Indopak has a team of experienced staff in China who can help you decide on the right tour guide system for you. The equipment can be rented or purchased depending on your requirements but whatever application you need we have technical support people in house to help you.
What Is A Tour Guide System?
A Tour Guide System is a portable system that allows a person to communicate with a group of people in an environment other than a meeting room. This system is usually used for factory tours, open air tours, exhibition areas, guided tours, multi language interpretations that are in challenging and noisy conditions.
It is lightweight and portable.
The system consists of a microphone, receivers with headsets and a carry case.
The most common use of a tour guide system is the pre-recorded type and it can be found in any tourist attraction such as galleries and museums.
The tour guide system used for live tours, whether in galleries, museums, walking tours, factory tours and the like, definitely has a live speaker.
It is very easy to use as it is a switch-on and go system. It is, however, important to check that the channel of the microphone and the channel of the receivers or headsets are the same in order to hear what is being said.
If a tour guide system is being used for a tour where the environment is very, very noisy (airports and jet engines) special noise-cancelling headsets are available. Ask us for a specific type.
However, a typical headset is sufficient to use in a standard factory with its accompanying noise.
As mentioned at the start, a tour guide system is a radio system. This means that sound is transmitted via radio waves or frequencies. Like all radio systems, any conflicting or stronger signals can affect transmission of the sound.
If you are driving, let’s say, to Cornwall from London, and you are listening on the radio, chances are you are tuned in at a London radio station. As you drive further away from London, the signal becomes weaker and you either hear a hissing sound or the voices fade and go then louder in a cycle. Other times you will hear a different radio station coming in, most likely a local station with a much stronger signal than the London radio station you were listening to.
This scenario may happen with the use of a tour guide system if it is being used in an area with many radio transmitter towers that sends out strong radio signals.
Factory tours, walking tours, plant visits or site visits, the tour guide system is still the best communicating tool you will need.
The Tour Guide System is not a substitute for interpretation booths when the delegates are sitting inside a meeting room.
The reasons why the tour guide system should not be used this way;
- The delegates sitting in the room near where the Chinese interpreters are sitting may hear both the speaker and the interpreters
- If the room is small then the delegates and the interpreters will be on top of each other
- It can be distracting for the speaker, interpreter and delegates
2. The interpreters will need to hear the speaker clearly in order to provide good, quality interpretation
- Whether the room is small or large and the interpreters are placed at the end of the room, it will be difficult for them to hear the speaker
- If the interpreters sit next to the speaker, the speaker may be distracted with the interpreter as they deliver to the target language
- Interpreters cannot be placed in another room as there is no line of sight even if there can be an audio feed
Now that we know when and when NOT to use the tour guide system, let’s proceed with how to use it.
Tour guide systems are plug and play systems. It is also a closed system, which means that it stands on its own and cannot be used in conjunction with other systems. So, here are the things you need to know;
1. Check that batteries have enough charge or change them to new ones
2. Always power off at the end of each use to conserve the batteries
3. The channels of the microphone and receivers must be the same so that delegates will hear the speaker
4. If the microphone or receiver is turned on but no sound comes through, check volume and adjust accordingly
5. Check sensitivity switch of the microphone to ensure that sound from the speaker can readily be picked up by the microphone
The More Complicated Bit: Using multiple microphones for multiple groups
1. Ensure that each microphone is on a different channel. Two microphones on the same channel will cancel out each other if both are turned on at the same time
2. Use either odd numbered channels or even numbered channels
3. For multiple languages, ensure that there is only one microphone per language
4. Tour guide microphones on different channels should have a distance of 4 to 5 feet between each other
5. When using the system for simultaneous interpretation, provide a tour guide microphone for the speaker and headsets for the interpreters
There you go!
We hope that this tips and tricks will help you in using a Tour Guide System.