Webinars provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to engage with a global audience.
The ability to host an online presentation or meeting with anyone in the world makes webinars an exciting possibility for companies doing business overseas. However, a webinar delivered in multiple languages presents a few more challenges than one that is only conducted in a single tongue. This article will take a look at how to plan successful webinars, as well as the additional steps necessary to hold them in different languages.
Live webinars can be interactive in several ways, including enabling participants to share information, use an online chat box, take part in polls, and more. When many languages are being used during a live webinar, translation services are required to present the materials to each audience. Logistically, this can be difficult.
A more common practice is to pre-record a webinar so that it can be edited, translated, and localized before being offered to your overseas audience. Pre-recorded webinars don’t need to rely on specific attendance times. That can be helpful when dealing with multiple time zones.
How To Deliver The Perfect Webinar In Multiple Languages
1. Early planning for a multilingual webinar – addressing translation and localization
When you are planning a multilingual webinar, you’ll need translation services to ensure that all goes smoothly. To do this, you must be sure to include translation professionals as part of your project team.
A webinar is usually a team effort, especially if it needs to be translated into other languages. For you to succeed, you need to choose the right people for the task. Who you include will vary depending on your organization’s goals and the topic of the webinar, but you will usually want to select the following key players to help you pull things off:
They will be responsible for planning the event by finding the right platform, setting up landing and registration pages, and choosing a follow-up email provider. They will also be responsible for hiring freelance translators or securing a translation agency.
The primary speaker should be engaging enough to capture the audience’s attention instantly. They should also be able to develop and present the necessary content with confidence.
Translators and localization experts:
Subsequent speakers will need to be highly skilled translation professionals or interpreters. This will ensure that your message is clear and concise in each language.
Assistants and administrative help:
You may need some tech assistants if you are not tech-savvy. Other assistants can help by answering questions, responding to comments, and following up on inquiries.
Next, you need to select the platform for hosting your event. There are many webinar companies to choose from. To meet the needs of your multilingual event, it’s important to do your research. This is especially true when you are planning on offering your presentation in several translated languages.
Remember to set a budget and decide what you can afford. Each hosting company will have different customizations, such as the ability to conduct surveys or polls following the webinar, along with different ways to evaluate the data to see how effective your presentation was. The company you choose should be able to offer you support in setting up your project. Having a project manager who can work with your team of assistants and professional translators will ensure that the webinar delivers the results you need. Responsive customer service is a huge plus when it comes to this.
2. Utilizing localization in your webinar
Once your team is in place and you’ve chosen a platform for your webinar, it’s time to dig in and get things ready for your presentation. When you’re conducting an online event in more than one language, it is vital that you tailor your materials to the needs of your audience. The content of your webinar should reflect the style and culture of your target audience, and this is a fine art. A localization expert can help with this aspect of planning.
Localization helps refine your message to meet the expectations of your audience. To do this, you need to translate the spoken and written materials of your webinar, while also factoring in functional and cultural content as well. The images, graphics, and icons you are using as part of your presentation may need to be adjusted for your audience.
Likewise, even seemingly small things like colors and fonts can make a difference. However, if you’re somewhat confused on whether or not you should localize or globalize (one-size-fits-all) your content, then take a look at this article to know the best option for you.
Nevertheless, the values and expectations of different cultures vary considerably. What is considered funny in one language may be insulting in another. Symbolism can also be tricky. For example, the swastika symbol is deemed to be sacred by some cultures and a symbol of violence and hatred in others. Even rituals and superstitions can come into play.
To make your content both functional and effective, you also need to consider things like date and time formats, measurements, and currencies. These tasks can be time-consuming and frustrating if you are not an expert in the local language. Outsourcing this part of the work to a freelance translation professional or a translation company is a good option. It will ensure that your message is delivered in a culturally relevant manner. It can also give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you won’t accidentally offend your audience.
3. Using translation to promote your multilingual webinar
You can plan a webinar perfectly, have it translated into multiple languages, and be completely organized. But you won’t get any results unless you have attendees. If you want to have as much participation as possible, you will need to promote it. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Create a landing page that includes a call-to-action for people to register for the event.
- Use banner ads on your webpage to advertise your upcoming webinar.
- Spread the word through your social media sites.
Remember, you need to repeat each of these steps in the languages of your target audience as well. Advertisements, landing pages, and other promotional materials will need to be translated and localized too. This will serve to attract your target market.
Successful webinars require careful planning and execution by an organized team. When conducting webinars in multiple languages, the preparation can be more involved. However, provided your team is dedicated to fostering communication that crosses cultural and linguistic barriers, the rewards can be enormous.
As the economy becomes more globalized, the need to conduct webinars in multiple languages increases. Here’s an interesting article by Entrepreneur that gives you a list of multilingual global business leaders and also how being multilingual benefited them as business leaders. In the end, having multilingual skills will help position you as a leader in your industry.
Do you have any other tips for planning multilingual webinar? If so, we would love to hear them.