How to enhance learning, memory and mood with the cross-connection of senses  

Marcel Proust’s masterpiece Remembrance of Things Past begins with the narrator enjoying the taste, touch and smell of a cookie dipped in tea. That simple multisensory experience transports him back in time to his childhood, kicking off an epic multi-volume adventure. Similarly, what participants touch, taste and smell at your event can evoke positive memories and emotions, making your event unforgettable. 

There’s a deep connection between what we experience through our senses and how we learn, process emotions and relate to others. Think about babies and small children. When they are upset, they are comforted by touch or swaddling. When they are curious about what something is, they shove it in their mouth. And how willing they are to eat something is directly proportional to how it smells. Clearly, when we were small, we learned about the world by feeling, tasting and smelling it. We may be older, but those senses still inform how we feel about environments, people and experiences. That’s why it’s crucial to incorporate sensory information into your event experience. In the first part of our series, we shared how sound affects audience engagement. Read on to learn more about how touch, taste and smell can be incorporated into your event design to enhance the experience.

The effect of touch on social connection
and learning

Touch is one way that people display affection for one another. Being touched releases ‘happiness’ chemicals, like serotonin, in our brain. Think about how many hugs you give and receive at a conference; it’s a social bonding ritual that has the power to boost your mood. 

Touch also helps us engage on a deeper level with conference content. Think about second screen technology, like Chime Live, which allows participants to use iPads to zoom in and out of slides, rewind parts of the presentation and ask questions of the presenters. Giving attendees something to hold onto keeps them off their phones and helps them focus on what’s being presented onstage. 

Tactile sensations also help us connect playfully with others. Have you ever seen an audience engage with a Catchbox throwable microphone? The act of tossing the mic and catching it elicits lots of giggles and smiles; it’s a fun way to shake up expectations for audience feedback and presenter Q&As. 

Immersive experiences also benefit from including tactile learning experiences. For example, companies increasingly use virtual reality (VR) technology for on-the-job training. Another effective way to enhance learning comprehension is through the use of augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality technologies. Research has found that well-designed AR experiences cultivate problem-solving skills, improve learning outcomes and help people feel better about complex concepts. And mixed reality use increases learner satisfaction with content, technology and learning environments, even more than gamification. In fact, these multisensory educational tools not only enhance the learning experience but they increase overall interactivity and engagement with content.  

Explore more concepts in the guide, Harnessing the Potential of Touch with Technology, available for download here.

 

The effect of taste on experience and memory

Experienced event professionals take pictures of how chefs plate food and incorporate that level of detail into event menus. The reason why this is important is because what food looks like influences how it tastes. This is backed up by research that also suggests the key to designing a memorable culinary experience is making it a multisensory affair.  

For example, ambient music and background noise affects how food is consumed. Low levels of volume/music relax people and results in increased consumption of healthy foods whereas in a noisy environment, or one without any music, people are more likely to become excited and reach for unhealthy things to (over)eat.  

One pro tip to consider at your next event? Play classical, pop or cinematic music to relax participants while they dine. This can help reduce sluggish, unfocused audience behavior post-meal that can come from attendees overeating unhealthy foods.  

With Encore Music, you can choose a curated and already licensed playlist of any of these genres and beyond, influencing attendees to make choices that benefit their health — and your program’s engagement levels. 

How lighting affects dining satisfaction

In another study, researchers found that lighting can affect everything from mood to meal choices, with diners at dimly lit tables often experiencing a greater sense of contentment.

Wireless LED table lamps are a great way to set this type of atmosphere. While creating a calming, low-light environment, they can also change hues for a soft glow of color that reinforces your event theming. Simply use an IR Remote or wireless control to change their hue on cue. 

What meeting and event professionals can take away from this research is that by making intentional lighting and music choices, they can enhance their audience’s dining experience without spending more money on the food and beverage itself.  

One way to transform a meal function into a memorable experience is to incorporate tactile and visual technology. For example, interactive menus could provide peace of mind for people with food allergies or prompts for how to assemble a dish with the rest of the people at your table. Or, subtly set the mood and enhance the food presentation by lining a buffet table with colored LED table lamps. If you want to really engage participants, consider using targeted projection mapping to create a culinary experience that weaves an event theme into the meal itself. For example, table projections of sea life or garden scenes could tie what’s on the plate to 360-degree video screens surrounding the participants, transporting your audience out of the ballroom and into an extraordinary immersive environment.

For more ideas on creating immersive experiences around taste, download our Gastronomic Fusion guide by clicking here.

How aromas affect memory and mood

memory and food with armoas

Aromas are processed by the same parts of the brain that handle associative learning and emotions. This is the main reason why this sense affects behavior, mood, memory and work performance 

Have you ever wondered why real estate agents encourage home sellers to bake cookies or display apples during open houses? It’s because they know that certain scents relax, engage people and put them in a receptive mood. You can do the same thing at your event by using essential oils or an AromaTherapy machine to subtly fragrance a room. Or use natural elements like flowers or branches as décor that engages the sense of smell. 

Align scents you deploy with your desired audience behavior. For example, a recent Japanese study discovered that diffusing lemon scent through an office improved worker focus and performance, reducing errors by 50 percent and increasing productivity by 54 percent. Lemon would be a great aroma for strategic planning or training sessions. Research has found that rosemary reduces cortisol levels in the bloodstream, which means it would be a phenomenal scent to use if you want to reduce stress and help participants relax. 

To learn more about leveraging scent, download our guide, Scented Storytelling: Creating Memorable Experiences here.

 

Why multisensory events matter

Education and networking remain the top reasons why people attend events. However, the pandemic has changed participant behavior. Audiences have different expectations, ways they want to engage and a hunger for nontraditional environments. Designing multisensory events meets all these needs by using proven methods for engaging areas of the brain that help people relax, learn, connect, enjoy and remember what they experience onsite.

Interested in learning how to harness all the senses? Click here.

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.

Extraordinary results

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.

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 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.

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.
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.

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.

If you use LED to run keywords from the keynote and use it as a billboard to share critical ideas and information,” he says, “you can transform a cold space into a warmer place for people to connect to your event and each other."

“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.

The clarity and resolution of LED walls are one of the advantages they hold over traditional projection devices. “You’re able to achieve a higher impact with LED walls than with a projector,” Futch says. The resolution of a projector decreases as you increase the size of the projection, whereas the LED image remains the same resolution regardless of size.

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.

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:

  1. Difficulty paying attention to both spoken and written words at the same time
  2. Finding the presentation boring,
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Event organizers can customize these designations to increase the relevance of these matchmaking suggestions for their group.
  3. 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.

Chime Live - Elevate the In-Room Experience for Your Event Attendees

Hint: It depends on how much time you have to plan.

You may not have the luxury of a generous planning window to put together your next hybrid event, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options to bring people together in exciting new ways. In fact, a wealth of high-quality platform solutions exist to help you expand your in-person event reach, connect with new audiences, encourage remote/in-person participant collaboration and engagement. One of the best ways to determine which event platform and how much support you need is to start with how much time you have to plan.

Too pressed for time to shop for an event platform? Encore provides a curated selection of best-in-class solutions, which we’ve highlighted below. (And if you’ve already selected a platform, the Encore team can provide production and/or creative support.)

Here’s our short list of platform solutions for hybrid meetings and events, based on your event lead time. Read on to learn about the boundless possibilities these platform technologies offer.

If you only have 1-2 weeks to plan

Zoom video conferencing is best for small, casual meetings. It’s also often used to stream content, like webinars and concurrent sessions, that is embedded in more dynamic viewing platforms.

This is the go-to hybrid event platform for several good reasons. But even with the slimmest of planning windows, you’ll have a better-quality event if you don’t try to run it off your company’s Zoom license.

What you may not realize is that Zoom comes in three flavors:

  1. Basic (free) accounts which are bound by a 40-minute time limit and a restricted set of features
  2. Professional accounts, which companies or individuals purchase to extend meeting times and gain access to more robust features, like webinar registration
  3. Enterprise accounts, which are only available to companies like Encore

What’s the difference between using your company’s professional Zoom license and using an enterprise Zoom account provided by Encore?

      • Multiple licenses are at your disposal, which helps you create educational “tracks” or concurrent streams for your event
      • Content can be recorded to the cloud rather than desktop-only
      • You don’t have to purchase a new license if your event grows; enterprise licenses can scale to handle groups of 500 or 5,000
 

Plus, if you go with a full-service event technology provider, like Encore, your event will be supported in real-time by a human staff who can troubleshoot and produce a seamless event for you. Another benefit of partnering with Encore is that our team stays on top of the newest third-party Zoom integrations, which means we can point out solutions that you can add to Zoom to increase functionality and enhance participant engagement. To make planning easier, Encore has created a new solution for Hybrid Small Meetings that’s ideal with Zoom and essential technology ready to go — so you can just show us and let us worry about the setup.

If you have at least 3 weeks to plan

Looking for a self-service solution? The Cvent Attendee Hub is best for events that need a way for exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees to network and set up 1:1 appointments with each other before they arrive on-site. It also works well for conferences that have multiple sessions and activities.

Cvent Attendee Hub allows you to quickly get your event up and running. Features include:

      • Integrated video equipment to create virtual events with live or pre-recorded content
      • Engagement features like live Q&A, chat, polling, and feedback surveys to keep sessions interactive
      • Meeting scheduling capabilities for groups or individuals so participants, exhibitors, and sponsors can connect and network
      • CEU tracking and certificate delivery for professional development education
      • Participant tracking to analyze attendee patterns of attendance and survey responses
 

If you’d rather have a fully-supported quick start event app, you might prefer using Chime Go. Chime Go is a paired-down mobile-friendly solution that works well for conference organizers who want to give participants the ability to customize their event schedules. 

The Encore team can configure Chime Go in multiple ways to support in-person, virtual, and hybrid meetings. Chime Go features a mobile-based agenda and in-room engagement tools, as well as a microsite that can be built around your streaming conference content or hybrid meeting. Benefits include:

      • A quick start, branded conference site accessible via mobile or other devices to elevate the attendee experience, with self-registration, agenda, map pdfs, the ability for participants to ask questions (customer moderated), upvote others’ questions, and take notes that they can send to themselves. Add-on options include sponsor banners and fundraising links
      • A hybrid-ready microsite with all of the above, plus the option to include streaming windows for participants to watch the live broadcasts or on-demand content. Other options include chat and sentiment stream, closed captioning, Zoom meeting integration, and more

If you have at least 4 weeks to plan

Interested in blending the in-person experience with the digital one? Consider creating a choreographed hybrid experience with Chime Live, a powerful digital storytelling platform. Chime Live works well for high-profile events where you want attendees to feel special. It also is a good fit for events that prioritize two-way conversations between the presenters and the audience, as it provides robust collaboration and engagement tools.

      • Pre-event, Chime Live provides a branded registration platform, sponsor areas, social media sharing, and pertinent event information
      • During the event, participants interact with Chime Live via mobile app to view, vote on, submit questions, and interact with conference content
      • Post-event, Chime Live shares insights on participant interactions, submitted questions, and other data

If you have at least 6 weeks to plan

Looking to maximize engagement and impress your audience? Chime Live is ideal if you have at least a six-week planning window. These Chime Live engagement add-ons enhance the in-person and remote elements of events by providing a deeper way for presenters to connect with the audience, and for event participants to customize their event experience. You’ll receive all the bells and whistles mentioned above, plus:

Choreographed event design to focus attendees on what they need to see or do on the platform by pushing slides and pop-up interactive polls, Q&A, and more, in real-time

      • Choreographed event design to focus attendees on what they need to see or do on the platform by pushing slides and pop-up interactive polls, Q&A, and more, in real-time
      • Customized user interfaces for in-person and remote experiences
      • Personalized journeys featuring segmented or integrated experiences and customized agendas to support your organization and participants’ objectives
 

Another option is the Cvent Attendee Hub platform, which you can transform into a full-service solution by engaging the Encore team to help. The Encore team can support you during the design, set-up, and production phase. It’s a great choice for larger events, especially if you want to maximize engagement and let professionals manage the technology for you. In addition to the bells and whistles with the self-service option, the full-service version offers:

      • Worry-free tech set-up, streaming, and production support, provided by the Encore team
      • Integrated Cvent registration
      • On-demand viewing functionality
      • Gamification
      • Customized attendee hub configured to suit your needs

If you have more than 8 weeks to plan

Consider leveraging all the above-mentioned perks of the Chime Live platform and elevating the experience for your remote attendees by adding a virtual lobby that allows them to “physically” interact with each other and content at the event through avatars. This functionality works well with global expositions, conferences and trade shows that need to provide an interactive online environment that is as compelling for its remote participants as for its in-person ones.

Create an immersive 2-D or 3-D virtual environment that recreates elements familiar to in-person conferences, such as lobbies, theaters, virtual trade show booths, and networking lounges with Notified from Intrado. This platform accommodates large events and exhibitions and is a fantastic choice for events attracting a large number of remote attendees. Benefits of the platform include:

      • Broadcast studio-quality streaming
      • AI-driven matchmaking software and video chat options
      • Sponsorship packages
      • Custom-branded areas
      • Full-service creative, production, and design assistance from the Encore team

If you have more than 12 weeks to plan

If Notified by Intrado is on your list, and you have a three-month window before the event, you can add an integrated registration option to the immersive elements mentioned above. These options work very well for virtual expos and conferences.

It’s no secret that conference content not only drives attendance but also generates on-site brand publicity through social media engagement and can generate significant post-event revenue. If you have a generous planning window of at least 12 weeks, you should consider hiring a content development team to design, source, and produce different elements of your conference content. Encore offers Creative services that can:

      • Design presentation templates and create presentations
      • Transform your brand logo into an animated asset
      • Produce short and long-format video segments and interstitial video “stingers” to introduce speakers, promote sponsors and highlight event elements before, during, and after the event
      • Create motion graphics and animations to spice up in-person and broadcast content
      • Coach speakers and ghost-write executive speeches
      • Capture images and video on-site
 

Encore can also provide on-site presentation management with Content1, a fully supported system for collecting and distributing presentation files to meeting spaces at events. Presenters can upload their presentations from their home or office pre-event, then check into our Speaker Ready Room on-site for final revisions, uploads, and review.

Presentations are automatically transferred to the meeting rooms and delivered from a single, customized computer, ensuring the final revision is presented without delays during the meeting.

Where do you fall on this spectrum? 

Has this guide helped you select a potential hybrid event platform? Or are you still wondering what the best options are for your event? Encore is happy to help. We offer free consultations. Even if you’ve selected an event platform, we can consult with you on how to elevate your event. Connect to an Encore team member here.

To help you remember the different platform solutions, we created this infographic you can download and keep with you.

Platform solutions by lead times

One of the easiest ways to select a hybrid event platform is by how much time you have to organize it. Here’s what we suggest. If you want help selecting a platform, or need assistance setting up and running one you’ve already selected, Encore can help, too. Get in touch for a free consultation.

In the past decade, competitive online gaming and Esports have experienced a meteoric rise in popular culture and its economic value. Professional esports have long caught up to traditional sports when it comes to prize pools, sponsorships, and production quality, and transitioning your independently run esports events to large-scale competitions can be costly and very complex. But before we dive into how to expand in the esports world, let me paint a quick picture for you.

The gaming industry is growing rapidly with no signs of hitting pause. In 2021, the global eSports market was valued at just over 1.08 billion U.S. dollars, an almost 50 percent increase from the previous year. Industry projections forecast the Esports market is to be worth approximately $1.62 billion by 2024  with North America being one of the largest markets.  

Esports tournaments are making a digital splash in the event industry. In fact, in recent years the League of Legends competition has drawn more viewers than the Super Bowl or NBA finals. Events during the last two years were affected due to the pandemic, but nevertheless, its scope is indicative of the growth, market value, and excitement surrounding the esports industry. Esports is so popular that Comcast is constructing a $50 million arena so fans can watch live,and a new US$500 million stadium breaking ground in Toronto, Ontario owned by Overactive Media.

Esports Arena

Source: Sportspro Media

As the world returns to pre-pandemic conditions, the esports industry is moving in the same direction, with many large-scale esports events already booked for 2022. Hosting an esports tournament is a great way to enter a cutting-edge niche, boost business, connect with peers in the community and showcase the fast-paced skill and tactical gameplay. However, when it comes to reliable event planning, the gap is still wide open. 

Esports events can last anywhere from a single afternoon to multiple days, and they rely heavily on tech. Venue sourcing is making or breaking for this event arena. Learn essential venue requirements for esports so your next event is gamer ready.   

1. There is always room for more 

Long gone are the days when teams of five players fought each other in the videogame frontier. The venue must be large enough to hold a big crowd. Some past Esports events have recorded audiences of over 100,000 people. Smaller venues can make players feel uncomfortable. No player wants disturbance from spectators or the audience during intense moments of play. 

However, venues that are too big for an esports event can come with their own set of problems. Being too far from the live-action can lead to frustration and boredom in the audience, and they will opt to watch the tournament from home the next time. Planning and collaboration with an experienced event technology team can help avoid this.  

Arlington, Texas has the largest Esports stadium in North America. With dedicated venues emerging or being built for esports, there are still many types of venues that can host various esports needs:  

  • Esports venues  
  • Movie complexes/theatres  
  • Convention centers 
  • Small venues 
  • Pro sports stadiums 
  • Shopping malls

     

2. Licensing

Copyright laws apply to video games, as well as to other published works. Game developers and publishers have the right to approve or disapprove of the use of their games in public tournaments. Many publishers sell licenses to esports tournament organizers and third-party leagues as a source of revenue. The rising popularity of these events gives an opportunity to promote their games.  

It’s imperative to contact the gaming company well in advance of your planned event, to ensure that you will have sufficient time to secure the necessary licenses and permissions for your particular event.

3. Event technology and support for gaming: 

Esports events need massive amounts of electronic equipment and a robust power system. There can be hundreds of players or spectators using the power supply to charge their laptops or mobile phones at the same time. The facility must have power strips on every row to allow players to access the power supply. It is also necessary to have a backup plan in case of power outages. 

In addition to having a strong power supply distribution and a backup plan, hiring ground staff like A/V personnel is also a good idea. The last thing you want is players or spectators struggling with technology or power connections during your event. 

Event technology also plays an important role to foster a social experience. Large-scale video screens are required to support gameplay, and high-fidelity audio is necessary to hear the play-by-play and commentary. Adding custom fabricated scenery and set pieces that complement the game themes are another way to enhance the experience at your event.  

4. Internet connection: 

Most online multiplayer games are played in real-time with other real-life players, so high-speed broadband internet at the venue is critical. Hundreds of gamers will be playing in one place at one time, the internet connection must be strong enough to support all the digital action.  

Slow connections frustrate players, and your spectators (including those on-site and streaming from home on Youtube or Twitch)  can lose interest quickly, resulting in negative publicity for your event. The negative buzz serious gamers can generate if they can’t enjoy or stream their favorite competition can destroy an event.  

Check out our Bandwidth Calculator on how to best plan for large scale gameplay: https://www.encore-can.com/bandwidth-calculator/

5. Tech-savvy staff:  

Players of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros, can be found at various esports tournaments. Consider tech-savvy support staff to circulate and help attendees get connected, answer questions during the event, and troubleshoot issues.   

You may also require additional event staff to direct players and spectators to proper areas, assist with check-in, keep times and scores, or assist with F&B sales. Hire a knowledgeable host or event production company to oversee the staff and ensure the event is a success. Destination management agencies are experts at transporting attendees by the hundreds or thousands when dealing with multiple venues. Dedicated esports venues have in-house staff, but for stand-alone sites, you will have to add temporary staff to the budget.   

Our gaming and esports capabilities:

Encore is an event experience company, providing creative production, advanced technology, and staging solutions to help you deliver impactful experiences at your gaming and esports events. Our approach is to understand your goals and align our resources and solutions to ensure your event blends creativity and innovative technology for an inspiring fan and attendee experience.

We can support all aspects of events from planning through execution. Our highly trained staff delivers innovative solutions in support of events ranging from small tournaments to global championship events with thousands of attendees. As our customers look to deliver more dynamic and impactful esports events, the services we provide become increasingly critical to their planning process. Our services go beyond traditional technology to include cutting-edge solutions like creative event design, virtual events, internet connectivity, bandwidth management, overhead rigging, content development, digital services, 3-D mapping, exhibit services, and much more.

Plan Your Event

Planning to organize a gaming event or scale your esports event business? We’ve got you covered. Encore simplifies all your venue and event requirements.  

Through our services and technology, Encore will help you create the ultimate live, virtual or hybrid event. We are proud of our position as the trusted, exclusive on-site event provider of choice at more than 2,100 leading venues including sports and entertainment venues, casinos, hotels, resorts, and convention centers.