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A Best Practice Guide To Conference Transcription

By January 16, 2013September 4th, 2021No Comments
Conference Transcription

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Transcription is fast becoming a required tool for conference organizers looking to: 1) increase attendee satisfaction, 2) engage the press, 3) build online thought leadership and 4) increase web traffic.

But adding a new element to the complex time-lock that is a big event sounds strenuous, and can lead some organizers to delay adoption while others reap the rewards in terms of attendees and mindshare.

Here is a short, practical guide to the why and how of conference transcription. It’s easy to get it right, and the rewards are immediate.

Why Transcribe?

Attendee Satisfaction

  • Conferences with multiple tracks mean attendees can’t absorb all the content they want
  • Events are often for networking, but attendees want to know what happened in the sessions they missed while talking to prospects over coffee
  • Written, versus audio, content is quickly digestible, saving attendees time if there was a speaker they want to look up for reference

Build Thought Leadership by Engaging your Wider Community

  • Written content is searchable, shareable, and Google-indexible (is that a word yet?). Your content can go viral, increasing your prestige as a place where thought leaders break the news
  • Some who could not attend this year, will attend next, if they read about a conversation they could have contributed to, or a panel they found interesting

Engage the Press

Keyword searchable transcripts allow for quick editing of sound bites to feed to the press. Speed and accuracy are everything here (warning – plug for TranscribeMe coming soon on this point!).

How To Get Started

So, now you know why, but how do you do it efficiently – with no extra lifting from your events staff? Engage your Transcription partner and audio-visual provider a week or two before the event. Surprisingly, you don’t need more time. Your transcription partner will have a short call with the AV professionals, and they will agree on file types, file delivery, and flesh out any issues with audio quality.

  • Best Practice: 
    • File type: .mp3
    • File length: AV cuts each speaker session, so no file is longer than one hour
    • File sharing: AV drops file into a shared Dropbox, so your transcription provider has the file instantly
  • Get specific on how the transcript will be used: 
    • If you’re pulling sound bites, you may need speaker identification
    • If you’re uploading directly to Wordsteam or blog, you may want files delivered in HTML format, versus word
    • Planning on publishing later, but quoting known executives? You’ll want a verbatim transcript
    • Planning on publishing immediately, you may want ‘speech error edited’ – with all the ums, ahhs, and likes taken out
  • Maximize transcript benefits: 
    • Increase web traffic and improve your search engine rankings by publishing your transcript on the website/blog
    • Include video and transcripts for best experience
    • Include a link to the transcript PDFs in your follow up email to attendees
    • Some event organizers choose to share transcripts only with VIP attendees, making access a selling point for the next show
    • Keyword search transcripts for buzz words, and post these sound bites on your blog, or someone else’s blog


OK, time for the shameless plug: TranscribeMe is leading the way in conference transcription. We’ve helped over 10 events in the last five months with their audio transcription – from GigaOM and CrowdConf to Evernote’s Trunk Show and Social Loco. We deliver fast turnaround because we micro-task slices of audio and process them in parallel. Our service is affordable, and highly accurate, because we crowd-source transcribers to process chunks of audio our algorithms deem needing a human ear. We have great relationships with the leading AV companies in the Bay Area, and know how to add the maximum value to your event with our product.

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Alternatively, if you enjoyed reading this post, feel free to share it with your networks by sharing on twitter, facebook or LinkedIn using the buttons above.

Written by Bethanie Maples Krogstad.