When it’s time to select your venue, a site visit is one of the most critical steps. Not only do you get to physically step in your space and imagine your event coming to life, it’s a chance to ask the most important questions with your potential venue team.
Unfortunately, so many of us are busy with the details of the space contracts and food and beverage minimums, that our time with AV providers is often cut short. On your next site visit, be sure to squeeze in some time with your AV partner and ask these questions to ensure a successful event.
What would you recommend to make a greater impact with my budget?
If you only ask one question, this is it. As planners, of course we have ideas right out the gate with an inspiration board – but no one knows the space better than an on-site event experience team. During your site visit, discuss your vision and ask what they would do to make it work within your plan and budget.
Because they have worked so many events within the very space you’re standing in, they can take the groundwork of your initial plan and elevate it – whether it’s rigging screens differently for new vantage points or trying new seating levels. This discussion can change the whole direction of your event and catapult it to new heights.
What other services do you offer?
These days, AV companies do so much more than just audio-visual. With teleconferencing, content design, and event internet, the same company will likely be able to provide you with almost everything you need for your event. So, before you start the taxing process of looking around for extra technology quotes, be sure to explore the opportunity of leveraging your in-house partner.
Are there any exciting new technologies I can employ?
It’s the old adage of “if you don’t ask, you don’t know.” Technology changes rapidly, and there may be something new on the horizon offered by your event partner. Maybe it’s a new mobile engagement app that could be a great way to show meeting value to your stakeholders. Your provider will be eager to talk to you about everything they have – you just have to ask!
Who will be my point of contact, and how hands-on will they be?
Don’t wait until you’ve already signed a contract to ask this question (or worse, until there’s a day-of crisis). Ask up-front how big their team is, and who will handle which parts of your meeting. It’s also a good idea to find out if the entire team will be on-site, or if there is an off-site team (for example, in the case of internet), so you know exactly what you’re dealing with going into your meeting and who’s on first.
What information do you need from me?
Communication is a two-way street, and your event partner may have some questions for you as well that will spark some ideas. Be sure to open up the conversation and make sure they have a full understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish up-front to avoid complications later on.
Arming yourself with these questions for your event partner during your site visit can instill confidence in your decision with venue selection, and ensure a seamless event from the start with a team that understands your goals.
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.
Produce a memorable experience for your meeting participants
In today’s ever-changing landscape, the way people consume content has undergone a rapid transformation. What does this mean for meeting and event professionals? You’ve likely faced unique challenges in capturing (and keeping) your audience’s attention to deliver a memorable experience. Let’s consider some key trends that contribute to these hurdles.
- Shortened attention spans:
With the proliferation of smartphones, the average adult’s attention span has significantly decreased. Encouraging participants to disconnect from their devices has become more challenging than ever.
- Greater production value behind content:
When it comes to the crowd-pleasing content people routinely engage with, even singular episodes of crowd-pleasing series have soaring production value. Episodes of The Crown cost an average of about $13 million, and high-end streaming dramas like Stranger Things now see price tags of $4 to $7 million per episode.
- More targeted, digestible content:
Thanks to platforms like TikTok, which deliver fast-paced, hyper-targeted content to 1.67 billion users, many of your attendees expect no less than pithy, entertaining messaging, picked specifically for them. Your tech-savvy participants are used to being able to find, filter and immediately interact with the type of content they already like, thanks to the platform’s scarily effective algorithm. If you want to earn (and keep) attendees’ attention in today’s digital landscape, your content needs to meet their higher expectations.
Considering the impact of these trends, it has become more difficult to entertain and engage an audience — while easier than ever to distract them. So, how can you ensure your content is compelling and has a lasting influence? Read on for insights that can help you revolutionize your storytelling.
Engagement is a metric that matters
A recent Encore survey revealed that planners prioritize attendee engagement and advanced content delivery. To revamp your content strategy and recapture the hearts and minds of your audience, here are three powerful approaches to consider:
- Cultivate community through content
Remember the viral Ice Bucket Challenge, which united people around a common cause? It brought ALS, and the ALS Association’s mission, to the forefront of Americans’ minds (and phones).
The content developed around the social media challenge was not only attention-grabbing but also prompted immediately achievable action.
Taking part was cheap, easy (except withstanding the ice water part), enthralling and, most importantly, repeatable. Meanwhile, the call to action rallied individuals into a community for a shared goal.
Photo credit: ALS Therapy Development Institute
2. Craft Your storytelling as a unifying thread
Your content should seamlessly weave a compelling narrative throughout the entire attendee journey, from initial contact to post-event communications. However, avoid generating content that merely starts and ends there.
While the content onstage might be the main focus during your sessions, to deliver truly resonant messaging, consider how your programming ties into the tentacles of broader, ongoing conversations within your audience’s communities. By designing content that’s relevant to your participants and what’s going on in the world around you, you can leverage your meeting as a chapter in a much larger and powerful discourse.
3. Appeal to your guests’ emotions for lasting impact
Some of the most memorable event moments are emotionally charged rather than purely intellectual. Consider award shows in pop culture, where speeches, interactions and reactions generate buzz for days, weeks and even years.
Ultimately, you want your program to live on with a life of its own, and fueling similarly strong emotive responses is a great way to drive connections with your content. Is yours designed with that intent? Is it working hard enough to become unforgettable for your attendees? If the answer is no or you’re unsure, think through how you can better speak to and influence attendees’ emotions through your storytelling.
We’d love to help you do just that! Our Creative Services team dreams big when it comes to crafting inspiring content, amplifying it through strategic event branding and design, and influencing the purposeful connections that set programs apart.
Want a sneak peek into our capabilities? Explore some of the riveting content we created for Marriott International’s exclusive three-day conference for their general managers that created a customized experience just for them!
Let’s partner on incorporating these content strategies into your planning process for a program that captivates participants and extends the reach of your message well into the future.
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!
You’ve heard the term ‘immersive experiences.’ But what does that mean? Let’s go beyond the buzzword to look at how you can use cutting-edge and traditional audiovisual (AV) technology to leverage this trend.
What is an immersive experience?
An immersive experience is one that engages one or more senses. It encourages people exposed to the experience to become active participants rather than passive observers. It invites them to relax and engage with their environment in new, more memorable ways.
In an event context, an immersive experience can describe several things. But, at its root, it is an environment that mentally, physically and/or emotionally engages the senses:
Using light to influence participants' mood
Lighting helps participants connect with each other. When you’re in a darkened theater, you sit back and relax because no one can see you. But when the faces of people sitting around you are visible, you feel connected to their enjoyment of what’s happening. When they cheer or laugh, it’s easy to get swept up into that same joyous feeling. When you choreograph lighting to what’s being presented on stage, you can chart and control the audience’s emotional journey.
Lighting also sets a mood. Being in natural light improves mood and increases happiness. And using LED screens helps you maximize venues with natural light without sacrificing presentation visibility.
Colors affect mood. For example, blue light accelerates the relaxation process, yellow boosts happiness and concentration, white light alleviates depression, and purple light reduces emotional and mental stress. When designing the experience you want participants to have, incorporate color theory into how you light the space.
Let’s not forget other technology that leverages the power of sight. LED screens can transform small spaces like windows to the largest exhibit halls into whatever you want to display. When you add vibrant encompassing visuals to a room, then you can transport guests to other worlds with the push of a button. And closed captioning can assist guests with hearing loss be connected to the message directly
Leveraging sound design to encourage engagement
We’ve grown so used to hearing music when we’re out in public, that when it is absent, that creates a void. The music you select to play at your event is crucial — Creating anticipation for what will come, setting the mood and grabbing participants’ attention. Encore Music provides carefully curated and fully licensed playlists for every occasion and audio clips that can be remixed or used for videos, walk-in music and stingers.
Audio should be used to strategically engage participants in different ways. For example, technicians can surround the audience with sound to totally immerse them in what’s happening. They can move sounds from one side of the room to the other to create a sense of movement, including tracking with what is playing across the screens. The volume and intensity of the sound can be used to drive the event’s storytelling.
Aside from these techniques, there are also tools like directional audio, which provides a focused stream of audio that can only be heard in a specific space. This lets you create activation areas that don’t bleed out into the rest of the event or show floor.
You can also use “silent event” technology like headphones to hold simultaneous sessions in a communal space without interfering with anything else happening there. Don’t forget the power audio narration has to help visually impaired guests engage with experiences they can’t see.
Injecting scents into events
Have you ever noticed how hotel lobbies smell a certain way? Hoteliers leverage olfactory science to influence guest attitudes and mood. This is because our sense of smell is the strongest of the five senses, and the one most tied to memory and emotion. In fact, 75 percent of all daily emotions are generated due to smell.
Scents can be used to add character to a themed environment. Think coconut oil and beaches or lavender and summer gardens. They also enhance taste. That’s why you swirl wine around a glass and smell its ‘nose’ before tasting.
Scents also can influence behavior. A Nike Study found that subjects were willing to pay 10 to 20 percent more in scented environments. Lemon scents can increase productivity. Lavender and jasmine scents ease feelings of stress.
Be thoughtful and judicious when you use scent, as some people are highly sensitive or allergic to perfumes. Scents can be infused through the space with atomizers, naturally distributed through floral or food displays or embedded on physical objects, like scented candles or paper.
Engaging audiences with the power of touch
There’s a reason why museums warn visitors not to touch sculptures. People often explore and make sense of the world by touching objects that appeal to them. Watch a baby or toddler and you’ll see how basic this instinct is.
Adults aren’t often encouraged to interact with objects physically, so it creates a fun, playful environment when they are permitted to do so. One way to introduce this into an educational session is to use a throwable microphone, like a Catchbox. These cushy squares eliminate the need for mic runners as audience members can toss the microphone to each other. With some coaching on how to use it, this becomes a fun and engaging way to conduct a Q&A.
Interactive projections and projection mapping can create opportunities for participants to play with the environment or enjoy light competition with each other. These games and experiences can be projected onto flat surfaces, like tables, floors or walls. They can also be projected onto unexpected surfaces, like falling water.
Inviting participants to a moveable feast
When people file into a ballroom for a meal function, they think they know what to expect. Subvert those expectations by creating an immersive experience centered around their sense of taste.
Encore Project Manager Miguel Sanchez used projection mapping to coordinate table-based imagery and meal courses to create a synchronized experience for nearly 400 diners. Every time a different course was served, the entire look and feel of the table shifted along with it to create a different mood around the food. This combination of technology and gastronomy transported guests visually and enhanced their enjoyment of each course.
Putting it all together
When the Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Chapter wanted to amplify their 27th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, they partnered with Encore to transform the main dining experience and open auction event into a New York City aquarium with 360 Film and LED walls. A saltwater scent was piped into the room to enhance the illusion. The transitional experience between the opening reception/silent auction and grand ballroom featured a mesmerizing visual ‘supernature’ LED tunnel. The technology allowed the Encore team to quickly flip the grand ballroom and pump music into a new environment for the afterparty. Guests were so thrilled by the immersive experience Encore created that Make-A-Wish raised a record-breaking amount of money — twice as many donations than what was generated the previous year.
Immersive events are more than a buzzword. They’re a way to enhance participants’ event experience by engaging their senses. When thoughtfully done, you don’t need fancy equipment to produce an immersive experience that engages, educates and entertains event attendees in ways that make traditional experiences feel flat.
Ready to try your hand at this trend? Contact Encore to see how we can transform your next event into an immersive experience.
What value do your in-person events provide? Respondents of the Encore Winter 2022 Planner Pulse Report say the greatest value their gatherings provide is networking/relationship building (74 percent). Sixty-one percent say it’s connecting people/employees to an organization’s mission/vision/values; an equal number say it’s education/training/professional development opportunities. Maximizing return on these three areas not only benefits attendees, but it also can benefit meeting professionals.
Of course, understanding the industry landscape is another critical factor in designing meetings and events that resonate with audiences. One trend we’re continuing to see? Demand for in-person experiences remains high, with three in five planners surveyed for the Encore Winter 2022 Planner Pulse anticipating their event attendance to increase by more than 10 percent. The challenge will be to get these audiences to return next year.
To this aim, meeting and event professionals are focused on delivering event experiences that are significant and provide clear advantages for participants. If attendees feel your conference delivered a smooth and streamlined experience, helped them build their networks, connect to the organization and gain important insights, then they’ll be satisfied and more likely to attend again.
Finding tools to prepare attendees for events, as well as connect and engage them during the in-person experience, isn’t easy. Many of the digital tools people relied on during the pandemic fall flat when events are in person. And, according to the Winter 2022 Planner Pulse Report, there is an expected rise in this event format each quarter.
An event platform that delivers end-to-end solutions
A notable exception is the Chime Live℠ event platform. It was developed for use at in-person events, though its capabilities have been expanded to fulfill the needs of any event format.
During the pandemic, its virtual and hybrid event capabilities became much more robust. Now that people are meeting face-to-face again, Chime Live provides an exceptionally flexible platform that can upgrade any event format.
With in-person events, planners can engage audiences before, during and after the program, while also taking elements of the conference off-line. Here are a few key ways this platform can do that and boost the overall impact of your next event.
Manage complex event schedules
With Chime Live, Encore can use the agenda-building tool to create personalized itineraries for participants, based on the customer’s requirements. These individualized tracks may be pushed to separate groups of attendees.
So, for example, if you’re planning a healthcare conference, different tracks could focus on various medical conditions, enabling you to provide targeted information to your audience segments. Alternatively, these sessions can be set up to enable participants to bookmark those they’d like to attend.
Another advantage? These personalized conference schedules can be made available to participants before they arrive onsite. This is especially valuable in helping keep events that feature a number of different breakout sessions running smoothly — and even more valuable if your event sessions are taking place across multiple venues. How? Participants simply need to use their smartphones to access their customized agenda to understand where they need to be and when or choose which sessions best speak to their goals and interests.
Enhance your participants’ learner journey
The tool also gives conference organizers the ability to enhance the attendee’s learner journey by showcasing speakers, assigning pre-conference work and sharing educational resources, such as pre- or post-event knowledge checks. Want to deliver engaging learning opportunities throughout an event? Simply provide live polling during your desired sessions.
Another way to bolster learning opportunities is through peer-to-peer interaction. Foster meaningful conversations about your programming by giving participants access to networking tools — these may even be provided pre-event with Chime Live.
Provide valuable content before, during and after events
Extending access to conference content is increasing in popularity among meeting professionals. Sharing content pre-event builds anticipation and boosts marketing efforts. Post-event, content can be repackaged to increase monetization opportunities and reach new audiences. This 365-day approach to participant engagement also encourages communities to form around the conference, which can enhance your influence.
Chime Live gives meeting organizers an effortless way to prep, organize, present and share this information directly to participants’ mobile devices before, during and after the conference. If there are changes to the schedule or speakers, or important updates about the venue, those can be handled in an instant and pushed directly to everyone’s phone or Encore-provided iPad.
A sustainable way to keep attendees focused on conference content
One of the best perks Chime Live offers is the ability to carefully choreograph conference content to keep attendees focused and engaged during the event. With Chime Live, this process is also more sustainable. To distribute conference materials, an Encore project manager can preload all the paperless content that attendees need on Chime Live-enabled iPads. These resources can be available for attendees before, during and/or after the event for easy reference.
Providing resources this way can up the green factor at your meeting or event by eliminating the need for packets of printed materials, like handouts and discussion guides. If you’re managing last-minute changes to attendee resources, these adjustments may be available immediately with the digital tool, rather than you needing to reprint. Distributing content this way also enhances the participant experience by giving them everything they need to connect, network and learn at their fingertips.
Using their iPads, attendees can ask questions during sessions and upvote their favorites. They can also use the device to chat and network with each other. Planners can amplify audience engagement by pushing out interactive polls, Q&As, forums and more to the iPads at specific times.
Perhaps one of the coolest applications for Chime Live technology is as a second screen. While a presentation is being given, attendees can use their iPads to ‘zoom’ into the presentation slides, rewind to parts they might have missed and take notes. With this tool in their hands, participants are focused on the presenter not on their personal texts or emails.
Keeping the conference conversation going
Want to give attendees access to conference content after the event? If you’re using the Chime Live event platform, you can keep its library of conference content and videos online and give event participants access to additional educational and networking opportunities.
Get key insights to continuously improve your events
Chime Live’s rich post-event analytics report can augment these strategies by providing essential information about patterns of engagement, the themes and content that most resonated with audience segments, and attendee return on investment (ROI). This data can demonstrate the event’s value to key stakeholders and decision-makers. It also can improve the event’s programing. Knowing what content resonated with audiences can help meeting and event professionals pinpoint future themes and content to develop. Understanding what engages your audience and when they tune out increases the potential for improving future engagement.
A streamlined event solution
Staffing challenges, economic uncertainty and fatigue from planning hybrid and virtual events is driving a desire to reduce the overall event footprint and to streamline the experience. Meeting and event professionals also want to ensure the time attendees spend at the conference is more meaningful and productive.
Let’s examine a real-world example of how one event professional overcame these challenges. Jo Merriman, Encore Director, Commercial & Operations, used Chime Live’s end-to-end solutions to enhance the event experience for a financial customer planning their Annual General Meeting.
With high-value investors flying into Avignon, France, from around the globe for the event, Jo showed the customer how the event platform they already knew and loved could also address and streamline complex logistical challenges surrounding the program’s multiple venues, sessions and schedules.
The event featured several fund meetings held across two different venues in the foreign city. Yet with one single solution, Jo was able to help the customer streamline the experience for attending investors while also connecting and engaging participants during each session to deliver a seamless five-star experience.
Want to see how she did it? Explore Jo’s case study here!
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.”
Small meetings have become an incredible source of growth and opportunity in the wake of the pandemic. Catering to a group of 50 or fewer participants means you can provide more targeted programming, promote greater intimacy between your audience and stakeholders, and foster meaningful interactions that build trust. This holds true whether you’re conducting a management training or strategizing session, holding a board meeting or focused on team building. Regardless of the use case, small meetings can generate a closer level of connection and engagement to drive business outcomes.
Doing so, however, is not without its challenges. Today’s tech-savvy attendees have higher expectations for the level of production, technology and meeting tools than before the pandemic. Event professionals also face rising related costs, shorter lead times and changing attendee dynamics – influenced by higher anxiety levels and lower, eight-second attention spans.
The growing number of meeting professionals with less than a year’s experience plays another factor. These professionals want to create successful experiences, and having a full-service provider on their side that can provide end-to-end support can make all the difference. Whether someone is a seasoned meeting planner or excited to get their feet wet and deliver their first outstanding program, having the optimal technology support is a crucial part of any successful small meeting strategy.
Read on to learn six ways technology solutions can empower event professionals to create small meetings that deliver a big impact.
1. Create a high-production look
With effective technology solutions in place, you can help ensure that your small meeting feels as significant as a larger conference production. Why does this matter? Coordinating a visually impressive meeting can positively affect audience sentiment and strengthen your programming – which is critical whether you deliver content to 50 people or 500. Achieving this all comes down to smart technology choices. You can take the guesswork out of this process by partnering with Encore. We can help you make the most of your space with aesthetically clean and professional-looking technology solutions. Here are a few of our top recommendations:
- Eliminate room clutter
Create more floor space for seating and eliminate room clutter with a short-throw projector and tension screen. This not only expands your meeting capacity, but also creates a more visually appealing environment for participants. With this consolidated setup, there is no visible projector, cords or cart taking up space and distracting from your programming.
- Use quality audio
Don’t lose opportunities for interaction or engagement by overlooking the importance of high-quality audio solutions. If participants are straining to hear your presenter, they’re less likely to fully grasp or connect with your content. Opt for a compact powered speaker to make sure your message is delivered loud and clear.
- Customize your visual elements
Want to make your meeting more memorable? Take advantage of clever design accents that can leave a lasting impression. Branded screen skirts are a perfect way to do this. They can feature company logos or other designs relevant to your meeting theme to visually reinforce a brand or idea.
2. Elevate the ambiance
When making intentional meeting design choices, don’t overlook the power of color to affect attendees’ emotions. LED lights are an excellent tool for this. They can change hues instantaneously to alter the ambiance of your event and elicit certain feelings in your participants. Simply use an IR Remote or wireless control to change their color on cue.
This budget-friendly solution is also ideal for small accent spaces. LED lights can fit almost anywhere with their 3.5 in x 3.5 in footprint. Another advantage? LED lights use less energy than most other lighting solutions, which can help raise the “green” factor of your meeting. With a range of LED options to choose from, our experts can help you create an environment that inspires everything from excitement and creativity to critique and analysis – all at the click of a button.
3. Increase engagement opportunities
A common theme for meeting professionals, no matter their audience size, is the desire to boost participant engagement. With an event platform, you can provide simple-to-use yet powerful tools that enable participants to connect with each other and your content. Chime Go℠ by Encore is a fully-supported, quick-start event app that equips users with key information – from agendas and maps to forums to Q&A tools – all organized in one hub and branded with your logo. It can be turned around in as little as four working days, which makes it ideal for planners navigating short lead times, and provides an easy, affordable and professional way to add a new level of engagement to small meetings.
With Chime Go, you can elevate the experience for participants with an easy-to-use event site and interactive features like:
- Pre-event and onsite access
- Detailed digital agendas & maps
- Live Q&As/Upvoter
- Real-time broadcasts that enable attendees or presenters to join remotely
- Live analytics to view engagement levels, capture questions asked and more!
Instead of your audience passively digesting content, the event platform’s digital tools can help deliver greater ways for participants to interact with your programming throughout the experience – and directly from their own smart device.
4. Set the tone with music
“Having no music creates a void that you’re not used to having in day-to-day life when you go into public spaces,” says Nick Greene, Encore Product Manager for Audio and Power. “It creates an awkward silence…imagine showing up at a company meeting at 8 a.m. and walking into an empty room with no music. There won’t be the energy.”
Ensure you’re creating an atmosphere that breathes new life into your small meeting with the perfect tone-setting tracks. Encore Music provides hit songs from today’s popular artists, already licensed and ready to play. With hundreds of curated playlists to choose from, select the perfect soundtrack for your meeting to enhance the experience and curate your desired mood. Whether you’re looking for an upbeat tempo to invigorate discussions, mellow jazz to introduce thought-provoking themes, or even a festive dance track to energize your audience after a long day, Encore Music offers a diverse range of creative choices to meet your needs – and without you having to obtain a separate music license as you would with a generic streaming service or bringing your own music.
5. Deliver memorable content
When planning your small meeting, visually enhancing your content goes a long way in helping to make a lasting impression and ensure it doesn’t fall flat. Amplify your presentations – with a minimal impact on your budget – with our self-serve creative. We can equip you with professionally designed PowerPoint template slides with three matching elements: A logo loop, intro video and speaker title. The elements are designed to be used together for a seamless transition but may also be used individually to suit various display requirements.
Have another creative idea you’d like to bring to life? A small meeting doesn’t have to mean limited possibilities. Our team of experienced designers can work closely with you to create stunning graphics and videos tailored specifically to meet your needs and budget — from logos and invitations to custom videos and presentations.
6. Protect against internet interruptions
Whether you need to ensure a speaker’s multimedia presentation works without a hitch or that in-person attendees can download an event app, interruption-free, secure and reliable internet is essential to your small meeting’s success. It’s also become a big part of attendees’ expectations, with audiences now counting on uninterrupted streaming capabilities to multiple devices, including laptops, smartphones and tablets, as part of their experience.
As your strategic partner, Encore provides fast, seamless internet, best-in-class connectivity and extensive technical support to protect against any embarrassing lags and ensure the focus stays on your message.
Dynamic expectations call for dynamic solutions
Gone are the days when small meetings meant reduced expectations. Today’s attendees have dynamic expectations that can’t be met without the right tools. Whether you’re focused on delivering a high-production feel, improving engagement or setting the perfect ambiance, having the right technology solutions in place is key to leveling up any small meeting experience and transforming it from mundane to memorable.
Request a free consultation with our experts to learn more ways we can help you deliver outstanding small meeting outcomes. We’d love to discuss your specific needs and empower you to deliver an experience that connects and inspires.
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.