On hybrid meetings and morning coffees

On hybrid meetings and morning coffees

On hybrid meetings and morning coffees

Julia is not having a very good morning.

A couple of months ago, one of her major accounts asked her to organise a customer event. She started the venue search, contacted caterers, made sure that calendars were aligned and set out to give every participant a personalised, fun and educational experience. Invites were sent out, venues and tours booked, and goodie bags ordered.

This morning, two weeks before the event, she is congratulating herself on her flawless timing and precision, and finalising the event script for D-day. She pours some beans in the grinder and embarks upon her sacred morning coffee ritual. She is just about to take the first divine sip, when from the corner of her eye, she sees an email come in. It is good that she sat down before clicking it open, as its contents would change the course of her morning.

In the email, her customer tells her that they have just acquired a Spanish company and that they want to use the customer event to welcome the new colleagues and customers to the team. Minor detail: the Spanish managers are somewhat caught up in the acquisition frenzy and cannot travel down to the venue to give their presentation. Come to think of it, there are probably some customers who won’t be able to join either, considering the short notice. Oh, and the odds are that they do not speak English, so how can we accommodate that?

As Julia’s mind races to the venue, she quickly realises that having interpreters and a booth on-site is impossible. She has booked an event hall in a historical building, and well, the walls are where they are and cannot be moved. And even if she could fit the interpreters into the room somehow, how would the remote participants benefit from their interpretation?

This question triggered a memory in Julia’s mind. Had she not read something lately about multilingual meetings with an online component? She scrolled down her web browsing history and there it was: an article about hybrid events.

Hybrid meetings are events that combine a live component -her so carefully organised event- with virtual, online components. Presenters can join the event via the internet and interact with the participants at the venue in the language of their choice. Interpreters work from their office, and connect to the meeting via Presence WebTalk!, an online webcast platform with simultaneous interpretation. Both the participants at the venue and the online participants can enjoy the interpreting service. Then Julia reads the sentence that she was desperately looking for: setting this up is quick, easy and budget-friendly, and does not require expensive hardware or complicated software.

Julia is not very keen on taking chances with new technologies, but saying no to an organisation challenge is a definite no-go. She is going to do this, and it is going to be good. As she congratulates her customer on the acquisition and affirms that this event is indeed a good opportunity to showcase the company, she mentally creates the roadmap for her first hybrid event.

She will ask who is attending remotely, and where they are attending from. Who knows, maybe she can get interpreters speaking not just the right language, but even the same dialect as the participants. And if the meeting is streamed, a recording should be quite easy to organise, and to use for the event’s aftermovie. While the idea takes shape in her head and her enthusiasm grows, her need for caffeine kicks in. After all, new possibilities call for a divine, steaming mug of coffee.

Are you ready to lift your events beyond the confines of space, time and language? Join us for a blissful cup of coffee while we tell you all about Presence hybrid events!

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