Case Study: 7 Years of Language Support at the BIO International Convention
The BIO International Convention will be marking it's 25th anniversary in June of 2018. Over the past 25 years the Biotechnology Innovation Organization has held this global conference, attracting top minds in the life sciences involved in the research and development of biotechnology products. Delegations and companies from around the world regularly attend the convention, and language support including translation and conference interpreting services is vital to ensure they can participate in presentations and networking events.
Language Connections has been a language service provider at the BIO International Convention for seven years, supplying both conference interpreting and translation services. This year will mark the 25th annual BIO convention, and attendees from 74 countries are anticipated to be coming to the city of Boston to attend - totaling more than 16,000 individuals.
This year's BIO convention is anticipated to have 41,000 One-on-One partner meetings, 1,800 exhibitors, and close to 500 educational lectures and company presentations.
The sheer volume of lectures, presentations, panel discussion sessions, and meetings and partnering opportunities with international delegations, means that high-quality linguistic services are crucial in the success of this event. In the past we have provided these services directly to the BIO as a client, and more recently we have had the pleasure of working with many of the participants and delegations attending the convention.
This event in particular poses its own unique challenges, and of course flexible solutions.
Q: How Do You Ensure 16,000 Global Participants Of A Biotech Conference Can Communicate?
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) represents more than 1,100 companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in over 30 countries including the United States.
One of the main functions of the BIO is to host the annual convention which brings together global experts in a range of areas from drug discovery and bio manufacturing to nanotechnology and cell therapy.
This event provides life science companies and delegations from around the world the opportunity to present, exhibit and network, while attending discussions on cutting edge advancements in the field of biotechnology.
As a language service provider at the convention over the last seven years, our responsibilities have commonly encompassed a wide range of languages and services.
Each require unique solutions and demand a great deal of attention to detail, excellent planning and coordination, and flexibility to quickly adjust to last minute changes.
Over the years, some of the challenges we have faced include:
- Adapting marketing materials for six diverse audiences of the BIO
- Performing complex conference interpretation services
- Coordinating multiple events simultaneously
- Unexpected and last minute changes in scheduling
Challenge 1: Translation of BIO Marketing Materials
For many years, BIO requested that we translate all pre-event marketing materials into the following languages: Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. Marketing translations are slightly different than a straightforward text translation, as they must be localized for the target audiences. Often times creative slogans, images, formatting, or colors need to be changed in order to better appeal to the culture of the target audience.
Materials for translation in the past included:
- Invitations to the conference
- Brochures advertising the BIO convention
- Descriptions regarding the various attendees and exhibitors at the convention
Challenge 2: Conference Interpretation Services
The biggest linguistic component of the BIO convention is conference interpretation services. Our interpreters regularly facilitate in several languages at the conference, including Mandarin Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.
Interpreting events range from large lectures, panel discussions, group sessions, on-one-one networking meetings, and personal escorts throughout the conference. Thus, different modes of interpretation are needed (including the complex mode of relay interpreting) – often for the same client depending on the events being attended. This also involves the coordination and set up of interpreting equipment.
On top of this, linguists must possess a high level of knowledge regarding industry-specific terminology in both languages. Often times presentations and meetings involve discussions of extremely technical biotechnology processes and concepts – the interpreters need to be familiar with these in order to best relay information to the attendees.
Challenge 3: Coordinating Events Simultaneously
Working with multiple delegations and companies means that interpreting events take place simultaneously in different locations. Each demands separate attention to logistics, and oversight by our team of project managers.
Often times, our interpretation team needs to be on call in order to address any unexpected changes that affect how the interpretation is provided.
Challenge 4: Adapting to Unexpected Changes
International delegates attending the conference often have complicated and diverse schedules which make the coordination of the interpreters and equipment challenging. Needs change at the last minute – such as an alteration to the mode of interpretation needed, to needing more interpreters than initially thought.
In order to flexibly adapt to unexpected changes, while still providing the highest-quality conference interpretation services, outstanding organizational skills from our project managers, linguists, and technicians are required.
Thanks to our extensive experience coordinating large-scale projects of this caliber, and in numerous languages, BIO participants have chosen Language Connections to facilitate linguistic support for them at the convention year after year.
This has given us over seven years of experience finding the best solutions for almost any situation. While each solution is individually adapted to our clients’ needs, in general we overcome some of the greatest challenges presented by providing linguistic support at the BIO convention in the following manner:
Language Connections approaches translation according to a precise and comprehensive workflow. This workflow is used for each project, and ensures that documents and texts undergo multiple rounds of review before they are presented to the client.
For the BIO convention’s marketing materials, we approached the translations adhering to the following steps:
- Determine ultimate end use and users of the materials to plan for adaptation and final presentation.
- Determine the content makeup and word count for each document.
- Build teams of linguists in the target language(s) who adhere to strict quality guidelines.
- Build teams of editors fluent in the target language(s) to review the translations.
- Develop a timeline for delivery, incorporating translation technology for more efficient work.
- Begin translation and editing. Marketing translations are reviewed for the target audiences.
- In-house team of proofreaders checks translations to ensure documents are cleanly formatted.
- Deliver to the client. By this point all of the documents have been through multiple rounds of review, and are presented back in the same format as the original source files.
Our team has provided marketing material translations for the BIO itself, along with delegations exhibiting throughout the convention. Thanks to our network of highly experienced translators, and our dedicated project managers, we have successfully provided these services in six different languages over the years.
Conference Interpretation Services
When delegations or teams from attending companies approach Language Connections to coordinate interpretation, we first do a thorough dive into the exact needs of each client.
- Getting an idea of the scope of conference interpretation services needed.
- Gathering details about budgets, schedules, when interpreters are needed and audience numbers.
- Identifying language pairs and levels of interpretation (conference interpreters are often required).
- Determining the mode of interpretation based on the events. This is either Simultaneous (done as the speaker talks) or Consecutive (done during natural pauses in speech).
- Requesting any preparation materials the client has for interpreters so they can prepare in advance.
Doing thorough research into our clients’ exact needs allows our interpretation team to come up with a plan of action that perfectly complements the expectations of each client.
Once we have a clear picture of what the client or delegation needs, we begin our search for the best interpreters to match them with. Our network spans the globe – so we are able to find local interpreters if need be, as well as fly in experts from around the world.
Additionally, we work with some of the highest-level conference interpreters who are able to adapt their skills to fit a given situation – this means we are able to put together teams of linguists who can perform both simultaneous and consecutive interpretation.
These modes also encompass some commonly requested forms of interpretation including Whispered (where the interpreter relays information to the listener into his or her ear), Bilateral (where one interpreter relays information back and forth between the source and target languages), and Relay interpreting.
Relay interpreting is often needed at large events where attendees, who speak multiple languages, are participating in some form of discussion in their native languages and not one common language. It is not always possible that an interpreter for a given language pair (say Spanish<>English) will understand the languages of other attendees (say Russian, Arabic, and French).
As such, a common language must be used between the interpreters. Often times this language is English. Therefore, when a participant speaks in French, the French interpreter will render this message into English for the Spanish, Russian, and Arabic interpreters, who will then relay that message into their respective languages.
When it comes to coordinating conference interpretation services for projects occurring simultaneously, our team relies on precise scheduling and organization techniques – mapping out all the events we are supporting so as not to miss a single thing.
Additionally, our team is available around the clock should there be any minor (or major) hiccups along the way. We have built up a strong relationship with each of our linguists, allowing us to reach out to them day or night, and our technical team can be on-site or on-call for the duration of your events.
Q: You Trust Language Connections' 7 Years Of Experience Working At The BIO Convention.
Thanks to the thorough and precise work of our teams of linguists and project managers, we have been a go to supplier of linguistic services for BIO conference attendees over the past seven years.
Our translation team has successfully completed – on time and within budget – marketing translations for both the BIO and delegations to use throughout their time at the event.
Our professional and experienced teams of interpreters have facilitated discussions at an extremely diverse set of events including:
- Panel discussions on Turkey’s biotech economy
- A discussion on the development of biosimilars in China
- A panel on investment in biotherapeutics in Latin America
- Guided interpretation for Russian delegates
The Language Connections team has been present at events from meetings with international government delegations, to discussions between corporate and academic clients. We are excited to be a part of such an important gathering of the world’s scientific community and look forward to continuing our work with the organization and delegations.
Do You Need Language Support For BIO 2018? Contact Us Today To Get Started On Your Tailored Solution.
Interested in Learning More About Language Connections' Translation and Interpretation Work in the Life Sciences? Check Out The Following Resources:
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
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