The return of in-person events is a welcome change from the cloistered era of pandemic-induced, learn on the fly virtual event planning. But the rebound also added stress to event professionals, who — even before the pandemic — occupied a job that annually topped CareerCast’s list of “Most Stressful Jobs.” Thankfully, Encore offers resources and solutions to reduce these new stressors and help meeting and event organizers create better experiences for participants — whether in-room, hybrid, or virtual.
Sources of event planning stress
What is stressing event professionals out? According to a recent MeetingsNet survey, the
Top 3 post-pandemic stressors are:
- Smaller staff/heavier workload
- Shifting responsibilities and/or job requirements
- Virtual meeting management
The survey reports that more than half of its respondents have considered leaving their job because of increased stress levels. Out of that number, 75 percent might leave the industry completely.
“I really feel bad for meeting planners because they didn’t get a break,” says Encore Chief Digital Officer Darius Vaskelis. “They had to pivot very, very hard to virtual during the pandemic and now they’re pivoting back. They didn’t have a chance to breathe. We want to offer solutions that allow them to breathe.” The Encore team offers creative, production, and technology products, services, and expertise. Its global footprint ensures that whether a planner needs something a la carte or end-to-end, or for in-person, hybrid, or virtual events, the Encore team can help.
Relieving the stress of smaller staffs, heavier workloads , and shifting responsibilities
“Being a planner right now is tough because the role changed during the pandemic,” Vaskelis says. “People’s standards for production and what’s in a meeting are higher. Due to lots of factors, there’s less time to set them up and higher expectations. Planners also are expected to have a broader set of responsibilities.”
In addition to sourcing and contracting, event organizers may now oversee virtual event production and audience engagement strategies. But even though they have all these new responsibilities, many event team leaders are forced to manage them with fewer people on staff, thanks to the “Great Resignation” and other factors beyond their control.
One solution is the event platform Chime Go, a full-service option that gives event organizers the ability to delegate engagement technology, event platform creation, customization and management to the Encore team. This mobile-friendly favorite solves many communication and wayfinding issues common to small and mid-size in-person meetings.
Navigating increased audience expectations and job requirements
Vaskelis points out that there’s a huge gulf between a Zoom meeting and a conference. “There is a point where the content of the meeting is more than what’s being shown by a talking head. That’s where engagement starts playing a bigger role.”
”Video conferencing is fine for when you’re meeting virtually and you only need to collaborate or listen to someone talk,” Vaskelis says. Similarly, if you’re meeting in-person and you have fewer than 10 people, then you can manage information delivery with a calendar invite. “But once you get into double-digit attendance,” Vaskelis says, “it becomes useful to have some other place attendees can go to find out information about your meeting.” Chime Go is a convenient solution because it has robust features designed to enhance the meeting experience, including an agenda and map images; the ability to submit or upvote questions, take notes, participate in a forum, and add banners to promote sponsors or fundraising. It’s a great choice when you need a site to inform and engage with an audience, before and during the meeting as they need to look things up or reference the schedule as it changes.”
Relieving the burden of virtual meeting management
During the pandemic, Encore added remote video capability to the Chime platform. “That’s how we delivered the majority of our virtual events,” Vaskelis says. “Now that same in-room platform delivers events in two ways: Light engagement with Chime Go or a full engagement platform for virtual and in-room attendees with second-screen technology (Chime Live).”
Vaskelis says that Chime Go was intentionally built as a full-service solution to relieve the pressure planners might feel about managing an event’s hybrid or virtual elements alongside the in-person experience. But unlike other event platforms, which might have elements cobbled together when you choose Encore and the Chime Go platform, you’re supported by our experienced production and technology teams. This ensures a seamless, integrated experience that allows planners to do more while managing fewer resources alongside a team they can trust.
The Chime Go event platform also features low-latency video for hybrid and virtual events. This means that anyone viewing the streamed content will see it within two to five seconds from the time it is broadcast. This is an important improvement over the industry standard lag-time of 45 seconds because it means that in-person and remote participants can interact in real-time. Participants can also chat along with the video stream and add sentiment emojis.
Another benefit to using Chime Go is its flexibility. “We started with an in-person engagement tool and added virtual capabilities,” Vaskelis says. “So, it’s a form of insurance in case you have to add or go virtual.” This is important in an environment where multiple factors might disrupt meetings and events.
Simplifying the planning process
Chime Go simplifies the planning process by providing a team that manages, produces and trouble-shoots the technology. It’s best for in-person meetings where you need a sustainable, paperless agenda and communication tool. If lead-time is a challenge, Chime Go also may be the best solution as it can be set up in as little as three days*. It works best for small or mid-sized meetings and delivers a polished and professional participant experience. It also provides engagement tools, such as the ability for participants to ask questions, upvote others’ contributions and take part in forum topics determined by the event organizers.
Chime Go operates well in in-person, hybrid or virtual event scenarios. In this way, they help planners create a Plan B for their meetings, as you can switch to a different event format if needed. Encore team members can advise on how to make the transition smooth and recommend way to achieve the best participant experience for each format. The Encore team offers free consultations if you’d like to schedule a meeting to discuss your specific needs. They also provide end-to-end event solutions for a variety of formats and technologies.
In a world where there is still so much uncertainty, isn’t it good to know that you can turn to Encore for advice, expertise and flexible solutions exist to increase your peace of mind?
*Lead times may vary in some regions.
Are you tired of seeing attendees checking their phones during your event? It’s the surest sign that someone is disengaged from what’s going on. And when one person does it, everyone around them feels a need to do the same. The average person interacts with their phone nearly three times a minute or a staggering 2,617 times a day.
Why are your event attendees disengaging? According to Fast Company, there are several reasons why people might not be paying attention to your presentations, including:
- Difficulty paying attention to both spoken and written words at the same time
- Finding the presentation boring,
- Or not being able to visualize the ideas being presented.
Therefore, how do you nip extracurricular activity in the bud and ensure participants engage with conference content? One of the best ways is to provide them with a dedicated Chime Live℠ enabled iPad.
This solution not only keeps phones out of your attendee hands, but it also elevates the in-room experience by providing multiple ways participants can interact with the event, presenters, and each other. Let’s take a look at the boundless possibilities for engagement this technology creates for meeting and event organizers.
Event technology that engages
Chime Live is a mobile event technology platform that delivers real-time conference content, interactive quizzing and polls, and essential event analytics. When attendees walk into a room where an iPad is waiting for them, it immediately makes them feel important. And it lets them know that this is an event that welcomes their participation.
Chime Live-enabled iPads act as a second-screen, and is a perfect in-person event solution, displaying the speaker presentations in an interactive handheld format. Attendees can pinch and zoom each slide to see details, go back to review anything they’ve missed, and take notes on content they want to remember.
By having an iPad in their hands, they’re less tempted to pull a phone out, especially since the iPad allows them to zoom in on what’s being presented. The ability to go back and review or capture the content also aids learning and comprehension. And the technology prevents participants from skipping ahead, so audiences remain focused on what is happening in the room.
The Q&A feature allows attendees to ask questions from the comfort of their seats. This encourages both introverts and extroverts to participate in the conversation. It gives everyone a voice and eliminates the need to wait for a mic to express it.
Additionally, the platform provides presenters with interactive tools, such as polls and quizzes, and heatmaps, which provide an interactive image for participant voting.
For example, presenters can display a world map. As attendees touch the countries they’re hailing from, the heatmap will display color-coded concentrations, with the greatest number reflected in warmer shades and areas of lesser concentration in cooler colors.
Event technology that connects
Networking tools are another compelling reason to utilize the Chime Live event platform for in-person meetings. Chime Live offers features to help your event attendees connect prior, during, and after your live event. Here are ways you can get your attendees to enhance their networking participation:
- After participants create a user profile, they can open the “Connect” feature, which uses a matching algorithm to suggest fellow attendees with shared interests or attributes.
- Event organizers can customize these designations to increase the relevance of these matchmaking suggestions for their group.
- The “messaging” feature then allows participants to contact and connect with people they want to meet.
Event technology that informs
Chime Live-enabled iPads can push out surveys and feedback forms to collect responses from event participants. The Analytics dashboard offers real-time insight into conference activity. Post-event reports also can provide the planner with insights into engagement levels.
One of the benefits of using the Chime Live platform is the full-service Encore event team that comes with it. In addition to helping event organizers develop and execute their engagement strategy, the Concise team provides planners with an analytics dashboard that displays real-time information on how many participants are turned in, how engaged they are, and what live polling response levels look like. Onsite, Encore technicians push all these interactive elements to the iPads at carefully timed moments to keep attention levels high. If any metrics are lower than expected, the Encore team can cue notifications to boost in-room interaction. Post-event, Encore provides event organizers with in-depth analytics reports.
Interested in creating anticipation, increasing engagement, and promoting two-way conversations between conference presenters and participants? Contact us for a free consultation on how Chime Live and iPads can enhance your next event.