Clear dialogue between world leaders with simultaneous interpretation at 33rd ASEAN Summit
As one of the most important events organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits brought world leaders together in Singapore to discuss economic and political issues in the region. Chaired by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the five-day summit at Suntec Convention Centre featured representatives from China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Canada, Australia, the Philippines and the United States, among others. Dignitaries in attendance included Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
With important issues on the agenda, simultaneous interpretation between 12 languages for all 1,300 attendants was a key to success during the five-day event. Making it happen proved challenging for several reasons: First, the multi-purpose convention center provided no permanent interpreter booths or wiring for interpretation hardware. Second, close to 20 meetings between world leaders took place in separate meeting rooms, with each room and meeting requiring its own interpretation set-up. And third, the temporary interpreting solution needed to be ready within only three days leading up to the summit.
Congress Rental Singapore – a member of the Congress Rental Network and official conference partner of Bosch Building Technologies – designed and installed the temporary setup for the ASEAN Summit using a combination of DICENTIS, DICENTIS Wireless and DCN solutions from Bosch. Responding to the requirements for each of the four different meeting rooms, the experts deployed a total of 31 DICENTIS Discussion devices with touchscreen, 36 DICENTIS Wireless discussion devices with touchscreen and 33 DCN Conference devices with language selector. For the language interpreters provided by the government institution, 56 DCN Interpreter desks offered a familiar technology platform.
This set-up allowed Congress Rental technicians to equip each meeting between world leaders as the situation required. For instance, higher-level meetings held in the two plenary meeting rooms on level 4 of the venue could be supported either by DICENTIS Discussion devices or DICENTIS Wireless discussion devices, depending on the conference day and how much transition time was available to change the set-up for the next meeting.
For the fastest build-up and break-down, the best choice proved to be DICENTIS Wireless devices paired with INTEGRUS Pocket receivers and headphones pre-set to the listener’s preferred language.
Several of the meetings during the five-day event ran at the same time, so Congress Rental decided to centralize its simultaneous interpretation capabilities. In a central location, 28 temporary booths were set up, each equipped with two DCN Interpreter desks. From there, interpreters delivered live interpretation to delegates in the plenary meeting rooms and summit attendees in the listening room on level 3. More than 1,300 INTEGRUS Pocket receivers were available in the listening room, where attendees could follow proceedings in any of the 12 languages used at the event. At the same time, automatic camera control tracked the interactions between world leaders in the plenary meeting rooms, which attendees could watch live on the installed TV screens on level 3.
Throughout the five-day ASEAN Summit, Congress Rental Singapore kept a number of technicians on-site to ensure system performance and hand-over of conference devices between participants several times per day. Via the user control software on the backend, the digital system from Bosch provided Congress Rental Singapore with valuable data on microphone usage and interpreter performance, plus a chance to address potential issues in real time, which was highly valued by the summit managers: “I have continually received nothing less than complete admiration and the highest appreciation for the way simultaneous interpretation services were managed, and for the performance and quality of the attending Congress Rental staff”, said Chris Jackson, ASEAN, Australia Special Taskforce.
Overall, the combination of hands-on support and flexible technology platform proved a success: The over 1,300 participants of the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits enjoyed a productive event accompanied by seamless interpretation in twelve languages. In addition, the solution was dismantled and ready to be redeployed at the next high-level conference only a few hours later.
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