Case Study: African Energy Forum, Clarion Events

Event Language Services at Clarion Events' AEF

Clarion Events’ African Energy Forum (AEF) stands as the premier platform for collaboration and innovation within Africa’s energy sector. Celebrating over 25 years of impactful gatherings, AEF, along with its co-located Youth Energy Summit (YES) in its 26th year, has consistently united the continent’s key stakeholders, investors, and emerging leaders.

The operations team at AEF and YES faces unique challenges in accommodating an international audience, particularly in terms of language diversity. Partnering with TranslateAble, a specialist in event language services, presents a strategic solution to effectively bridge communication gaps, ensuring the forum’s inclusive and global engagement.

Larelle Brown, Operations Manager at Clarion Events shares her experience: 

“Prior to working with TranslateAble, one of our biggest challenges in sourcing an event language service provider was budget.

“The Africa Energy Forum is a peripatetic event, which means that every year, the location of the event can present new issues. In 2023, for example, the Africa Energy Forum took place in Nairobi, a location known for its challenging security situation. When making enquiries with other translation service providers, they often required us as event organisers, to bear the cost of insurance, which exceeded our budgetary constraints.

“Another challenge was ensuring the quality of the interpreters. I’ve found in the past that a number of other translators we’ve recruited haven’t been able to keep up with conference content. The AEF content isn’t your typical conference presentation format; it’s more conversational-led sessions with multiple speakers which poses a challenge for interpreters who are not well versed in different event styles.

“With TranslateAble, these issues were not a problem. From start to finish, it was just a dream to work with Julia and the team.  I gave Julia a budget, and she worked her magic; our requirements were quite high, and Julia made it work within the budget we had. Julia’s event operations background meant that she ‘gets it’, and having her as our main point of contact throughout the process was a real benefit to me and the ops team. 

“Pre-event, Julia knew exactly what details from the programme were required to ensure the interpreting team had everything they needed for the event. Whether that was the agenda or timings, and even offered to reach out to the speakers on my behalf. It was so refreshing for a supplier to go that extra mile and ensure that the right information was received in order to set us up for success onsite. 

“The interpreters covered content that was delivered across five rooms with capacity ranging from 40-600 attendees in each. Julia project managed the interpreters onsite and was the conduit between the ops team and the interpreters. We only had to brief Julia, and she would ensure the interpreters were fully versed in what was required and that they were exactly where they were supposed to be at all times. The TranslateAble team also took on the role of handing out headsets, which previously had required us to hire additional staff – a testament to their commitment in going above and beyond for their clients. 

“It’s very rare to have your language agency account manager come onsite, and this really made a difference to our experience. Julia’s presence, attention to detail, and customer service excellence ensured a stress-free experience for my team, allowing us to focus on other critical aspects of the conference

“In 2023, we expanded our conference translation to include English to French and English to Kiswahili translation, and for the first time incorporated sign language (provided by TranslateAble). We had originally requested two interpreters who could translate English to Kenyan Sign Language however, we found at the last minute this wasn’t enough to cover the afternoon sessions. Julia was able to accommodate this request and promptly sourced two additional interpreters within hours ready for the afternoon’s content. 

“Positive attendee feedback highlighted the interpreters’ role in facilitating a smooth and seamless experience for everyone involved. I look forward to working with Julia again for this year’s AEF and would highly recommend TranslateAble to other event organisers who are looking for a trusted language partner.”


Looking for a trusted language partner for your upcoming event? Get in touch 

Related Posts