Even the smallest event can involve surprising complexity: innovative technology, remote participants, not to mention on-site changes. And with each vendor or production partner, that level of complexity becomes amplified by the need to manage additional people and processes, expectations and production schedules. That’s why – especially if you have limited time and resources – partnering with a single event production provider to weave together all your creative, production and technology needs will make your (and your team’s) life exponentially easier. Here are three smart ways to leverage the power of a single event production partner.
1) Align on strategy and solutions to enhance the participant experience
The best event production partner will be with you and your team from the very beginning – getting to know your event goals, history and patterns and co-creating the event strategy with you. Understanding why you are meeting and what you’re trying to achieve will help them make recommendations on how to bring your vision to life.
If this partner can manage everything from the creative design/branding to sets/décor, speaker content and coaching to onsite production and technology, then you don’t have to worry about reiterating your vision to every vendor. Your event production partner bridges that gap, ensuring that all the disparate pieces of your event are united under one coordinated, well-communicated umbrella designed to help you achieve your event goals. A single provider also means no surprises: They’ll guarantee that software is up to date, presentation audio and video synch up, SSOs and APIs are integrated, and more. This eliminates many of the barriers to enjoyment attendees experience when tech infrastructure is cobbled together between different vendors.
Even better alignment is assured if your partner has a relationship with the host venue. Partners embedded with your host venue can facilitate relationships with the venue team and help them align with your event strategy, desired participant experience and goals. In-venue partners also have the inside track on identifying potential challenges and proposing solutions to anticipate your needs. For example, their insider knowledge and relationships with hotel service groups helps you maximize room layouts, set-ups, quick turns, show flow and the timing of breaks and meals so they synch with other events happening in the venue. This also helps them troubleshoot problems that typically pop up during live events. This optimization and alignment between all your event vendors amplifies the cohesive nature of your event, creating a truly memorable experience for your participants as well as a relatively stress-free experience for you and your team.
Once you find an event production partner you work well with, engage them to work with you across your event portfolio. They will be able to track important per-event and year-over-year metrics that will demonstrate how your work contributes to achieving organizational objectives. And they can ensure quality, ease and consistency from one event to the next while creating an economy of scale across venues. Best of all, they’ll already know how you like to work, what you’re trying to achieve and what’s worked or needs to be improved from event to event without you needing to educate them. This kind of relationship provides an excellent customer experience that translates into exceptional events and outcomes, no matter where in the world you produce them.
2) Leverage production partner expertise
A single production partner isn’t only an expert on event technology. Creative branding, presentations, exhibitions, hybrid events, mobile apps, general sessions or audience engagement – they comprise teams with expertise in all these areas.
The best partner will be able to explain good, better and best solutions for creative, production and technological aspects of your event goals and budget parameters. If the partner knows the venue, they’ll know what works in each room, and how to show each space off to its best advantage. They may be able to offer bundled services or special event packages you can’t find anywhere else. They’ll also know which options might produce a similar result at a different price point, so be transparent about your budget and other constraints so they can customize recommendations for you. There’s an incredible benefit to working with a team that knows you. And who can replicate established best practices for your events, no matter where they are organized.
You want a partner whose team is up to date on the latest trends, technologies, audience engagement and customer satisfaction strategies. When interviewing potential partners, ask how their team members are educated and trained. What kind of capital investments are they making in their people, products and technology solutions? What is their approach to customer success? Do they see challenges or solutions? Alignment with your organization’s brand values is another crucial factor to consider, as it’s an important indicator of whether they will match your organization’s commitment to delivering service excellence and customer support.
3) Trust your production partner to coordinate resources and relationships
The fastest way to put time back on your calendar is to trust your event production partner to coordinate the resources and teams needed to execute your event. If they helped set the strategy and have deep knowledge of the host venue, then they only need your brand guidelines, feedback and approval to run with the other elements.
For example, you don’t have to worry about sourcing separate providers for audience engagement technology, an event app and in-room audiovisual. The event production partner can provide all those services and teams and make sure that everything works together. You can rely on them to do everything from producing walk-in motion graphics, designing lower thirds and choosing the audio stingers to livestreaming the general session and packaging it for your online learning management system post-event. They can provide stage managers and set designers.
When you engage one provider to do everything from creating the event strategy, designing the branding and content, producing the show and executing it, then you are more easily taking a holistic approach to your event, where every element is completely aligned with your event goals. This enhances the customer experience for your participants, exhibitors and/or sponsors.
This relationship makes your life easier because you have a single point of contact: the event production partner’s project manager, who sets deadlines and deliverables and ensures all the event elements are on track. The event production partner’s team will manage the inter-team communications with the creative, production, technology and on-site team.
Because of the variety of services, products and solutions, your partnership can scale based on your needs. A single event provider puts a strong network of resources at your disposal. This is especially important if you have a complex event. If they have a regional network of warehouses and venues, they can quickly scale up to provide you with additional resources, staff and equipment to amplify what may already be onsite.
In short, engaging with a single event partner will save you time and headaches as they coordinate the moving parts required to bring your vision to life. Having a single point of contact for all your event needs streamlines communication and simplifies the planning process. Because they’re aligned with your event goals and can help you track their achievement, they make you look good and help you demonstrate the value of your event portfolio in ways that will raise your profile within your organization. Best of all, when you partner with one team from strategy to execution, you maximize alignment and deliver truly memorable experiences.
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.
*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
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.
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
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.
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 consultation on 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!
Over 70 percent of meeting and event organizers believe networking and engagement will be the future of events. The challenge is how to do that. LED walls are one of the most flexible technology solutions you can use to breathe new life into your programming. From creating immersive environments to transforming presentations into interactive activities, LED walls can enhance indoor or outdoor meetings and events in myriad ways.
Let’s examine some use cases and applications where LED walls can support event goals to facilitate networking and improve engagement.
How do LED walls create more engaging and immersive environments?
“The No. 1 reason why we attend meetings is to interact with people,” says Encore Product Manager Damein Futch.
“Instead of you telling me the Top 10 things I should remember, I learn because you’re using the billboard principle in the dining room.”
LED walls also allow you to change the environment without changing the space. “There’s an unlimited palette of opportunities,” Futch explains. For example, there might be a beach scene during the morning session, which turns into a sunset over a mountaintop for the general session.
“You can even put a transparent LED over a window in a breakout room.” This makes it possible to transport participants to different places, planets and emotional spaces without moving them from their chairs.
“Any time you want an interactive display behind something you want to sell or promote, you can use an LED wall,” Futch says. “You don’t have to worry about people walking through the cone of projection.” LED panels can be built to look like a product that you can transform into anything you want with striking visuals.
You may have seen LED walls used to show what people are experiencing while wearing virtual reality (VR) headsets or as a background layer for augmented reality (AR) activations. But have you heard about extended reality (XR)?
“Extended reality is a camera working with a media server and LED wall to create realistic background movement to give viewers the sense of being in another location,” Futch explains. It’s a technique used for TV/film productions to create immersive 360-degree sets. But the same technology can be used for events.
Futch says a professional meeting or event organizer’s use of LED walls is only limited only by their creativity, budget and opportunity. “The ROI of LED is exponentially greater than you see with other mediums. It costs more because it accomplishes more, and you can do more with it.“
A technology solution for all meeting types and formats
“Any time you have a screen or a wall, you can use LED,” Futch adds. “LED walls can be used in general sessions, breakout rooms, digital signage, creative elements, scenic and anywhere else, really.”
What does this look like in practice? The resolution and clarity provided by LED walls make them a good fit for medical meetings or any other gatherings where it’s essential to view high-contrast images. In general sessions, they can be used in place of traditional projections as scenic elements, or they may comprise the entire set. “LED walls don’t have to be rectangular or square,” Futch shares. “You can build and stagger them into any configuration you need.”
Another benefit? You’re not restricted to aspect ratios with LED walls the way you are with traditional projectors. You don’t have to worry about blending because you’re using one surface, whether it’s a window, wall, curved screen or even the side of a building. It can be as large or small as you need without compromising the resolution quality.
LED walls can also be used as creative accents. For example, if you wanted to use a projector for a presentation, you could wrap the presentation with LED walls to drive home the message.
No matter how they’re used, people’s eyes and attention naturally drift to LED walls because they’re so vivid and bright, which makes them an incredible tool for engagement. “You could even put one behind a registration desk,” Futch says. “And people will be drawn in.”
The benefits of using LED walls vs projectors
LED walls possess several technological advantages to projection equipment traditionally used, whether you’re creating scenic elements, relaying information or transforming spaces with projection mapping. These advantages enhance the participant experience and elevate the overall event.
Brightness is an additional advantage. “A projection always competes with stage lights or daylight,” Futch says. You never have to draw the curtains in a room with an LED wall. Examples of this can be seen within exhibit halls or outdoor venues.
Projectors are either rear-projecting or front-projecting. In both cases, a considerable amount of space is required to fit the ‘cone of projection.’ This isn’t the case with LED walls.
“You gain back seating and capacity for your attendees,” Futch informs. “You don’t have to worry about projection distance because everything is displayed on a flat surface.”
When light is projected, it bounces off a screen before it enters the participants’ eyes, making it a passive medium. In contrast, LED walls are an active medium. What they display is directly absorbed by the viewer. As Futch adds, “It is like your TV on steroids.”
It also offers increased opportunities for creative expression. “LED walls are visual LEGOs,” Futch explains. “With projectors, light [is] beamed at a source. With LED walls, the possibilities are endless when it comes to resolution and area covered.”
Think about the events you have coming up. How would you like to use LED walls to surprise and delight, educate and engage, or entertain your participants? We’d love to provide a free consultation on how this technology solution can help you achieve your meeting or event goals.
Interested in learning more? Click the button below to explore our experts’ guidance on dazzling audiences with LED technology.
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
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
“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
“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
“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.”
In the events world, sometimes we’re caught by an ask so big, it feels unimaginable. Just ask Encore Regional Director Chris Baker, who oversees the Alberta Branches in Canada.
It all began with an unexpected RFP from the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops (CCB). They queried Encore Canada for a proposal related to a visit by Pope Francis. The ask: create five papal events in five unique and complex locations. All five events would happen within a three-day time frame. The CCB projected that the events would attract more than 200,000 people during that time.
By the time CCB awarded Encore the project, there were 45 days before the first event. Then by the time the contract was signed, the Encore team had only 30 days to officially design, produce and execute the events. Here’s Chris’s unbelievable story. Read on or click here to watch the video.
The ultimate challenge
Papal tours rarely occur, so expectations for this tour were high. Because this tour intended to deliver an important message, Pope Francis intentionally wanted to visit out-of-the-way locations where people might not have had the occasion to attend a papal event. Baker’s team was tasked with the event strategy and design, building and managing all production and event technology components for distinctly different and complex locations and events. Most of the events were concentrated around the Canadian city of Edmonton. Some of the facilities selected were not event venues, and few were built to handle the number of participants expected—meaning limited to no infrastructure. The final event location was so remote that no roads existed. On top of all the logistical, strategic, creative and production challenges, Baker’s team needed to figure out how to transport heavy equipment into 10 perfectly packed and weighted pallets for an eight-hour flight with a total of 12- to 16 hours for the crew.
Besides, none of the events in the five locations being remotely the same, on some days, there was more than one event taking place. For example, on Day One, Baker’s team needed to produce a morning event for 23,000 attendees in Maskwacis and a 1,250-person event at the Sacred Heart Church in Edmonton, 60 miles away, on the same day. On Day Two, Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium would welcome 75,000 attendees in the morning. That afternoon, there would be an event for 100,000 people at Lac Ste. Anne in Stony Plain. In the tiny, remote indigenous village of Iqaluit, Nunavit, the final event of the three-day papal visit was expected to attract 5,000 people.
This is where decades of experience producing world-class events and a global team well-versed in developing and executing end-to-end event solutions help Encore to deliver on the requests. Baker, and North American location-specific teams, began with the total papal visit and journey with the end goals and location in mind. They collectively set out to meet this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with thoughtful understanding and enthusiasm.
Juggling the logistical demands, short booking window and staffing requirements to make all five events happen required teamwork and careful coordination between over 270 Encore team members from across Canada and the U.S. Additionally, Baker’s team had to work with and satisfy the needs of a different set of clients and stakeholders in each location from the CCB to local tribal leaders.
Baker and team decided that the best way to manage the demands of the consecutive events on Day One and Day Two was to use separate crews for each event location. Thankfully, Encore has access to a vast network of hundreds of experienced and skilled people. Crews were bussed in daily to provide dedicated support for various papal events.
Three of the five sites required infrastructure work to accommodate the expected crowds. Because of the high-profile nature of the event, it was necessary to construct media facilities and green rooms at most sites. Three sites required the creation of overflow spaces for up to 10,000 people. Baker’s team even constructed roads and supplied the power so gear and people could reach some of the unique, non-traditional event locations requested.
Most of the events required Baker’s team to set up large LED walls with delayed audio, staging, lighting and audio coverage. In addition to the state-of-the-art staging and different event technologies, Baker and teams also managed broadcast and live stream feeds and related internet network needs.
All five stakeholder groups were pleased with the outcome of Encore’s work, which enabled the Pope to present his important message to more than 200,000 people. This was because Baker and his North America Encore teams saw solutions instead of challenges.
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.
Humans are social by nature. We are inherently driven to connect and create moments of belonging. This is where in-person events shine — they satisfy this innate human need while fostering a sense of community. By bringing participants together, you enable engagement on various levels, whether through direct communication, nonverbal cues or even physical touch, such as a handshake with an industry peer. All these factors elevate an in-person event’s programming and how it can activate your audience. But are you missing out on opportunities to enhance your impact in today’s tech-savvy climate?
Leveraging digital capabilities through an event platform can be an invaluable part of your in-person event’s success. By incorporating the platform’s interactive technology, you can better engage audiences, strengthen your programming, and gain valuable data insights to enhance future events. Deliberating whether to incorporate an event platform at your next in-person event? Read on to learn six advantages to doing just that — plus, click the button below to download our free Event Platforms Guidebook and explore even more ways to elevate your upcoming events with a platform’s digital capabilities.
1. Boost audience engagement
According to the Encore Fall 2022 Planner Pulse Report, nearly half of event professionals want to improve attendee engagement at their upcoming events. While this may seem like a daunting task, including digital capabilities can serve as a key way to help boost audience participation. How? They offer exciting ways to engage your attendees.
Event platforms, like Chime Live ℠, are an excellent tool for this. From the get-go, you set the tone for a more interactive experience with its second screen technology. Attendees can participate with your content while it’s being delivered, directly from their own Encore-provided iPad. Whether via chat, virtual break-out rooms, gamification elements or connecting via social feeds, the platform’s experience opens up new opportunities for presenters and attendees alike to engage on a more intimate level than in the past. Chime Live is also unique in the way that it supports choreographed event design, allowing you to focus attendees on what they need to see or do in the platform. Push slides and pop-up interactive polls, Q&A and more — right on cue.
2. Strengthen your programming
When it comes to your event, the more targeted the content is for your audience, the more likely it will resonate and leave a lasting impression. With an event platform, you can strengthen your programming by engaging participants pre-event to check their pulse on topics that will be presented so you can best tailor the messaging. Send pre-event surveys and knowledge checks to assess how much background information to cover, encourage discussions via forums to learn about your attendees’ interests, and even provide helpful resources — including white papers or videos — for your audience to learn from beforehand.
Once your event comes to a close, you can use the platform’s tools to drive long-term engagement and reach. This provides people who couldn’t attend a way to connect with your programming while enhancing the overall experience for those who did. Simply include video content in your event platform’s resource section and choose how long you’d like the media to be available – for many event platforms, you can request that it be accessible 365 days a year. You can also efficiently repurpose and reshare event videos, clips and other digital content via email, social posts or blogs. This feeds your marketing pipeline and can expand your impact by allowing you to reach and engage new audiences even after your event has ended. Another advantage? These capabilities help you maximize your return on investment (ROI). With so many benefits at your fingertips, it’s no wonder that 78 percent of businesses that use an event application say it contributes to a positive event ROI.
3. Grow sponsorship reach
Did you know you can offer more sponsorship packages when your event includes digital components? Depending on the platform, you can add a sponsor banner or enhanced branding, empowering you to deliver additional promotional opportunities. With physical and digital options to choose from, businesses have the flexibility to choose the level of participation that makes the most sense for them, which can increase the ROI of their investment.
As mentioned above, using an event platform can also extend the shelf life of your programming, as your content can be available on-demand after the initial live event has ended. This means that sponsors’ logos and other branding elements will continue to be seen by potential customers. If you’re looking to attract sponsors for your next event, adding these digital capabilities will work in your favor.
4. Enable smarter networking
Meeting and event professionals know that one of the most important elements of a successful event is networking. It’s not enough to just have people in the same room; participants should be able to connect with each other on a deeper level. Utilizing an event platform simplifies and facilitates this process — it can help identify attendees who have shared interests or attributes and encourage them to build strong professional relationships with each other. Event platforms can take job titles, interests, skills, backgrounds and even more customizable factors into account to make sure attendees can learn about and meet others who share similar goals or interests.
This makes it easier for everyone attending an in-person event to find the right person to talk to without having to filter through hundreds of people they have little in common with. Additionally, this digital capability facilitates professional development by helping participants identify potential mentors or career opportunities within their network.
5. Gain valuable data insights
At traditional in-person events, you can track attendance and observe attendees’ reactions to the programming. But you gain more specific data by connecting your audience with an event platform, which features a live analytics dashboard. With this tool, you can track not only attendance, but also participant engagement and event results. This type of functionality can demonstrate how engaged attendees were and even get their responses to the experience via surveys or feedback forms.
Because digital components allow for more interaction during presentations than typical offline events — thanks to features such as polling and Q&A — you can gather streamlined data on participants’ preferences and continually develop more tailored content that speaks to their interests. The platform makes it easy to track all this data and more, so you’re equipped with the insights that will help you craft future events that are even more engaging and relevant to the needs of your audience.
6. Impress participants with great-to-know info
Using an event platform, you can present participants with powerful and important information that is easily accessible. Not only does this add to the event experience for all involved, but it can also empower you with more control over your event offerings than ever before. Feature a detailed agenda, bios on each speaker and even multiple language options to enhance how inclusive your programming is for diverse audiences.
Will your event include break-out sessions? With an event platform, you can include personalized tracks for each attendee based on your specific requirements. Your event platform’s “toolset” can be customized to your needs — simply bookmark potential items you’re interested in offering. These may range from preloaded destination information to helpful contact info to nearby sites attendees may want to check out while they’re in the area.
Incorporating digital capabilities with an event platform
According to the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast conducted by American Express, 73 percent of event professionals are very optimistic about their ability to use technology to enhance the attendee experience.
By leaning into digital components, planners can create opportunities for their events to engage audiences in new and memorable ways with an event platform. However, your success in doing so is dependent on your technology. It’s critical to have a user-friendly platform that can host events on any device — whether desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone — and that offers easy-to-use digital features that can breathe fresh life into your programming and deliver your desired outcomes.
Want to explore how to deliver more impactful, seamless events of any size, location or complexity? Download our Event Platforms with Boundless Possibilities Guidebook.
Interested in learning how Encore can elevate your next event through our end-to-end event platforms and strategic solutions? Our experts offer free consultations if you want to discuss your specific needs. We’d love to help you develop a transformative experience for all attendees — so that your events can foster a new level of community, inspiration and connection.
Key findings from the Encore 2022 Winter Planner Pulse
With the world of events ever-changing, staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends is an essential tool for crafting successful experiences. To help ensure your event design, programming and format resonates with today’s audiences, Encore surveys meeting and event professionals quarterly to capture a closer look into today’s event landscape and to maintain a pulse on where meeting event needs are heading.
Read on to learn key insights from our latest survey.
Human connection and engagement are the most impactful values for in-person events
When it comes to the most valuable components of this type of event, networking and relationship-building topped the list.
In-person events will continue to increase with each new quarter
Meanwhile, interest in hybrid and virtual gatherings is expected to plateau, with hybrid events forecasted to make up just 15 percent of all events held from the First Quarter of this year to the Third. Similarly, only 14 percent of all events held in the First and Second Quarters are anticipated to be virtual. This number is expected to drop to 11 percent in the Third Quarter.
Most planners expect their audience numbers to grow this year
This data brings a welcome implication — people are actively interested in physically attending conferences, meetings and other events, making now the perfect time for you to invest more resources into their event design. Get ahead of the curve by ensuring you have the best solutions to deliver successful outcomes.
Six of 10 planners will see budget increases — driven by food and beverage, room rates and transportation costs
DE&I is an important ESG area of focus
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives remain an opportunity in 2023. We asked planners about four major ESG issues to collect feedback on the role they play in event planning. Those issues were: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I), environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and local legislation that aligns with organizational values.
Our findings? Approximately half of event professionals (55 percent) view DE&I as the most important ESG area to consider while selecting venues. This research speaks volumes about how event professionals now prioritize DE&I when making critical event planning decisions.
When it comes to selecting a venue, event professionals regard the other ESG attributes in the following order of importance:
- Local legislation that is aligned with organization values (45 percent)
- Environmental sustainability (45 percent)
- Social responsibility (42 percent)
In terms of choosing an AV/event technology partner, event professionals prioritize the following attributes behind DE&I:
- Environmental sustainability (40 percent)
- Local legislation that is aligned with organization values (39 percent)
- Social responsibility (35 percent)
Insights-led meeting planning for more engaging experiences
Interested in personalized solutions that can help optimize your next event? Request a free consultation with our event experts! We’d love to discuss your specific needs and help you develop a transformative experience that achieves your event goals.