As the global pandemic keeps us working from home, virtual is the new reality and virtual events are gaining huge momentum. Various virtual events platforms have been gearing up to meet the increasing demands of their clients. Many corporations and institutions prefer having their virtual events through platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams, and also through leading virtual events platforms such as PheedLoop and Remo. Based on projections from Grand View Research, virtual events will grow nearly ten-fold over the next decade from $78 billion to $774 billion in 2030.
Captions & Translations, The Secret Sauce for Your Event
So, you've put together the perfect virtual event. However, a simple addition could ensure you get maximum bang for your buck. Captions & Translations. There’s a clear and growing need to have captions made available for meetings and events, not just in terms of being accessible for people who are hard of hearing but also to facilitate global participation, especially for non-English speakers. With companies switching to virtual and hybrid events, there’s also an increasing demand for translations to have their international employees and audiences be more engaged with the event. If the main event is held in English then translations become an essential part for the non-English-speaking audiences and also to reach out to new customers and clients globally.
Given the demands and challenges of virtual events, one has to ensure the events go on smoothly and without any technical glitches. Providing technical support during these events becomes extremely crucial, and Quality-minded Customers are demanding more. Technical support is crucial to ensure accurate captions and translation appear and are in sync with the audio. Having live captions with a human captioner listening to the audio and providing real-time captions can be technically very challenging and requires experienced technicians who can think on their feet and address any technical issues that may arise during the event. Very few companies in the world are currently able to manage this.
A proper virtual captioning platform requires the ability to schedule and manage multiple captioners for full-day events happening around the clock. In addition, the live streaming workflow is often a wild card depending on the platform that is being used. Different ways to deliver the captioning and translation is essential for viewers having to juggle between their desktops, phones, and laptops. There has to be testing, setup, coordination and integration into delivery platforms ahead of the virtual event.
Requirement gathering is the first stage of planning for the event. Details about what the audio source would be (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Vimeo, etc.) and the list of languages that the event will deliver to the participants. The technical support team has to then ensure an experienced human captioner is scheduled for the event and provided with all the material such as the agenda of the event, names of the speakers, any specific terminologies that might be used during the event, etc. This helps the human captioner in providing accurate captions for the event. Providing accurate captions for the source language (language for the main event) is crucial as any AI & ML driven translations are derived from the source language and the accuracy then reflects in the translations as well.
The technical support team including the human captioner logs in to the main event around 20 minutes before the event starts to do a test run. An experienced technician is available during the entire event and monitors the event. The technician also ensures the captions and translations are in sync with the audio. Depending on where the virtual event is taking place or the platform where the event is being hosted, the captions could be delayed and appear out of sync with the audio. The technician is constantly monitoring this and correcting this delay on the platform so that the audience and the end viewer can have a seamless experience.
Given how this pandemic has shifted the mindset of the corporates and institutions, the approach in the future is going to be remote working and this means that there will be an increasing demand for virtual events and meetings. This will be the “new normal” and virtual event platforms and the caption and translation service providers need to scale and provide the necessary infrastructure and support to their clients.