the audience asks questions, the interpreters also have to interpret the other way. It is up to conference interpreters to keep the debate flowing and enable everyone to understand the discussion and take part in it.

Interpreting for the MICE sector: what’s involved?

Interpreters for the MICE sector have the delicate task of making sure that all participants have a satisfying experience from every point of view. For example, they must be able to adapt to any context and use different interpreting techniques within a short period of time, while making sure they deliver a high-level performance.

Interpreters for the MICE sector must be professionals with solid expertise and must be able to engage with many people at the same time and in different contexts. It is therefore vital to rely on qualified professional interpreters such as those provided by EuroTrad.