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.
connecting people and training
Connecting audiences to organizations’ missions and providing training and education were two other aspects of in-person events that planners ranked highly. What do these insights mean for your event? It may be worthwhile to focus on these core points with your in-person programming or weave them into the content to be delivered.
It’s worth noting that whether your goal is to drive professional relationships or deliver educational sessions, none of these activities occur in a vacuum. For example, educating attendees on an organization’s mission can help them feel more connected, give them a purpose for being there, encourage engagement with one another and inspire action. Strategic educational programming also provides a great atmosphere for learning and personal growth, which can set the stage for more intentional networking conversations and greatly enhance the overall experience.

In-person events will continue to increase with each new quarter

While meeting and event trends have rapidly evolved over the past few years, our research shows that in-person events have returned as the primary format – a trend expected to gain momentum as we move forward in 2023. This remained consistent with our 2022 Winter Planners Pulse.
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.
Planners have not only confirmed the most valuable aspects of in-person events, as outlined in the section above. They’re also prioritizing this format’s benefits over virtual and hybrid advantages when designing experiences.

Most planners expect their audience numbers to grow this year

According to 62 percent of the planners we surveyed, audience sizes will continue to increase in numbers. Four of 10 planners believe the growth in participant numbers will be greater than 10 percent, demonstrating a surge of interest in events overall.
planner believe attendee sizes will increase

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

Last year saw tremendous advances in our industry despite the rise in in-person costs, driven by inflation. Luckily, the majority of meeting professionals will likely also see an increase in their budgets, with six out of 10 planners expecting their event budgets to be higher this year than in 2022.
audience sizes expected to increase in 2023
Seventy percent of these budget hikes are predicted to exceed 10 percent, with the uptick largely attributed to food and beverage expenses. Higher rates for hotel stays and transportation are secondary factors that are likely to contribute to the improved budgets as well.

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

Leveraging today’s top trends helps you create more successful events and empowers you to make smart decisions about how to elevate the details behind your event production and design to achieve your specific goals. Download our report today for more data-informed guidance on the factors your peers are considering when planning an engaging and memorable event. It covers the latest information you need to know about our industry’s top trends, so you have the insights you’ll need to deliver an experience that truly resonates with your attendees in today’s event landscape.

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.

Learn how to practice
radical inclusion

Attendees’ feelings of belonging and inclusion at events are critical for positive recommendations and repeat attendance. When was the last time you evaluated your event ecosystem to recognize and remove barriers to enjoyment? Do your events connect with people in ways they are comfortable being involved in?  

This guide will help teach you to be radically inclusive. By mindfully evaluating your event ecosystem you can ensure your attendees feel engaged, wanted and included in your event experience. 

Download our free guide, Practicing Radical Inclusion, and learn the strategy and benefits of bringing your attendees together in a positive way. 

Download the free guide: Practicing Radical Inclusion

How It Works:

Step 1:

Check the boxes for the categories that apply to your event. It isn’t necessary to select all categories.

Step 2:

Using the guidance listed under each category, complete the information requested.

Step 3:

Below the categories you’ll find a summary of the estimated bandwidth by category and the total estimated bandwidth for the event.

Step 4:

Contact an Encore Representative or Ask a Question for further consultation on Event Internet. 

Not sure if you need dedicated bandwidth? 

Enter Your Event Details:

Ready to get more done, save time, and reach your hybrid event goals quicker?

As a supplement to the Hybrid Event Handbook, this dynamic Hybrid+ Event Checklist is a planning tool that will help you ensure you’ve covered all of the components you need to consider for a Hybrid event of any size. 

Check off safety measures, recording capture, data analytics and more through our checklist which is broken out into these 6 key drivers:

      • Environment
      • Experience
      • Engagement
      • Connectivity
      • Content
      • Production

Keep your event plans on track by downloading our dynamic planning tool Today!

Download the “Hybrid Event Checklist”

6 Key Drivers

“There are more ways to join audiences and presenters across multiple venues and locations.

And there are more ways to use technology – both traditional audiovisual and cloud solutions – to enhance your brand or association, engage your participants, and collect data that offers new insights into the event experience.”








Related Planner Tools

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Do you have the right infrastructure, bandwidth, and support for your next Hybrid event?

As a supplement to the Hybrid Event Handbook, this dynamic Hybrid Event Internet Connectivity Checklist is a planning tool that will help you assess the capabilities of your event location.

Determine your network needs around bandwidth delivery and overall network capability.  Consider the value of:

      • Network data
      • Back-up solutions
      • Clear dedicated connection
      • Dedicated and knowledgeable support
      • And more

Download our must-have dynamic planning tool Today!

Download the Hybrid+ Internet Connectivity Checklist

6 Key Drivers

“There are more ways to join audiences and presenters across multiple venues and locations.

And there are more ways to use technology – both traditional audiovisual and cloud solutions – to enhance your brand or association, engage your participants, and collect data that offers new insights into the event experience.”








Related Planner Tools

Download Now
Download Now

Hybrid events are paving new
ways of doing business

Hybrid events allow planners and participants to reach more people. Having the ability to engage more businesses, thought leaders, and decision-makers has long-term benefits and immediate short-term benefits as well. Planners and show organizers benefit by understanding how to uncover those benefits in a way that enriches both the on-site and remote experiences. In this guide, we’ve developed a framework to help you do just that!

Hybrid events have also increased in popularity simply because participants expect a certain amount of flexibility to attend a meeting in-person or have the option to attend virtually. Today’s event customer experience needs to meet participants at their comfort level.

Hybrid events are the norm, for everyone, for the foreseeable future. The good news is, you’re not alone. The great news is, there are resources to meet you exactly where you are, like this one.

Download The Hybrid Event Handbook

What's Inside:

A framework to help you plan
any hybrid event


The key drivers for a successful event
– for planners and participants


How to tie it all together – with different meeting types as examples


Download The Guide “The Hybrid Event Handbook”

6 Key Drivers

“There are more ways to join audiences and presenters across multiple venues and locations.

And there are more ways to use technology – both traditional audiovisual and cloud solutions – to enhance your brand or association, engage your participants, and collect data that offers new insights into the event experience.”



Hybrid Events - Environment - Encore


Hybrid Events - Experience - Encore


Hybrid Events - Engagement - Encore


Hybrid Events - Connectivity - Encore


Hybrid Events - Content - Encore


Hybrid Events - Production - Encore

Related Planner Tools

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MeetSAFE - Encore


Meetings and events support more than ten million jobs worldwide. To help get the live event industry, event planners, and our teams back to work and begin the road to recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting safely will undoubtedly be a priority.

Encore and our family of companies will be at the forefront in safe meeting practices related to the services provided by our industry leading brands.

As shelter-in-place restrictions ease, physical distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures will remain an essential part of making people comfortable with meeting.

Risk and health are two key considerations for businesses and associations. An anticipated phase one recovery for our industry likely represents smaller meeting sizes following evolving government guidelines.

With fewer people meeting and a cleaning routine in place, the risk to attendees will be reduced.


Download the MeetSAFE™ Guidelines Playbook

How will meeting safely in the early stages of recovery look?

Working alongside venue partners, Encore is designing a series of meeting formats, equipment packages, and recommendations that address how to reduce risk, increase confidence, and promote health within the meeting space.

Meeting design, room layout,  technology considerations and enhanced cleaning procedures are at the heart of this offering with the goal to make the meetings and events industry strong, and healthier than ever.

MeetSAFE - Encore

Meeting Design Options: Local to Global Solutions

As people return to in person meetings, smaller groups could potentially fall into three meeting designs:

Hybrid Boardroom Meetings

MeetSAFE - Encore
A small in-person gathering in a huddle room, boardroom, or similar collaboration pod with remote participants. A single webcam (including one built-in to a personal laptop) could provide capture coverage for a small group.

Hybrid Small Meetings

Broadcast Communication
MeetSAFE - Encore
An in-person conference in a small meeting room with remote participants. The room can be set in a U or traditional conference table configuration.

Hybrid Mid-Size Meetings

Networked Communication
MeetSAFE - Encore
An in-person gathering in a traditional meeting room or similar with remote participants. The room can be set in a classroom style, rounds or designed to meet your specific event needs. Remote attendees can join on their own from an office or as a group from another meeting room.

*Hybrid: All three meeting designs can incorporate a virtual stream for attendees and presenters that are not able to make the in-person meeting.

Room Layout

With the meeting design in mind, room layouts may look different. Incorporating physical distancing and traffic flow will reduce risk and promote health within the meeting environment.

Tables and chairs may be spaced to meet best practices and floor decals, and other forms of signage may inform attendees on the best way to move through the space to limit contact.

Technology equipment will be sized according to the new space with the addition of virtual components as necessary.

MeetSAFE - Encore

Technology Considerations

This illustration highlights technologies that can help support these meeting designs.

Beyond traditional items like projectors and screens, items to support sound reinforcement, recording, web-conferencing and digital tools for polling and Q&A should be considered.

MeetSAFE - Encore

Cleaning Guidelines

As the event space changes, it will be more important than ever to create a space that continues to promote collaboration and engagement and while focusing heavily on hygiene.

Encore is educating our team members on enhanced cleaning procedures. We are doing this to help stop the spread of germs as we strive to build upon our commitment to safety.

Tent cards will indicate when equipment has been cleaned, with particular attention to high-touch items such as microphones, keyboards, wireless presenters and markers.