Online meetings and video conferences were less than 3% of the entire conference industry until only a few months ago. Starting from March and with the global lockdown measures, on-site interpreting was literally obliterated. We found ourselves in an almost 100% remote video format.

It is impossible to know what the event industry look like once the pandemic is over, but it is safe to assume that the share of online meetings will not go back to 3%, it will probably remain around 30%.

Here are my expectations:

  1. Zoom’s language interpretation feature will make it by far the market leader in online multilingual conferences. It needs a couple of improvements but the path is clear.
  2. Webex, gotomeeting and even Microsoft Teams will add interpreting functionalities (update 2022: Webex added online interpretation feature and it is much more interpreter friendly as compared to Zoom).
  3. A new market segment will emerge: The Hyper Events; watched by tens of millions of people in 30 – 4o languages, streamed on facebook or YouTube.
  4. Another market segment will grow: The Touchbase; shorter than 5, even 30 minutes, touchbase will be a regular habit for some multinational corporations.
  5. The Hub Model: Audio visual companies will evolve into local studios where live broadcasting, filming, recording will be performed. Interpreters will also commute to the hubs for simultaneous interpreting instead of taking national or international flights. This model will probably be more tempting for privacy and security concerns of end-clients.
  6. Tech-savvy Interpreters: A rapidly growing enthusiasm among conference interpreters signal that many interpreters will continue investing in their home studios.
  7. Hybrid events: At least half of all events will be hybrid, meaning both on-site and also online. For physical distancing purposes and given travel restrictions, only limited amount of local participants will go to the actual venue. Others will join via digital platforms.

What are your expectations? How soon do you think the event business will recover ?

If you are an interpreter, try this quick quiz to see if you are ready for remote simultaneous interpretation.