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Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Doing Great Marketing? Then #BackItUp

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: February 17, 2017

If your marketing budget is greater than your CPD budget, you have a problem

As is probably clear from all the posts on working with a CRM, pitching and writing for clients, I have been on a marketing binge so far this year and it is really paying off. I have caught the attention of new clients and have projects in various stages of being booked in. But it’s not enough to have great marketing; you have to #BackItUp with exceptional delivery.

 

By #BackItUp, I don’t mean having copies of your data stored in lots of places, as good an idea as that is. I mean that every hour spent on marketing needs to be supported by an hour spent on improving practice, especially since no one grows accidentally.

 

You can sell yourself as a premium provider all you like but if you deliver services that are more akin to the stuff you might buy out of someone’s car boot on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, you will hit a problem. The most powerful form of marketing is still recommendations and people will soon know whether you are as good as you claim to be.

 

Why do we think that some companies have massive rates of client turnover? If their marketing is good but they aren’t paying enough to work with great people, clients soon find out and look elsewhere. Whether you are an event interpreter, equipment supplier or events management company, if your marketing budget is greater than your CPD budget, you have a problem.

 

Since I am a French to English and English to French and conference interpreter based in Edinburgh, I absolutely have to be pushing my language and interpreting skills on a regular basis. That means keeping up-to-date with the latest research, practising specific areas of my performance, keeping my French honed and even listening back to myself.

 

So what do you do to #BackItUp? We can all learn from each other and get great new ideas for improving our practice. Why not share this post, alongside how you work on your skills and add the #BackItUp hashtag? Marketing is great but what we all need to #BackItUp.

Holding a Conference in Edinburgh? Buy Local

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: November 10, 2016

 

So you have been persuaded by the elegant style, medieval mystery and classy charms of Scotland’s capital. Don’t be fooled by its small size. Edinburgh and the central belt are hotbeds of talent, including the translators and conference interpreters you will need to make your event a rousing success.

Much more than the Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh is world-famous for many things: the castle, the architecture, and the Festivals, to name a few. Millions of tourists flock there every year and with hotels and venues to suit most budgets, it is an ideal location for events from huge conferences to weddings, from management retreats and AGMs to press conferences and product launches.

A good Edinburgh Destination Management Company will give you the lowdown on Edinburgh’s better known locations and best kept secrets and locals can also give you great tips on when to hold your event. For example, while you might be tempted to hold your conference in August, to give your delegates the chance to rub shoulders with Festival and Fringe stars, you are likely to find the city incredibly crowded and any travel plans will need to be made with a lot of room for manoeuvre.

What is often hidden about Edinburgh is the incredible level of innovation and expertise available in the city and its environs. For a relatively small city, it has four universities as well as numerous colleges. Why does this matter if you are coming to Edinburgh for an event? Those universities produce graduates in some of the key areas you need for your event to work, creating an enviable talent pool for you to choose from.

Why hire local?

This talent pool is not the only reason why it pays to hire local when meeting in Edinburgh. In these days of ever tightening budgets, travel is one of those costs that keeps being “rationalised”. Given that Edinburgh’s main bus company have adopted a set of fixed fares, the travel for those who live in the city will always be known in advance.

Of course, reducing travel expenses is simply part of the bonus of hiring locals. Less travel time also translates to less CO2 emissions and a more environmentally-friendly event. Add into that local knowledge that gets built up among those who regularly work events in the same city and you get a very cost-effective, high ROI way of hiring.

For International Events, Edinburgh has it covered

The Edinburgh talent pool really comes to the fore when it comes to international events. One of Edinburgh’s universities, Heriot-Watt University has its leafy campus on the west edge of the city and hosts one of Europe’s leading degree programmes for translation and interpreting. While many Heriot-Watt graduates head off to work in Brussels, Paris or even New York, a good number stay in the city or nearby, giving you access to expert conference interpreters and translators for your event.

When it comes to AV, there is a great company just over the Forth Bridge called AV Department, who can deal with everything from complex audience response systems to simple mic, amp and speaker setups. Between them and the local Heriot-Watt graduates, you can be sure that all your simultaneous translation needs (which the professional call ‘simultaneous interpreting’) will be covered, no matter how big and complex the event.

However big your event and however many languages you will need, Edinburgh has exactly the people you need to deliver great results every time. And with its vast array of talent across all the right disciplines, you can hire local experts in every area and watch your event really fly.

Want to talk direct to an Edinburgh-based consultant interpreter to get started organising your event? Drop me an email.

5 Signs You Hired a Conference Interpreter from Edinburgh

By: Jonathan Downie    Date: September 6, 2016

Edinburgh

 

If you have worked with interpreters a few times, you will realise that each one is slightly different. Want to know if your interpreters might have spent a lot of their career in Edinburgh? Here’s how you can tell.

 

1. They can predict when the words “haggis” and “whisky” will be mentioned.

After a few years on the Scottish conference circuit, it becomes really easy for conference interpreters to predict the contents of any introductory speech. There is, apparently, an iron law that says that you must mention two of Scotland’s most famous products within five minutes of starting any event. Maybe it’s to do with the fact that so many people associate those products with Scotland (even though the nation has invented so much else); maybe its because speakers easily fall into reusing old clichés. Whatever it is, it makes interpreting just that bit more predictable.

 

2. Accents? No problem.

By the time they have managed to interpret Aberdonian, Glaswegian, West Highlands and, of course, Geordie, no accent at any event ever scares an Edinburgh conference interpreter. It doesn’t matter whether their target language is French, Spanish or Chinese, they can deal with whichever speaker comes up.

 

3. They have been to all the best hotels in their home city but never stayed overnight.

For clients, the bonus of using a local interpreter is that you don’t need to pay for accommodation. For interpreters, the strange side-effect is that you might never get to find out whether the hotel actually has any rooms that don’t contain a digital projector, a fully quipped PA system and at least four soundproof interpreting booths.

 

4. They have interpreted in the rain.

Even if they leave for another market within a few years, ask any conference interpreter who has been on the Edinburgh market and they will be able to tell you stories of interpreting outdoors, in the rain. Is it just a quirk of Scottish weather? Is it a mark of how hardy they are? It could be both but that experience will mean that interpreters from Edinburgh know how to go the extra mile for clients (and where to find a smart rainproof coat … and a pharmacist that sells cold medicine).

 

5. Within five minutes of arriving anywhere, they become a walking public transport encyclopaedia.

Given that almost all of Edinburgh can be reached within two buses, Edinburgh conference interpreters soon get their heads around any public transport system you care to mention. When you live in a city with a 24 hour-a-day GPS-tracked bus service, plotting journeys becomes second nature and you expect to be able to do the same everywhere you go. Want to know how to get to your nearest airport at 4am, while carrying a large suitcase? Ask your nearest interpreter from Edinburgh.

 

 

They are hardy, they are friendly and they get to know new cities within a few hours. They are conference interpreters from Edinburgh. No matter which part of Scotland your next event might visit, if you are looking for interpreters, contact me and let’s create an impactful event together.