Advice for organizers

Organising an event that requires interpreting raises a series of needs that ought to be taken into consideration well in advance.


AICE offers Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs) and organisers of events in general ten golden rules in order to properly organise interpreting services:


Ten rules to bear in mind when organising interpreting services:


Before the event

Among the consultant interpreter’s main duties are:

  • Advising on the configuration of the interpreting service and the necessary technical equipment.  
  • Distributing logistic information as well as scientific/technical documentation to the interpreters.
  • Assisting in the resolution of any changes that may affect the interpreting service (unplanned sessions, interviews with the media, parallel meetings, etc..).
  • Testing the sound equipment with the technical staff before the beginning of each session
Organisers must provide the consultant interpreter or the hired interpreters well in advance with the details of the event such as date and venue, programme, number of rooms with interpreting, languages to be used, scheduled agenda stating presentations and languages, list of speakers and participants, and subject matter.
Success in international communication largely depends on the interpreters being able to prepare beforehand.  Therefore, event organisers must provide their consultant interpreter or the hired interpreters with all the available documentation. Examples of useful documents:
  • Framework documents, summaries and other published material relevant to the meeting, or that will be distributed during the interventions
  • Speeches, slides or any other audiovisual materials that will be used during the meeting.
  • Links to websites with information relevant to the subject matter of the event.
  • Minutes, budgets, balances, reports as well as any other corporate documentation relevant to the organising institution.
  • Papers written by the speakers on the subject matter of the event.
If your event requires simultaneous interpreting in a booth, the room where the meeting is to be held must have specialised technical equipment and its quality is of the essence in order to guarantee successful multilingual communication. Basically, it will consist of a soundproof booth with ad hoc sound equipment and the assistance of a sound technician.
  • The booth must be situated in a position enabling the interpreters full view of the stage/panel
Proper visibility provides the interpreters with the necessary elements in order to efficiently convey the speaker’s message.  Please make sure that the booth is positioned in such a way that the interpreters may have:
      • A proper view of the room, the speakers and the screen for audiovisual projections (A/V), avoiding pillars or other structures that may block the view.
      • The correct angle regarding the lectern or area from which presentations are made.
  • The booth must be properly soundproofed
This will prevent disturbing participants situated close to the booth, as well as sparing the interpreters from hearing other sounds than the sound input received through their headphones.
  • The booth must comply with AENOR and ISO standards dimensions

Please check the relevant AENOR and ISO standards regarding technical requirements for the design and/or use of built-in and mobile interpreting booths.

  • The booth must be furnished with the basic working elements
A table/counter wide enough for the interpreters to place a laptop computer, the necessary working documents as well as the interpreting consoles, and a chair for each interpreter. Television or CCTV screens should preferably be installed in front of the booth ensuring that the location allows a proper view from inside the booth.


During the event:

Water is an essential element for interpreters, as well as for speakers. Please make sure this is included as one of the tasks for the auxiliary staff.

If anyone from the organisation needs to enter the booth in the middle of a session, this should be done in total silence and addressing the interpreter who is not working at the time.

In order to guarantee efficient sound transmission, please give clear instructions on how to attach lapel microphones on the speakers. Poorly positioned lapel microphones may make it difficult or even impossible for the interpreter/listener to hear without interferences.


Avoid placing them too far away from the mouth, or in such a way that they may rub against the body or clothing. Both the above will interfere with the sound transmission and hence hinder the interpreter’s understanding of the message.

Interpreters receive the sound from every microphone that is on. If more than one microphone is on at the time, listening clearly to the question or comment being made may be impaired.


The microphone must be kept at the same distance while in use and returned to the auxiliary staff afterwards.

A desk should be placed at the entrance to the room from which the auxiliary staff will hand out the receivers tuned to the channel for each working language.


Do not forget to also provide speakers with receivers as they may need them in case there are questions or comments from the participants.

In this day and age of technological progress, most interpreters make online terminology consultations during working sessions.

The Internet has become an important ally for on the go queries to clarify concepts. Therefore, it is important to provide Internet access to the team of interpreters.

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