Are Your Virtual Meetings Translating Effectively?

As the world moves everything we know to a virtual format translation is usually one of the last issues to be revised. Companies look at the platform they will use and even the time frame required. Guests and moderators are planned and the event is promoted. Done right?

What many people don’t think about is that by taking your meeting from an in-person event to a virtual event changes the dynamics of your audience. That in-person event may have had people travel within a surrounding area of the event location keeping your audience within the that English speaking audience. When you plan a virtual event you are in effect removing the borders of Provinces and Countries and have opened the event to the World.

Although the event may be in English, people watching from outside of the region may not be able to understand the presenters as well if English is not their first language. The reason for an event is normally to offer information to the people in your association or audience and have them remember your event for the future. Are you doing that effectively in your new virtual format?

Often at in-person events feedback can be taken at the event in the form of forms and conversation. Virtual events are not the same and often feedback isn’t available in the same way as conversations don’t happen as easily online and forms don’t get filled out if available at all. How do you ensure you are reaching your attendees outside of your local area?

Foreign employees training and studying in office

Knowing who is in your audience is crucial to a successful virtual event. There are a number of ways to find out that information in the way of polls, email registrations, and other forms but it is important that you know who is in your audience. Maybe you’re holding an event in Ontario but the event has gone virtual due to the pandemic. Because the event is virtual you are now having attendees register from out lying areas in Montreal, Ottawa, Gatineau, and the like. These are people that normally may not travel to your event in person but can now attend virtually. If you find a good percentage of your audience is coming from the English areas of Quebec then this can be an important area for you to pursue for future events and business. There is one problem. Due to Quebec regulations if you are supplying documentation to people located in the Province of Quebec then it needs to be available in French. You could argue that those people found your virtual event on there own and you may be correct, but if there are enough attendees you may also be losing potential business in those areas.

This is why it is important to know who is in your audience. Not just for reasons related to content but areas related to expanding your network. Remember when you take an event from in-person to virtual you are removing the borders that may stop people from attending. See you at your next virtual event.

About the Author

Carmen Outridge is the owner of Outridge Translation Services and has been translating documents between English and French for over 30 years. Carmen is from Eastern Townships part of Quebec and understands the language and dialect of Quebec. To learn more about Outridge Translation Services or to get help with your next project visit

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