Redken Case Study

Provision of simultaneous interpreting

Case Study: Redken Symposium


Redken is an American hair care brand owned by L’Oréal group under the Professional Products division. The company was founded in 1960 by hairdresser/chemist Jheri Redding and actress/model Paula Kent, thus the name ‘Red-ken.’

The Symposium held in London offered innovative sessions delivered by inspiring facilitators to help hair care professionals throughout Europe to ‘learn better, earn better and live better.’



ONCALL was asked to provide Simultaneous Interpreting from English into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian for the event due to the number of hairdressers attending from throughout Europe.

Simultaneous Interpreting Equipment was also required in the form of six booths and 1000 headsets and receivers.

The interpreters and equipment were required for three days, 2nd-4th February 2014.



Lack of Preparation Material due to the nature of the event (live hairdressing) meant that the interpreters would not have PowerPoints or glossaries beforehand to prepare.

Tight Budgets and an Uncertain Schedule meant that providing an accurate quote for the event would prove difficult.

Over 2000 Attendees and 100’s of staff meant that access to the venue to set up the equipmentwould have to be carefully timed.

Full Language Requirements Would Not Be Finalised until less than a month before the event which meant that the reserved interpreters may be offered other work and the client’s budget would have to increase. 

Customer: Redken
Published on: 7th February 2014
Industry: Beauty





Due to lack of preparation material beforehand, the onsite ONCALL coordinator arranged for briefing sessions for the interpreters with all of the stylists and speakers which meant that the interpreters were able to discuss terminology, product names and any particular jokes or anecdotes and how they would best interpret this into their mother tongue. This was also an excellent exercise for the interpreters to hear the voices and accents of each of the speakers/stylists beforehand who came from the US and several different countries throughout Europe. These briefing sessions proved invaluable for the success of the event with recognition from such people as Anne Mincey (former VP of Global Communication for Redken), Sam Villa (top Stylist) and Adina Doss (top stylist).

As the budgets were tight and the schedule would not be finished until the week before the event, the ONCALL coordinator negotiated with the interpreters to accept an all-inclusive daily fee to prevent overtime charges after the event and also booked locally based interpreters to reduce travel expenses.

Careful planning and scheduling took place to ensure that the equipment technicians were onsite the day before to set up all the booths and to hand out and collect over 1000 headsets for the hairdressers. The ONCALL coordinator liaised with the event organiser beforehand for access to the busy site and also ensured that interpreters reminded all hairdressers to hand the headsets back at the end of the event.

The ONCALL coordinator kept in constant contact with the interpreters until final confirmation could be sought to ensure that they remained available and was even able to add Portuguese to the requirement at a late stage, all the while ensuring that the budget did not increase.


Briefing sessions for the interpreters, stylists and speakers took place to discuss how they would best interpret the information into their mother tongue.




Due to the flexibility and coordination of ONCALL, the interpretation provided at the Redken Symposium 2014 was a huge success with several hairdressers from the audience coming to personally thank the interpreters afterwards.

The client remained within budget and delivered the Redken message in multiple languages:

‘Learn better, earn better, live better…’