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Top 10 tips
Whether you are new to the sightseeing industry or are a well established tour operator we feel it is also good to have some additional advice from the experts. We have been at the forefront of the multilingual commentary system industry for over 15 years and have learnt a lot on our journey, here are some of our top tips to deliver an excellent tour.
1) Split your tour into “bitesize” chunks
Sections between 45 and 90 seconds seem to work best, if you exceed this time the listener will begin to get bored. Shorter sections are also more cost effective as it is easier for a recording studio to match track lengths on different languages, this is crucial as it has been found that some customers are aware when other languages appear to be giving more information than the one they are listening to, this leads to unhappy customers as they feel they are missing out. By having shorter sections it is also easier and cheaper to update your tour, which you will inevitably have to do as the sights in your city/area change and develop.
2) Plan for diversions and heavy traffic
If there are delays on the route make the most of it and provide your listeners with extra information about your city or place that is not necessarily tied to a specific place along the tour. If possible try to have around 10 general information commentaries that can be fitted in at any point on the tour when coming across a delay. Be careful when choosing this approach, as although v6e’s systems support this some systems do not.
3) Create your tour in your own language first
Before you take that big step and record your tour in multiple languages make sure you have the tour checked in your own language first. Try it out on a quiet and on a busy day and make adjustments as necessary. Always use a professional service to translate and record your tour in other languages, ensure that they use native and clear speakers. There is nothing worse to a listener than a poor translation when you have paid a lot of money to listen to the tour.
4) Avoid referring to specific directions i.e. on your right you can see
Road networks can change and diversions may be set up due to road works, this may mean you travel the opposite way down a road and the commentary directs the passengers to the wrong side.
5) Play music between sections of commentary
You may think you have enough commentary to be continuous but, on a busy day, you rely on a driver to keep the tour running. We have witnessed first-hand customers trying a large number of seat units in a quest to find a system that works when there was simply a break in the commentary. Make sure you choose your system carefully though as not all systems on the market support backing music between sections of commentary.
6) Choose appropriate tracks to play between commentariesHow long would it take to install?
Choose more than one track, it becomes tedious as a passenger (and a driver) to listen to the same track again and again. If you choose a v6e system we offer the option to play different music dependant on where you are in the tour for example you may wish to play classical music in the older parts of town and and more modern for uptown.
7) Choosing your languages
To ensure the most efficient use of your system it makes sense to put languages
on the system in order of popularity on your tour. Our systems are installed with a language monitor, which allows you to keep track of which languages are being used more frequently than others. v6e systems have a default setting when a customer inserts their headphones. By monitoring the popularity of languages on your tour you are able to choose which language to have as a default setting for example if only 0.001% of your passengers are listening to the native language it is not a useful language to have as your default setting. You should choose the language that is the most popular in your own area for this default setting.
8) Choose the right headphones
Most low cost headphones are very poor quality, therefore before you decide to buy always request samples from the supplier in order to sample the. v6e supply good quality headphones at reasonable prices so you are able to order direct from us. One of the biggest problems with cheap headphones is that they have oval jack plugs that do not work well in most electronic devices. At v6e we have designed our own jack sockets to avoid these issues.
9) Installing GPS triggering
If you choose to use GPS triggering this may allow your system to be completely automatic with no input from your driver, however most suppliers charge for setting up this service and often have an ongoing licence charge, it is therefore wise to check the full pricing details before purchase. v6e offers a complete GPS system which is
set up by simply driving the bus around your chosen route, for more information visit
10) The full package
There are many suppliers of multilingual commentary equipment but most only supply half the system – either the software or the hardware, this can lead to complications when trying to detect and resolve issues with the system. We supply the full package from seat units to GPS functions you will be assigned your own personal engineer throughout the process of purchase and installation.
11) Bonus tip
Try to inject a little humour into your commentary rather than bombarding your listener with facts. You want customers to leave your tour with a sense of enjoyment and a new understanding of the city/area they are visiting, not feeling completely overwhelmed by the huge amounts of information they have just been fed. A tour should be fun yet informative, remember, your customers are on holiday.
Best of luck with your venture to become multilingual. If you require advice during the process then please feel free to contact me and I will endeavour to help you in the best way possible, whether one of the v6e systems is the right system for you or not.