Saying that RSI has come a long way since 2020 would be an understatement. The rapid switch from an online to a hybrid model shows: Interactio has been there and done that, with 18K+ events behind us in 2020 alone and even more ahead.
Some say remote meetings were necessary only during the pandemic and due to travel restrictions. Along with many other industry professionals, we believe it was a rapid transition to the events of the future.
So, how has RSI changed over these two years? And what to expect in the future? Let's dive deeper into the evolution of remote simultaneous interpretation!
CSA Research estimates a 14% growth in remote interpreting compared to the pre-pandemic world. The demand for RSI platforms like Interactio increased, but so did the need for stellar cybersecurity, more interactive features, and unique use cases. The easiest way to spot changes is to look at RSI back in the days of its rise.
In a world where social distancing and isolation suddenly became the norm, remote was the way to go. With no ability to travel and no safe way for everyone to interact in person, the world turned to virtual meetings. For multilateral organizations and institutions that needed multilingual conversations daily, such as the United Nations and the European Commission, RSI was the only available option. That's where RSI platforms like Interactio and fully remote meetings became the number one choice.
Two and a half years into the spread of COVID-19, hybrid meetings took the stage. Hybrid meetings combine the best of both worlds from on-site and remote meetings: part of your audience can be physically present, while others can participate virtually through web-based platforms.
The habit of remote participation is not the only reason for hybrid meetings to become popular. Numerous benefits, such as accessibility and access to international audiences, are just some of the many upsides of hybrid meetings.
"Over the years, we got so used to remote participation that even as we return to the "old normal" in a post-pandemic world, it’s hard to imagine the world with in-presence or on-site physical events only. In my opinion, hybrid meetings are going to be the main focus," said Uroš Peterc, the President of AIIC, at a roundtable on RSI in December 2021.
We always put security at the heart of our product, but the shift towards the all-virtual world has introduced new responsibilities to RSI providers. With the new never-seen-before popularity of online events, we needed to add even more additional safety measures to support events, integrate with existing infrastructure, and protect the customers' data.
Cybersecurity breaches like zoombombing grew alarmingly common in 2020. As the Verge noted, the remote meeting technology was “being used in ways it was never intended to be” at the start of the pandemic. This made it vulnerable to various privacy risks, such as leaks of intellectual property, as well as corporate and personally identifiable data.
Security and compliance certifications aim at mitigating these risks in online meeting spaces. For instance, ISO 27001 ensures that RSI platforms follow best practices to secure their users.
There are also other relevant certifications for specific fields; for example, HIPAA, or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, guarantees that businesses commit to secure health data processing.
Two years down the line, security measures and user protection are still at the heart of Interactio, meeting the needs for corporate security, national security, and international law. What did we do to get here?
When the remote meetings boom started, users lacked the authentic experience of on-site events in RSI solutions. Participants needed more ways to engage via chat, polls, and other interactive features.
Naturally, interpreters also had to shift to online solutions. As the interpreter console is their primary work tool and interpretation quality highly impacts events, an intuitive and user-friendly platform is a must for a seamless experience that was lacking at the time.
Since 2020, Interactio has come a long way in designing the software based on users’ needs. From interpreters to moderators to event participants, everyone’s voice has played a role in making the RSI platform of today.
In 2020, COVID-19, social distancing, and travel restrictions were the main drivers for change towards remote and hybrid meetings. On-site venues could not provide enough space for interpreters to practice their art safely and for participants to meet with respect to all pandemic regulations.
But what's the point of remote interpretation, even as we return to the "new normal"? We have highlighted our top three reasons.
RSI makes events and meetings more inclusive than ever: with the availability of the rarest languages, including sign languages, and the ability to tune in online with no need to travel, people worldwide can experience events the same way others do.
For example, for people with mobility or financial issues, staying at home is a primary necessity, not an opportunity. If your audience or speakers don’t know English well, can't travel, or have special needs, is it really the reason they should be excluded?
Pre-pandemic, attending a conference meant flying across the world or at least taking a train, which left a considerable environmental impact behind. RSI effectively helped reduce the money and resources spent on traveling because it is simply no longer needed. RSI platforms function as bridges to knowledge, minus the expensive travel and carbon footprint.
The cultural synergy and the innovative decisions that come out of live multilingual conversations have long been highlighted as a stepping stone in cooperation.
RSI platforms act as a bridge in these discussions. Even if your international team members know English, the level of authenticity in a native language is on a different, much higher level, which RSI helps to interpret.
As RSI grows and develops, we will see more examples of use cases throughout the industry. With a proven positive effect on accessibility and teamwork, many new institutions, organizations, and businesses will pick up remote simultaneous interpretation as a must-have for their internal meetings and public events.
One thing is for sure: RSI will keep evolving, and the past two years of rapid development is evidence for the potential of this relatively new approach to events and meetings. Ready to see what the future of RSI looks like for your meetings and conferences?
Feb 21, 2022