[JITF2020] What Conference Interpreters Say When They Talk about Management

Noriko Selland

Principal of STC Corporation.  Lived in Albany, New York and the San Francisco bay area in California for nearly 25 years, but the Great East Japan Earthquake drew her back to Tokyo, Japan in 2012.  In July 2015, she launched STC Corporation, an interpreting agency specializing in litigation and pharmaceuticals which is now in its 6th year.  Ph.D. in English (Creative Writing) from the State University of New York.  Lives near Tamagawagakuen-mae station on the Odakyu line with Eric Selland, a poet and translator, and a black Shiba dog.

What Conference Interpreters Say When They Talk about Management

Looking back over these 5 years when the Olympic boom had a major impact, we will discuss marketing measures for conference interpreters in the “with corona” era with the participation of the audience.  Rules will be decided for accepting questions from time to time.

Part I: What kind of interpreters are agencies seeking?

Though I had no interest in management at all, I was advised by an accountant to “incorporate” (establish a company) for the purpose of tax saving, and I followed that advice 5 years ago.  In the first half of the session, looking back on the past 5 years in which business grew with the boom times, we will discuss what kind of preparation and behavior is expected of a conference interpreter from the perspective of the dispatching agency and the client. The role of agencies in the Japanese market will also be touched upon.

Part II: Management of an interpreting business in the “with corona” era.

Perhaps there were quite a few conference interpreters who were able to double their revenues in the last few years without doing anything, just like a gift shop managed by the same family for several generations next to Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto.  That came to a sudden halt around February this year…. Interpreting was a line of business in which no one bothered to do marketing as it was not necessary…. Let’s discuss together how we as business owners can advertise and market ourselves to survive in this unprecedented “with corona” era.