How To Be a Great Booth Partner

Earlier this week I was in Orlando to simultaneously interpret break-out sessions for Tupperware.  I knew my booth partner’s name, so I had a chance to Google her, but I had never met her, so I had no idea what to expect. Will she reak of perfume? Will she be nice? We met in the hotel lobby and not only was she nice, but she did not reak of perfume!

By the end of our sessions, I realized that I couldn’t have asked for a better booth partner and understood how important it is to have a good booth partner.

Here are a few observations I made during my trip:

-Punctuality. Out of respect for your partner, make sure that you are on time.

-Preparation. Have your own notepad, pen and glossary ready to go.

-Proper dress. Save the cleavage and heavy make-up for the clubs! Comb your hair. Button your shirt. Look professional.

-Bring your computer and make sure that you have an internet connection so that you can help your partner by looking up difficult terms that keep coming up.

-When interpreting numbers, it always helps to write down the numbers. So go ahead and write down the numbers for them so they don’t have to.

-Bring them water if they don’t have any.

-If you are not the one interpreting and you’re feeling fidgety, then  go take a short walk. Don’t click your pen, chew gum or rustle your papers.

For further reading, check out this great resource on booth etiquette, from Valerie Taylor-Bouladon’s book, Conference Interpreting – Principles and Practice.

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