How Conference Transcription Makes for More Inclusive Events

By: Verbit Editorial
confereence hall full of people

Web conferencing and other virtual forms of communication played major roles in many businesses’ day-to-day operations in recent years. However, in-person events are also making a comeback. One recent survey found that 79% of employees are excited about the return of live corporate events These events are particularly beneficial for networking. Live conferences and other gatherings make it possible for professionals to develop meaningful relationships with their peers and get diverse perspectives on industry-specific issues. For this reason, it’s important to ensure these events are as accessible and inclusive as possible. Providing conference transcripts is just one way to achieve this objective.  

Accessibility technologies are a great way to expand the reach of events and ensure that all attendees receive equitable messaging. Solutions like transcription, in particular, also improve information retention and support industry professionals of a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. Here are a few ways event planners and others can incorporate transcription into their event programming to foster inclusivity.  

What is transcription and why is it important? 

Put simply, transcription refers to the process of converting audio to text. Transcription is a process that works for both live and pre-recorded audio from live discussions, webinars, break-out sessions and more. The two primary styles of transcription are verbatim and non-verbatim transcription. A verbatim transcript is a word-for-word rendering of the audio content, while a non-verbatim transcript undergoes editing to streamline messaging. Essentially, a transcript is a helpful summary of an audio recording.  

What are the benefits of conference transcription? 

Transcribing audio to text is one of the most effective ways of improving accessibility for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Audio-only files tend to exclude those individuals with hearing loss. Providing a readable version of information makes it possible to offer equitable messaging to any audience member or attendee who needs or prefers to engage with information in a written format.  

Conference transcription can also support event attendees with specific learning needs or certain neurodiverse conditions. Providing written supplements like transcripts can help to improve understanding and information retention for the average event attendee as well. Transcripts are, therefore, a useful tool for allowing organizers to maximize the impact of their programming.  

Transcribing components of a conference can also help to generate an easily digestible record of the event. With transcripts, employees don’t need to sift through hours of recorded sessions or lectures to reference a specific discussion or information point. Similarly, if someone can’t make a session, the transcript can fill them in on what they missed. 

What kinds of events can you transcribe? 

Conferences often consist of several different events, sessions, and discussions. Here are a few solutions to consider when looking to incorporate assistive technologies into your next conference. 

  • Meeting Transcription: While large-format lectures certainly present excellent learning opportunities, smaller-scale sessions often allow attendees to engage more fully in a discussion. Transcripts of these small group discussions or break-out sessions can provide attendees with valuable resources and reference tools.  
  • Call Transcription: While live events are certainly on the up and up, virtual events aren’t going anywhere. For this reason, it’s important to consider offering transcription of any virtual events like Zoom chats or conference calls. Video calls may have poor audio quality or slow internet connectivity, so providing a written record of the information can help to safeguard against miscommunications.  
  • Seminar Transcription: Large seminars like guest speaker lectures can also take advantage of transcription technology. Not only is it possible to transcribe recordings of these seminars, but some providers – like Verbit – can transcribe these events in real-time to further improve understanding.  

How Do You Transcribe a Conference? 

As we’ve discussed, conferences often have many moving parts. Transcribing every aspect and supporting all attendees can be a challenge. In-house employees or other individuals who lack the necessary professional training are generally ill-equipped to handle transcription projects on such a large scale. Furthermore, these individuals are prone to making a substantial number of transcription errors that can compromise accessibility and impede messaging overall.  

For this reason, event planners can benefit from partnering with a professional transcription service. A partner like Verbit can efficiently and accurately transcribe information from conferences. Verbit uses a dual approach to transcription in order to produce accurate transcripts, often with turnaround times of just a few hours.  

Verbit’s conference transcription software can easily transcribe recordings of lectures, seminars, and more thanks to the efficiency of artificial intelligence and the diligence of professionally-trained human transcribers. Also, Verbit’s software integrations enable users to seamlessly request real-time transcription of live communications that take place both in person and online.  

Modern solutions for modern events  

Proactively offering assistive technologies like Verbit’s conference transcription solutions can help your organization ease back into the world of live events while supporting the diverse needs of your audience. Not only can transcription help to provide more equitable messaging for attendees with disabilities, but it can also help to streamline overall communication and deliver more impactful experiences to all. 

In addition to transcription, Verbit also offers captioning, translation, and audio descriptions to further support the evolving needs of today’s employees and other event attendees. From press conference transcription to Zoom captioning and everything in between, Verbit’s platform is helping professionals across a wide range of industries boost efficiency and scale their accessibility initiatives. Reach out to Verbit to incorporate these solutions into your next live event.