Welcome to our recap of the educational session “Pick Our Brains: Your Event Tech Questions, Our Practical Answers,” presented at MPI WEC. This engaging breakout session was a treasure trove of insights into event technology, addressing common pain points and providing practical solutions for planners.

Industry experts from Encore led the session, which was a mix of myth-busting, real talk and interactive Q&A. Their goal? Equip event planners like you with the knowledge you need to better understand a crucial aspect of the event experience — your technology solutions.

Let’s dive into the key insights and takeaways.

Your Event Tech Experts

  • Bret Fendt, Director, Customer Relationships
  • Debra Mategrano, Regional Sales Director
  • John Rissi, Senior Vice President, Customer & Industry Engagement
  • Johanna Walsh, Vice President, Event Production
  • Rob Wilcox, Director, Sales Engineering

1. Navigating Event Tech Costs with Confidence

Insight: In-house event tech services can sometimes appear costlier, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

“As customer expectations have changed from everything to celebrity restaurants and blow dry bars to immersive events, the ability for hotels to service those expectations meant they needed to partner with expert companies to deliver on those expectations,” explained Debra Mategrano, Regional Sales Director.

“In-house partners are invested in the hotel, including the infrastructure like the internet lines, the rigging points and the equipment, but also the people through training, benefits and enhanced safety protocols. When you’re working with an outside provider, they don’t often have the same business model and the same investments,” she said.

“The value of an in-house partner is that they are an integral part of the venue’s team, with intimate knowledge of the space, what works and what doesn’t, as well as the building infrastructure.

“That matters to you, the customer, in a live event environment when we are constantly problem-solving and adapting. So, there’s a value to that potential cost differential.”

When comparing AV proposals, keep in mind that a venue’s infrastructure may affect costs. Ask about the specific reasons for cost differences, such as equipment transportation and setup complexities.

“Even within the same city, AV prices can vary significantly due to factors like the layout of the venue, the ease of equipment transport and the availability of power,” Mategrano highlighted. For example, a venue might require extensive labor to set up equipment due to its floor plan.

Pro Tip: Have early and detailed discussions with your in-house event tech provider to understand your venue’s unique capabilities along with any helpful considerations to keep in mind. They can provide guidance on choosing the right solutions for your budget and space.

2. Experiencing Consistent Event Production

Insight: Consistency in event technology services is a top priority for event professionals. When the experience varies across different venues and locations, this becomes a pain point.

“Customer feedback indicated challenges with consistency in service across different venues,” said John Rissi, Senior Vice President, Customer & Industry Engagement. “We honor that feedback, we hear you, and we invested in additional training and internal tools to address it.”

When event providers keep track of planners’ preferences, feedback and past requirements, they have the insights to offer a more uniform experience. Encore is dedicated to continuously improving this aspect to best serve our partners.

By leveraging our customer journey data tool, we are able to streamline and organize vital information for each of our clients,” Rissi elaborated. 

“It consolidates relevant event information, customer service surveys and notes from past events to provide a comprehensive view of each client’s needs.”

The benefit to Encore customers? Not needing to repeat their needs from venue to venue; the Encore team has greater access to their history at their fingertips.

Pro Tip: Cultivate strong partnerships with event technology providers who prioritize consistency and utilize data-driven insights to tailor their services to your specific needs.

By maintaining open communication and sharing feedback, you can ensure your event technology solutions align with your objectives and consistently meet your expectations across different venues.

3. Mastering Internet Needs and Costs

Insight: Internet services are an often a crucial yet misunderstood aspect of the event experience. From basic connectivity to tailored solutions, your internet choice impacts both capabilities and costs.

Bret Fendt, Director, Customer Relationships, explained, “Whether it’s opting for no support, basic connections, or fully managed services, each approach offers distinct advantages.”

Understanding your event’s internet needs comes down to determining how participants will use it and their expectations.

“Do you want attendees to be able to download session resources, share clips on social platforms, interact with digital polls, Q&A or something else?” he said. “The answers to these questions inform how much bandwidth you need.”

This is where your event provider can handle the legwork. “Encore provides a bandwidth calculator to help estimate needs. From there, our network engineers offer tailored advice.”

Here are a few considerations your event internet partner can walk you through to ensure you get the most out of your internet.

  • Scalability — Start with a baseline bandwidth, determined by your use of the bandwidth calculator, and scale up as needed. This flexibility ensures that your event can adapt to fluctuating demands without compromising connectivity.
  • Real-Time Monitoring — Ask for a daily bandwidth report to understand your usage. A dedicated event internet provider can continuously monitor bandwidth use and adjust it on the spot based on real-time usage patterns. This proactive approach enables you to avoid potential lags, buffering and other bottleneck situations to ensure a seamless digital experience for attendees.
  • Expert Support — Leverage the expertise of local and national Encore network engineers to address any internet-related challenges swiftly. Having a dedicated support team ensures that you can navigate unexpected hurdles with confidence, minimizing disruptions during your event.
  • Avoiding Pitfalls — While free internet options may seem tempting, remember that reliability often comes at a cost. “Free internet is something that’s unreliable and inconsistent… you get what you invest in. If it stops working in a live event scenario, there’s nothing you can do,” Fendt stated. Investing in robust internet solutions is essential to safeguard against potential connectivity issues and ensure a smooth experience for all stakeholders.
Pro Tip: Use the Encore bandwidth calculator to get a feel for internet costs in advance as you’re mapping out how to use your budget. Let your event provider know your needs and goals so they can tailor internet services to your event’s requirements.

4. Leveraging Producer Expertise

Insight: Producers can handle the operational and logistical needs of an event, ensuring all stakeholders are aligned.

“A producer is key to managing stakeholders and ensuring the success of your event,” said Johanna Walsh, Vice President, Event Production. “Good production relies heavily on organization, documentation and communication.”

Depending on the complexity of the event, different types of producers, from show callers, stage managers or event producers may be needed. “For more complex events, we recommend a show producer or an event producer,” she explained. “But we can make that recommendation for you. You don’t have to be an expert — we’re here to guide and advise.”

Choosing an event tech provider with in-depth knowledge of industry best practices can significantly enhance the quality of complex events.

Walsh highlighted, “My role involves building a production discipline at Encore, aligning producer and production capabilities with industry best practices. With experience from leading high-profile events and a focus on sustainability, we are committed to enhancing service delivery.”

By leveraging the expertise of production teams, you can ensure your event meets industry best practices and exceeds audience expectations.

“The evolving nature of event production requires specialized skills and sustainability considerations to deliver wow-worthy event experiences,” she said.

Pro Tip: Get clear on timelines because adhering to deadlines across your event production will save you time and money. It will also keep all team members, yours and your partners, fresh and ready for the challenge of each day.

5. Maximizing Digital Engagement Tools

Insight: There is a digital tool for many goals — “The timeline really depends on the event’s objectives and complexity,” Rob Wilcox, Director, Sales Engineering, noted.

Key tools include attendee management platforms, participant engagement tools, and content management systems. Event apps like Chime Live℠, Polling+ and Encore RSVP help manage registration, logistics and attendee engagement.

Using AI for live transcripts and summaries enhances post-event engagement. “We’re recording the session and using AI help summarize key takeaways for participants,” he shared.

Pro Tip: Let your event production partner know your goals, whether you are interested in streamlining event invites and check-ins, boosting in-room engagement or continuing valuable conversations with attendees with post-event resources and communications. They’ll recommend which digital tools can achieve each.

6. Cost-Saving Measures for Associations

Insight: Be upfront with your budget to allow providers to tailor solutions effectively.

“The sooner you involve us, the better we can plan equipment and labor which saves on having to subrent equipment or use outside labor,” Mategrano suggested. “Those are both more costly additions. The more honest you are with your price range, the better we can serve you.”

Pro Tip: Engage event tech providers early in the planning process to optimize resources.

By understanding the intricacies of event tech costs, service consistency, managing internet needs effectively, and enhancing production capabilities, planners can elevate their events to extraordinary experiences.

Ready to take your event to the next level? Contact our experts today for a free event production consultation.

We’d love to partner on crafting an inspiring experience. Reach out now and transform your next event with seamless technology solutions tailored to your needs.

 

Have you ever walked into a room and immediately felt a certain vibe? Our environments have a remarkable ability to prime us for what we’re about to experience. And visual cues play an especially important role.

What we see in our surroundings has a drastic impact on what we expect from an experience, whether an atmosphere readies us for an interaction that’s casual and inviting or sleek and professional.

DID YOU KNOW: Approximately 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual?

When it comes to events, you want to influence attendees to feel a certain way as soon as they step in the door. This way, you not only set the stage for a more engaged audience but set a strong first impression for a stellar ROE (Return On Experience). This reporting metric tracks outcomes related to attendees’ thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Set the Scene for Success

Different scenarios call for distinct settings that align with the mood you want to set. Whether it’s the cozy ambiance of a fireside chat or the immersive allure of a product showcase, the right scenic setup is crucial.

A misstep in environment design can easily hinder your event goals. Imagine trying to host a collaborative workshop in a cluttered, uninspiring space — it’s a recipe for disengagement.

Whether you’re planning a tech-forward conference or a buzzworthy general session, we’ve got you covered. Read on for expert tips and insights that can help you set the perfect environment for your event’s success.

Let’s dive into four common event scenarios and the standout scenic solution that helps set the tone for each, laying the foundation for your well-crafted programming.

Craft a Luxurious Ambiance for a Gala

Event scenario: You’re organizing a gala for guests in a grand ballroom and need the event environment to wow. Your objective? Impress attendees with a space that exudes sophistication from the moment they step in the room and sets the mood for an unforgettable experience. How will you transform the space to offer a touch of old Hollywood refinement and build anticipation for the celebratory festivities?

Scenic standout: A perfect solution for this type of scenario is decor drapery. This timeless scenic solution adds charm to any space. This makes it a planner favorite for galas, award ceremonies and social events. 

With sheer and textured fabrics to choose from, it’s an ideal way to add a touch of glamour to the experience by adding depth and visual allure to your space.

“Decor drapery is an easy way to add more interest to your space. Some of the fabrics have a sheer nature to them, so they take light well and give an event atmosphere more dimension and elegance.” — Tom Drozd, Encore Product Manager

In this way, its versatility surpasses standard screens. Simply select the color options that reinforce your theme or branding for a unified look in an elevated event setting.

Decor drapery and mood lighting sets a sophisticated ambiance for a gala.

Fuel Excitement at a Multi-Day Conference

Event scenario: You’re orchestrating a high-energy, four-day conference in a modern convention center. To ensure your environment sparks engagement, you want to captivate attendees with fresh, eye-catching visuals that amplify speakers’ messages and imprint a lasting impression.

The solution must also work in diverse event spaces and setups, weaving through the majestic grand ballroom to intimate breakout rooms and relaxed dining areas. How do you ensure a cohesive, tech-savvy aesthetic that resonates across the different environments?

Scenic standout: sTILEr panels are an ideal solution for this planning challenge. To draw the audience’s attention in the general session, create a unique stage backdrop with rows of sTILEr panels. 

In smaller rooms, diamond-shaped arrangements or subtle cascades featuring key event visuals, branding or logos help maintain a consistent look and feel.

sTILEr panels create a modern-looking backdrop during a conference.

“sTILEr panels are the chameleons of the stage. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.” — Tom Drozd, Encore Product Manager

While sTILEr panels can be joined to create large backdrops, when it comes to smaller spaces, the panels don’t overpower them, but act as an enhancer. Whether in breakout sessions or dining areas, they reinforce the event’s pulse without dominating the environment.

sTILEr panels set a polished ambiance during a breakout session.

These panels are ideal for adding variety to multi-day events. “They’re like a creative puzzle, easily tweaked on the fly,” says Drozd. As the days of your conference unfold, your Encore support team can quickly adjust a few panels without interruption to your attendees or greater event setup. 

The end result? A fresh look for each session to continually spark renewed interest, from the start of your event to closing remarks.

Seamlessly Transition From Keynote to Breakouts

Event scenario: You’re orchestrating a bilingual leadership summit that aims to foster collaboration among changemakers from across Europe and the US. The event will kick off with a stirring keynote, but there’s a twist — after the general session concludes, the ballroom must swiftly be divided into language-specific breakout zones for focused discussions. 

Your scenic hero needs to draw participants’ attention to the keynote speaker while being able to divide the space for the small group gatherings taking place directly afterward. Your ideal event environment needs to be functional without losing the wow-factor. 

Scenic standout: Enter softwalls: this scenario’s perfect match. These flexible panels not only add flair to your stage set but also practicality.

Enhance the keynote’s impact with textured backdrops that guide attendees’ focus to your speaker. After, your Encore experts can quickly use the solution to divide the space into breakout zones, ensuring seamless transitions between sessions.

 
Softwall panels create an engaging event environment at a general session.

With participants divided into small groups in close proximity, softwalls offer another advantage. Their sound-absorbing fabric reduces echoes and improves acoustics, enabling participants to focus on their language-specific conversations without distractions.

Want to provide personalization to help improve event ROE aspects like audience satisfaction? Customize the panels’ fabric with targeted visual content, tailored for various groups.

PRO INSIGHT: Personalized breakout areas see a 15 percent increase in attendee satisfaction compared to generic event spaces.

Some ideas for inspiration? Display greetings in multiple languages to create a welcoming atmosphere, showcase region-specific success stories and incorporate QR codes for easy access to content in participants’ native language.

Transform a Corporate Gathering Into an Immersive Experience

Event scenario: You’re planning how to transform a corporate general session into an immersive experience for executives, key stakeholders and employees. You want the experience to blow your audience’s ideas about corporate gatherings out of the water and inspire memorable interactions.

Achieving this requires a scenic setup that evokes emotion and makes a lasting influence on participants — but without breaking your budget.

Scenic standout: In this scenario, Backdrop Pro is your ultimate canvas. Like an LED wall, it offers a seamless and striking backdrop, enabling you to engage attendees with dynamic video content that takes them on an immersive, visual journey.

Transport audiences anywhere from the ocean’s depths to distant galaxies with stirring visuals. Its white panels provide an ideal surface for projection. An added plus? It’s cost-effective for tight event budgets, providing a more affordable scenic option than either a LED wall or custom hard set.

Scenic solution Backdrop Pro delivers a staggered stage backdrop at a general session.

Heighten your “surprise and delight” approach with creative staggered setups or consider custom-printed content. Backdrop Pro offers a myriad of ways to enhance your storytelling and ignite participants’ imaginations.

Backdrop Pro can help set an ambiance that fosters meaningful connections among your participants, turning an ordinary corporate gathering into something truly extraordinary.

Elevating Experiences With the Right Event Environment

Creating the right environment for your program is an essential part of the attendee experience. Imagine attendees stepping into a world where every detail — from the stage backdrop to the overall ambiance — invites them into the event’s magic. This becomes a reality when your scenic solutions reinforce the exact experience you want to deliver.

“Scenic elements are sprinkles on the cupcake when it comes to building the whole event experience. They improve Return On Investment and spark interest in your event before the program even begins.” — Tom Drozd, Encore Product Manager

Our experts would love to help you transform your space and set the tone for your next exceptional experience. Unsure about which scenic solutions would have the greatest impact for your next event? Click the button below to chat with one of our experts!

What are event professionals prioritizing?

Download our H2 2023 Planner Pulse report and infographic to learn:
  • What’s in store for event budgets?
  • How do my peers determine if event goals were met?
  • What are the most popular engagement tools?
  • What technologies are event professionals excited to try?

Empower your event planning strategies. Don’t miss peer insights on optimizing your budget, evaluating success, enhancing engagement and more! 

Download the Planner Pulse & Infographic for full insights

Reporting on the intangible moments that added to an event’s magic can feel daunting. What’s the best way to showcase impact to stakeholders who missed the electric buzz, participant excitement and quality connections? Enter ROI and ROE your dynamic duo for capturing event milestones that impress your C-suite beyond spreadsheets and attendee counts. 

Together, these insights can:

 

      • Serve as a cheat sheet on what worked and what to focus on to improve outcomes at future events.
         
      • Help drive attendee engagement and satisfaction — the single most important key performance indicator (KPI) in whether an event was successful or not, according to the latest Planner Pulse 

 

ROI (Return on Investment) measures the amount of money gained or lost from an event.

_____________________________

ROE (Return on Experience) measures an event’s value from the perspective of participants, sponsors, and organizers. ROE tracks outcomes related to thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

ROI & ROE For Events: Master The Metrics

To accurately measure ROI and ROE, you’ll need to consider both tangible and intangible metrics. From financial returns to qualitative aspects, like attendee satisfaction, knowing what to track — and how — can bring the many facets of your event experience into focus. 

Here are some common metrics your peers track for each category. 

ROI Metrics

Financial Metrics

      • Revenue generated from the event.
      • Cost of organizing the event.
      • Profit margins.


Lead Generation

      • Number of leads generated during the event.
      • Conversion rates of leads into customers.


Sponsorship Value

      • Number of leads generated for sponsors.
      • Estimated impressions of display advertising, considering foot traffic in the venue, visibility of the displays, and duration of exposure.


Cost per Attendee

      • Calculating the cost incurred per participant.


Sales Metrics

      • Increase in sales resulting from the event.
      • Customer acquisition costs.


Marketing Reach

      • Measure the event’s impact on brand awareness.
      • Social media impressions and engagement.
 

ROE Metrics

Attendee Experience

      • Satisfaction levels of participants.
      • Feedback on event activities and content.


Networking Success

      • Number of new connections made.
      • Quality of networking opportunities.


Educational Impact

      • Effectiveness of educational sessions.
      • Knowledge gained by attendees.


Participant Engagement

      • Interaction levels during the event.
      • Attendee participation in discussions and activities.


Message Retention

      • Surveys/post-event evaluations.
      • Interaction levels during sessions.


Brand Perception

      • How the event enhances the brand’s image.
      • Perception of the organization’s values.


Community Building

      • Growth and engagement of the event community.
      • Long-term relationships fostered.
PRO TIP: New to capturing ROE? Most planners measure ROE through attendee surveys and attendance, according to the
latest Planner Pulse.
 

Show Me the Returns:
ROI- and ROE-Boosting Strategies

Asking the right questions during the event planning process can help you identify opportunities where you can increase returns in each area.  

Essential questions

      • What are the goals/objectives of the event?
      • Who is the target audience?
      • What is my budget?
      • What are my event KPI’s? 

These questions will guide you in defining your event “goal posts,” so you can set an effective strategy. Let’s dive into best practices for your next steps.

Tips for delivering a high ROI

Woman presents ROI metrics to stakeholders.

Set clear objectives
Define specific and measurable goals for the event. Align objectives with the overall business strategy.

Target the right audience
Identify and target the audience that aligns with the event’s purpose. Tailor marketing efforts to reach potential high-value participants.

Effective budgeting
Create a comprehensive budget considering all aspects of the event. Allocate resources wisely, focusing on areas with the highest potential ROI.

Sponsorship optimization 
Forge strategic partnerships with sponsors aligned with the target audience. Maximize sponsor exposure through various channels. 

Maximize technology
Leverage event technology to track key metrics and set yourself up for stellar execution. This is a popular best practice: 83% of planners believe using technology that delivers immersive experiences enhances event ROI.

Data analytics 
Use data analytics to measure and track ROI metrics. Gather insights to refine strategies for future events.

Tips for delivering a high ROE

Attendee-centric approach 
Understand the needs and preferences of attendees. Customize the event experience to cater to diverse participant interests.

Engaging content 
Curate relevant and engaging content. Incorporate interactive elements, workshops, and networking opportunities.  

Networking facilitation 
Provide structured networking sessions. Implement tools, like the Chime Live℠ networking features, to facilitate attendee connections. 

Tech-powered innovation 
Introduce unique and memorable experiences. Consider incorporating technology and experiential elements that engage the senses to make your event unforgettable. 

Educational value
Ensure high-quality educational sessions and speakers. Encourage Q&A sessions and discussions.  

Post-event engagement
Continue engagement post-event through follow-up emails and surveys. Create a community platform for ongoing discussions and networking.

Experience feedback
Gather feedback during and after the event. Use feedback to make continuous improvements for future events.  

Community-building
Foster a sense of community among attendees. Encourage collaboration and shared experiences.

crowd gathering

Combining these strategies can help ensure your event becomes a catalyst for long-term relationships, brand loyalty and continued success in the dynamic world of event planning.   

Choosing a full-service event production partner, like Encore, can be an invaluable part of this journey. Leverage the experts to help set your event strategy and deliver the end-to-end creative, production and technology solutions that support your ROI and ROE goals. 

We’d love to partner on delivering an event that resonates with both your audience and your bottom line.

Click here to schedule a free consultation!

Internet service is the thread that weaves together various event elements to help deliver a seamless experience, ensure attendee satisfaction, and manage costs. This is why it’s important to hire a partner to provide dedicated event internet services.

Just like insurance protects you from loss in the case of a mishap, a dedicated internet services partner can prevent attendee dissatisfaction from:

      • Internet outages and slowdowns
      • Technical gaffes
      • Ordering too much or too little broadband
      • Tech-based participant frustration
      • Wi-Fi identity theft


Customers often request digital solutions such as apps, agendas, and handouts to enhance the attendee experience. Attendees may try to access these tools on multiple devices; each person may have 3.6 devices/connections. Having a dedicated internet partner for your event helps bring peace of mind to any connection concerns that may arise.

“[Encore] is one of the only network services companies out there that focus exclusively on events,” shared Alex Wedesky, Encore Director of Internet Services. “We know that events don’t only happen from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.” This means customers benefit from always-on customer service.

The benefits of partnership


Having dedicated onsite tech support allows you to have proactive internet solutions for participants.

“[Often times] people will opt to turn their phone into a hotspot or bring a hotspot,” Wedesky says “Even though you can’t see Wi-Fi, it’s like molecules in the air. You can only have so many in one space before they begin colliding.” When multiple networks collide, web pages fail to load, and people have difficulty getting online.

Because Encore monitors network health and bandwidth speed, onsite techs can detect a problem before it happens. Before the trade show begins, Encore technicians will work with exhibitors to ensure personal networks are set up correctly and are contained so interference doesn’t occur.

Event internet partners provide tools, strategies and support


How do we know the amount of bandwidth required for your event? Encore offers a bandwidth calculator to ensure customers always have the right amount for their needs. Then the Encore team develops a strategy for each event component that needs network access to prevent tech hiccups.

For example, if the internet is ordered as a shared pool for the conference, participant devices, live-streamed content, and presenter videos will be pulled from the same source. The results can be video hiccups that won’t play, polls won’t load, and participants may get impatient.

To solve this, Encore consults with clients to determine which event elements must be prioritized and partitioned off bandwidth accordingly. This prevents participant usage from interfering with things like streaming video or live stream feeds.

How event internet provides additional value and audience insights


Dedicated event internet experts monitor connectivity.

Event internet is an investment. When you purchase 500 MB, you want to know whether you used it. This is another way in which dedicated providers deliver value: by delivering insights about internet usage and audience behavior.

While the price of event internet is decreasing, the means of reporting and processing that data is becoming more expensive. This is why Encore helps meeting and event professionals analyze data to help manage costs.

“We deliver insightful analytics so [you] know what [customers] need to do to see success going forward,” Wedesky says. “They learn things about the attendee base they otherwise wouldn’t know.”

Encore’s Aptilo Access Control System provides real-time monitoring of customer event bandwidth utilization. Through the tool, Encore can provide customers with impactful post-event bandwidth reporting to provide insights such as:

  • How much bandwidth was utilized
  • Timeframes where spikes occurred
  • Where most of the traffic was going (event resources, social media, etc.)


From user insights to full internet installations to onsite emergency troubleshooting, dedicated internet service providers offer end-to-end solutions that provide essential support and peace of mind.

“Things change,” Wedesky says. “Having a partner who can navigate those changes with you is important.”


Let’s discuss your internet needs!

Illuminating Insights Into LED Walls

Looking to rejuvenate your event space? Vibrant LED walls offer the perfect solution for captivating content that brings the ‘WOW’ to your messaging. Whether your event is indoors or outdoors, bright or dim, deliver attention-grabbing content across screens of versatile shapes and sizes. Expand your knowledge of this popular scenic solution in our FREE LED Wall Technology Resource Guide! 

Explore how to:

  • Elevate visual content with innovative LED screen shapes
  • Select the right LED screen size for your objectives
  • Ensure optimal seating distance from your LED wall for readability
  • Determine the ideal LED brightness for your space, whether indoors or outdoors

Seeking personalized guidance on impressing participants with LED walls at your next event? Request a FREE consultation! We’d love to transform your vision into an unforgettable event that sparks connections and inspiration.

LED resource Guide graphic teaser

How to leverage color psychology to
Unlock the Unforgettable

Colors play a vital role in helping us navigate the world around us. Certain hues can influence how we feel, behave and even respond in various settings, giving them an intriguing role in human psychology and fueling our long-held fascination with them.

This year, Pantone, the industry leader in color forecasting, declared the vibrant Viva Magenta as the Color of 2023. Described by the institute as “bold” and “unapologetic,” this shade was chosen to evoke a sense of confidence and optimism in the post-pandemic world.

mega verse image of woman standing in front of moving LED

*Photo caption: Courtesy of ARTECHOUSE 

Each year’s color is carefully selected based on current trends, social and political events and global attitudes. Once announced, it becomes a symbol of the times, evoking emotions and memories specific to that moment.

In our industry, for example, we’re seeing the sense of optimism that Viva Magenta is meant to signify with the surge of in-person events — which are expected to continue increasing. This hopeful sentiment is reflected by audiences who have shown their desire for the return of face-to-face interactions.

In a number of other business sectors, ranging from fashion to marketing, the color of the year is used to forecast trends in branding and design, product development and purchasing decisions. It’s become so influential that the 2024 color of the year has already been selected (Apricot Crush), and there are predictions for which hue will hold the glory in 2025 (Future Dusk)! But what grants a singular shade such power? 

Read on to explore the impact of color psychology and how to leverage it to promote certain mindsets, further engagement and participant learning, and deliver an inspiring attendee experience at your next meeting or event. 

Color psychology: Why certain hues affect
our moods

Colors are not just a matter of aesthetics; they can have a profound impact on our mental state. Research in this area has confirmed what we have long suspected: that colors can influence our internal physiology and create unconscious reactions.  

Consider the neurological effects of warm versus cool tones. Bright and warm colors, like red, orange and yellow, stimulate our senses and can evoke feelings of happiness, optimism and energy. Contrastingly, cool and calm tones like blues and greens are typically internalized as soothing.  


“When people are in an environment that has a fair amount of red accent light, their pulse rate increases slightly and they tend to breathe a little bit faster, which actually equates to them being able to think more analytically. This means that they are able to crunch numerical data better than in say a blue room which has the converse effect.”

The sway color has on our mindset and behavior has become so renowned, in fact, that prisons have even used a specific shade of pink, known as “drunk tank pink,” in efforts to calm violent prisoners.  

drunk tank pink - pink prison bars to calm violent prisoners

This fascinating field of research shows us that, not only does the presence of color affect our cognition and mood, certain hues affect how we internalize information and interact.  

How color enhances participant learning and the event experience 

Humans are more sensitive to the impact of color than you may expect, something that grants you a unique capability to strategically influence audiences. How? By leveraging this aspect of your meeting or event design, you can boost engagement and participant learning to strengthen the power of your programming. 

“There has been a lot of research dedicated towards neuroscience recently and one really neat finding as it relates to our business is that when the right colors are added to a meeting, attendees are more engaged, message retention increases and the overall atmosphere is improved.  

 “What this means in layman’s terms is that by using certain colors within the meeting space, we can adjust an audience’s mood to best match the content being presented,” explains Drozd. 

Combine these findings with research that demonstrates 80-85 percent of our perception, learning and cognition is mediated through vision, and it’s clear to see how being purposeful about color use can work in your favor.

Amplify your impact with vibrant
technology solutions 

Having the optimal technology solutions and expertise on your side can ensure you’re showcasing the right colors, and at the right moments, to shape the participant journey and reach new levels of success in achieving your meeting objectives. 

Here are a few of our top recommendations: 

LED technology and scenic elements

LED technology is a perfect way to incorporate greater use of color at indoor or outdoor gatherings. This solution enables you to cast screens or even full walls in color, delivering striking visual content in high resolution, regardless of surface or image size.   

 If you’re planning a gala where you want to promote interaction, for example, you could incorporate sweeping use of yellow visual content with LED walls. The attention-grabbing technology and brilliant hue would serve to encourage these connections and even boost participants’ moods.  

video mapping and colors

Focused on long-range planning during a critical small meeting? Add a dynamic aspect to your space with LED table lamps set to cast purple tones. This hue can support goal setting to support your desired outcomes.  

No matter your program’s aims, LED technology provides you with a rich palette to play with. Using this lighting in place of a traditional incandescent fixture allows for endless color mixing, including saturation and intensity. Change the ambiance of your event space at any time color mixing is executed seamlessly. 

 Another way to dazzle audiences with chromaticity? Reinforce the effects of your intentionally chosen tones through the use of scenic elements, such as spandex soft sets or backdrops, like BackDrop Pro. These can serve as palettes for your lighting fixtures and amplify their presence in your space.   

Whether you’re planning a large-scale event or small meeting, our experts can help you choose the right color-creating tech to captivate and impress audiences. Plus, by partnering with a full-service provider like Encore, you’ll have an industry-leading team on your side to provide guidance on enhancing your meeting or event design, creating stunning content, and managing technology before, during and after the production.  

Want to discuss your personalized meeting or event needs? We’d love to provide a free consultationon how we can help deliver a memorable experience that leaves audiences amazed. 

Interested in learning more about one of our popular colorful technology solutions? Click the button below to explore our experts’ guidance on how to reimagine the possibilities of creating transformative events with vivid LED technology! 

What’s in store for the events industry

Meeting and event professionals are heading into the summer months feeling positive about the strength of the industry. According to the Encore latest Planner Pulse report, 74 percent are actively planning, sourcing or rescheduling events — a five percent increase over the Fall 2022 Planner Pulse report. 

Budgets also appear to be holding firm. Only nine percent of respondents expect their budgets to decrease this year. Seventy-seven percent say that budgets will increase or remain flat. Meeting and event professionals also shared information about budget items they consider ‘nice to haves’ rather than ‘must haves.’  

Another key finding shed light on attitudes about event professional continuing education. According to the Encore Planner Pulse report, 56 percent of event professionals attend educational sessions, with 25 percent attending educational sessions regularly. Individuals with more than 20 years of industry experience were more likely to value education and attend sessions often or very often than those with less experience. 

Want a snapshot of these results? Download an infographic of the Encore Spring 2023 Planner Pulse report.

Encore values the power of inclusion. That’s why we’re proud to create spaces of belonging and work to proactively diversify our team. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re excited to share a new way we’re putting our commitment to equity into practice with our Women in Audio Visual Technology (WAVE) program. We’re also delighted to also shine a spotlight on some of the trailblazing women of Encore and reflections from our leadership on why Women’s History Month matters to our organization.

Generating career opportunities for women at Encore

The WAVE initiative is part of our ongoing efforts to create career opportunities for women in the event production industry. The program features a pre-hire training certification, called Introduction to Event Technology, which is carefully designed to provide an overview of processes and best practices in the technology field. Anyone can take the course. The initiative also offers continuing education, a mentorship program and career mapping — all focusing on elevating women and identifying clear career paths to leadership and management positions. 

Fostering community for women and allies

Knowing the role community support and knowledge-sharing can play in career and life empowerment. Encore offers seven business resource groups that enable members to develop deeper connections with colleagues. The Women of Encore business resource group serves as an inclusive community for women and their allies, providing an opportunity for conversation, mentorship, development and advocacy.

Honoring Encore award-winners and nominees

Diversity in our leadership helps push our industry forward in new ways. In fact, two of our award-winning teammates Donna Hubley, Encore Vice President of Field Sales, and Alyssa Freire, Encore Project Manager of Production, were recently honored in the 2023 Smart Women in Meetings Awards program for doing just that.

Because Encore had so many women nominated for the 2023 Smart Women in Meetings Awards, Smart Meetings also released a companion article, ‘Think Event Technology Is Still a Man’s World? Think Again,’ which features 15 additional women of Encore working in technology, sales, operations, production, human resources and management. Check out the article for an introduction to these pioneers, learn their approaches to life, advice for readers, and goals they’re working toward.

Reflections on Women’s History Month from
Encore Leadership

While we take a moment to celebrate the incredible women who propel our organization, industry and communities forward, our leadership is reflecting on what this month means to Encore. Here’s what they had to share:

Becky Sheehan, Chief Financial Officer
Becky Sheehan, Chief Financial Officer

 “I am thrilled to recognize and celebrate International Women’s History Month and continue to be both proud of and inspired by the women of the past and present. One particular highlight for us today is my observation that the goals of Encore are closely aligned to those of the UN Women organization as it pertains to gender equality.

The UN Women’s International Women’s Day theme — “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality” — aligns well with the efforts Encore is making to encourage more women to enter the event production industry. For example, WAVE, or Women in Audio Visual Events, is an Encore program that focuses on generating career opportunities for women in our industry. More specifically, it’s a community where we can provide women with educational, training, and mentorship resources to be successful and ultimately become the next generation of leaders at Encore. This relates closely to another goal we have established to double representation of women in leadership positions at Encore.”

Toni Williams, Sr. Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Tony Williams, Sr. Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

“At Encore, we recognize that diversity is critically important, equity is a choice, inclusion is an action and belonging is the outcome we desire. Creating equitable spaces and opportunities for women isn’t just a matter of ethics or corporate responsibility. We have seen tangible results time and time again on how more diverse companies lure better talent and improve their decision making, customer orientation and employee satisfaction. All areas of diversity are important to our inclusive culture, and gender, racial and ethnic diversity are certainly competitive differentiators for companies in the same industry and country. As we honor Women’s History Month, we would be remiss not to acknowledge the broader impacts that creating equity for women, and other underrepresented and marginalized groups, has on the way we live and work.”

Ben Erwin, President and CEO
Ben Erwin, CEO Encore

“We know our ability to best solve challenges comes from our team’s individual experiences — a capacity that grows with the diversity of the talent around the table. When women are invited to these conversations, we win. When women are given opportunities to sharpen their skillsets, we win. When women are empowered as leaders, we win. Our customers win. Our industry wins.

Women’s History Month reminds us of the role inclusion can play in progress . . . for women, people of color, or anyone marginalized or underrepresented. We know our team members are the key differentiator in the marketplace. This belief powers a culture of diversity, inclusion and motivates investments to grow opportunity with programs like WAVE and our Women of Encore business resource group, to promote brighter futures for women.”

Every year, Encore surveys thousands of meeting and event professionals about meeting/event patterns and formats, how they spend their money and their biggest concerns. Individually, these quarterly Planner Pulse reports form snapshots of current industry trends. But taken collectively, we can begin to forecast where the industry is headed. Looking at the big picture painted by results from our four 2022 surveys, here are the Top 3 event trends for 2023.

Trend No. 1: Immersive and interactive experiences to engage participants and enhance organizational culture

According to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, 58 percent of the employed respondents in the U.S. have the option of working from home for all or part of the week. With a dispersed workforce, in-person engagement is more important than ever for creating and reinforcing an organization’s culture, training employees and fostering a sense of belonging. Companies aren’t the only ones seeing the need for in-person meetings. Encore Planner Pulse respondents report that, compared to 2019, participants value the in-person experience more and are more engaged with and ‘leaning into’ the entire face-to-face experience (Winter 2022 Pulse).

Planners know participants derive the greatest value from networking/relationship building, education/training and organizational culture-building/enhancing activities (Winter 2022 Pulse). Meeting and event professionals are creating more immersive and interactive experiences to maximize the event return-on experience.

How are meeting and event professionals doing this? Designing events with the end in mind, investing in engaging technology, and collaborating with presenters to rethink how content is delivered.

Reverse-engineering the event design leads organizers to rethink how rooms are set to maximize connection and collaboration, bake more opportunities for networking into the agenda and think about how they can create sensory experiences. Technology, like LED walls and 3D projection mapping, is the easiest way to transform rooms and sets quickly. Event technology platforms that enable live polling and Q&A, can be used to educate and entertain. Challenging presenters to respond to questions about how they intend to engage the audience in the call for proposals is a fantastic starting point for conversations about designing and delivering the most meaningful and relevant content for event participants.

Trend No. 2: More attendees for in-person meetings

In-person events continue to gain momentum. Meeting and event professionals expect in-person attendance to increase by as much as 25 percent in 2023. This is a reversal of a downsizing trend seen last spring (Spring 2022 and Winter 2022 Pulse).

The most popular venues remain hotels (Spring 2022 and Fall 2022 Pulse). Sixty-one percent of planners expect to pay slightly to significantly more on hotel room rates (Fall 2022 Pulse). Sixty-two percent expect to pay more for food and beverage, and 57 percent report they will pay more for transportation (Winter 2022, Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 Pulse). Not coincidentally, these also are the Top 3 areas Planners Pulse respondents expect to see their 2023 budgets increase. Of the planners who say their 2023 budgets are increasing, 80 percent expect an increase of more than 25 percent (Winter 2022 Pulse).

According to Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 Pulse reports, the top technology products and services being sourced this year are standard projection/audiovisual equipment (50+ percent) and streaming technology (44 percent). Top attributes driving the selection of event technology partners are value, technical expertise and service excellence (Summer 2022 Pulse).

Trend No. 3: Inclusive and supportive environments to enhance participant wellness and sense of belonging

Health and safety had the greatest impact on participant comfort levels (Spring 2022 Pulse). For that reason, hybrid meetings comprised up to 30 percent of the meetings held in the first half of last year. (Winter 2022 and Spring 2022 Pulse). Now that people are more comfortable traveling, the number of hybrid meetings represents fewer than 20 percent of the meetings planned for 2023 (Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 Pulse).

It’s not just participants’ physical wellness that’s a focus for planners. They also want to support mental and emotional wellness by fostering a sense of attendee belonging, enhanced by face-to-face meeting. One of the ways planners are incorporating this trend into event design include education and conversational groups modeled on the ‘business resource groups’ present at most major organizations, where participants gather with like-minded community members. They’re also using technology, like AI-powered simultaneous translation and captioning tools, to ensure people with neurodiversity or disabilities have an easier time connecting to the content and enjoying it. And for those who don’t want to travel, hybrid event technology allows everyone to participate in the event, no matter where they’re located.

Technology can also help people connect to each other on a more human level by capturing images and stories and sharing them with participants before, during or after the event. Consider setting up on-site interviews or photography booths to capture this user-generated content. Remember: everyone wants to feel special and included. If you can deliver experiences that deliver both to your participants, they’ll want to come back next year.

Those are the Top 3 trends we’re seeing. How are you planning to make your meetings more engaging, supportive of ESG or inclusive? We’d love to hear about your 2023 events and the challenges and solutions you discover as you move through the year. Click here to download the Winter 2022 Planners Pulse Report and opt-in to future communications to have your opinion included.