Conference attendees taking notes

Scale Up: Expert Transcription for Conferences, Meetings, and Other Large-Scale Events

Sarah Lowe Leave a Comment

Transcription has been used in legal and other formal settings for many years. As speech-to-text technology evolves, the number of scenarios in which it can be helpful has increased, along with the scale of proceedings. Today, Appen is providing transcription services at conferences, meetings and events involving hundreds of participants and in almost as many languages. Traditionally, the creation of an official written record was something that happened in courtrooms, at inquests, or at other formal or high-profile proceedings like public inquiries. More recently, transcription has also become indispensable in smaller formal meetings and at the evidence gathering stage; for example, interviews with witnesses or suspects as part of a criminal investigation or for HR grievance and disciplinary meetings. But having an accurate, timely written record of what has been said is just as important at larger scale gatherings like conferences and other big meetings and corporate events. When it comes to these larger gatherings there are, broadly speaking, two main reasons why having a high-quality transcript is important. Firstly, an event could be part of a formal process that needs to be accurately documented in an expert and impartial way. This could include regulatory meetings as part of a monitoring or enforcement process, consultations with employees or trade union representatives, or shareholder meetings or company results announcements, where information is commercially sensitive. Alternatively, a clear, timely transcript could be a way to capture and share valuable content with delegates or a wider audience – for example all the discussion, debate and ideas from a conference at which new data has been presented, or a public meeting to consult or share information with local people organised by a council or NHS trust. Appen’s recording, transcription, summary and note taking services are just as useful at large scale events as they are for smaller ones. And some are indispensable; for example language services at events with a global audience and delegates from a range of different countries. This year, Appen provided transcription and language services at high-profile international events as part of an ongoing collaboration with an organisation working to promote better employment conditions globally. It was hugely complex and challenging work, with delegates speaking many languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian, interpreted into either English, French or Spanish. Morag van Niekerk, Appen’s Quality and Innovation Manager explains: “Some transcripts were needed within three or four hours and we often didn’t know which languages were required until the audio was uploaded. Another challenge was that some sittings continued late into the night, but transcripts still had to be completed and uploaded before the next morning’s sessions.” As well as being ready on time, transcripts for events like these must also be of the highest quality, as they are often shared internally with delegates but also with a much wider audience via an organisation’s public website. As the process of converting speech into text becomes ever more sophisticated, it’s also becoming more and more useful. And whether an event involves three or four people or three or four hundred, it can always benefit from accurate, timely, cost-effective and secure transcription services.   — Find out more about Appen’s services for conferences, meetings and other events at:

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