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.

From sound effects to targeted audio, learn how to amplify participant experiences

Sounds provoke powerful emotions. The sound effects in a movie make us lean forward with anticipation or jump in surprise. A song on the radio has the power to transport us to another time and place instantly. Conversely, when you can’t hear what’s going on, you tune out. And when sound quality is degraded, it negatively affects people’s ability to communicate, learn and focus. That’s why sonic engagement is a powerful tool in any meeting or event professional’s arsenal. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, when people hear sound, it ‘lights’ up brain areas involved in emotion, memory and even physical movement. That’s why intentionally chosen music, video stingers and well-produced high-quality audio amplifies the emotional impact of a conference program and makes it more memorable. Let’s examine how integrating sound and engaging participants’ hearing can enrich onsite events.

Want an in-depth look at audio strategies that improve the attendee experience? Download our free guide for more pro tips and smart insights.

Traditional sonic tools and technologies

One in eight people in the United States over the age of 12 has hearing loss in both ears. Nearly ten percent of adults between the ages of 55 and 64 have disabling hearing loss. That’s why it’s important not to cut corners on how you employ traditional event audio tools. It’s important that the correct type of amplification is used throughout your event spaces to deliver high-quality audio.  

Traditional sonic tools and technologies include:

    • Speakers
    • Microphones
    • Monitors
    • Audio mixers
    • Closed captioning
    • Simultaneous translation

To aid comprehension, consider close-captioning event audio for the in-person audience. This not only helps the hearing disabled, but also for non-native English speakers. Simultaneous translation, whether AI-generated or using a live translator, is a must for international meetings.  

Setting the mood with music

Music sets audience expectations and influences their mood. For example, playing ambient jazz can help participants relax before you discuss difficult topics. If you’ve had people sitting in meetings all day, dance music can boost their mood and get them excited for evening activities. 

For any public event, music played needs to be properly licensed. Your pro subscription to a streaming service won’t protect you or your organization from liability if you’re caught playing a personal playlist. 

One solution is Encore Music. It offers more than 300 curated and properly licensed music playlists for commercial background music use. It also offers a royalty-free music solution with more than 100,000 tracks, sound effects and loops for virtual/hybrid events and stingers that you can edit and use for videos, motion graphics and walk-in/walk-out music. 

Combining sound with other senses to create more inclusive events

Some audio technologies engage the sense of touch as well as hearing. One such tech tool is a throwable microphone, called a Catchbox. It’s a fun way to keep your audience engaged. Audience members can toss the Catchbox to each other instead of waiting for mic runners to reach them. Because people don’t have to move from their seat to be heard, it also makes it easier for people with physical disabilities or more introverted dispositions to join in the conversation. 

Examples of using sound to create
multisensory experiences

When you’re creating an immersive experience, pay attention to the sound design. Sound effects and cues provide subtle information about our environments and can reinforce the illusion you’re creating. For example, the sound of waves and seagulls transport us to the beach; crickets remind us of relaxing summer evenings. 

Flying speakers from rigging gives you better sonic coverage of large spaces than floor-based speakers do. But did you know it also gives you the ability to create directional audio? When sounds ‘move’ from one speaker to another in sequence, it immerses the audience in a sonic bath that moves from one side of the room to the other. This can emphasize motion graphics, key presentation points and complete the feeling of being in a dynamic environment. 

Targeted audio can create sonic zones. Museums often use this to educate people as they look at a specific item. Targeted audio can only be heard within a tight radius. Once you move outside that cone of sound, the audio disappears. It’s a fantastic solution for trade shows when you don’t want sound to bleed over from one booth to another. 

Next-generation event audio engagement

Wireless technology allows you to create ‘silent conferences,’ where speakers can only be heard by audience members wearing headphones. Presenter mics transmit sound wirelessly only to the headphones in that vicinity. This allows for several activations or presentations to happen in a shared space. When participants want to move on, they can change the frequency on their receiver or remove their headphones. 

Audio also can be used to create synchronized individual experiences. A fun example of this is Improv Everywhere’s MP3 Experiments. Participants download an MP3 and are asked to bring a short list of items to a specific location. At the designated start time, individuals play the MP3, which leads them through a series of prompts and activities. The result is a playful group experience that each individual feels they helped create. 

The benefits of partnering with experienced
audio partners

High quality sound is a basic building block of any event. People need to hear what’s going on, otherwise they’ll disengage with the content. High quality sounds help people pay attention, connect and enjoy themselves. It’s an essential tool for crafting memorable events.

An experienced audio partner will ensure all your presenters and participants can be heard. They also can recommend fun and unexpected ways to engage audiences sonically, such as through directional sound or attention-grabbing music cues. Best of all, if your audio partner is on the same team as your event technology provider, you can breathe easy, knowing all the elements of your event will be seamlessly integrated with your vision and goals. That makes designing multisensory experiences more seamless and successful.

Want to learn more about leveraging audio solutions to design immersive, unforgettable events? Download our guide Symphony of Sound: Orchestrating Emotional Connections. 

It happens to everyone. The holiday season creeps up on us and before you know it, it’s November! For us event planners, that usually comes with the annual task of planning a corporate holiday party. 

We always want to keep both our stakeholders and attendees happy. So here comes the million-dollar question: how can I make my event different than last year? Even if you’ve already booked your venue, it’s not too late to add some extra ideas to make your holiday party stand out and keep your guests talking about it well into the new year. 

Décor and theming – Crafting an extraordinary holiday event demands a fusion of imaginative flair and meticulous planning. The key lies in harnessing a carefully curated theme and décor to imbue gatherings with a magical ambiance, whether it’s a whimsical winter wonderland, a timeless holiday soirée, or a contemporary reimagining of tradition. By artfully blending a thematic concept with thoughtfully chosen décor, you can transcend the ordinary and elevate your holiday event, creating an immersive experience that resonates with guests. 

Light it Up – Depending on how big your event– and your budget – is, lighting is the easiest and most effective way to add décor to your event. If your guest list is rather small and intimate, tasteful string lights carried throughout the ceiling would be a nice touch to add a twinkle effect. Or, if you have a large space for a lot of people, you can really knock it out of the park and video map a snowy winter background across the walls to give that true holiday party feel. 

Bust a Move – What’s a party without music? This event is probably the one time of year everyone at your company can let their hair down together. Give your guests something to dance to with a curated playlist of tunes that’ll keep them going long into the night. Don’t forget to protect yourself from any legal issues by using music that is licensed for public performance. Playback music providers, such as Encore Music, include the appropriate licensing and royalty fees. All you have to do is select the station (which is difficult enough!). Or looking for something a little extra special, hire a DJ or live band.  

Use Cool Event tech – Elevate your holiday gathering with state-of-the-art event technology from Encore. From stunning visual to projection mapping and from Augmented Reality solutions to Holograms, we have got it all to make you event shine. Explore the possibilities here and make this holiday season unforgettable.  
 
Augmented Reality: 

Add a touch of magic to your event with the perfect blend of traditional charm and cutting-edge technology. Encore’s AR Posters and center pieces enable guests to immerse themselves in the festive spirit through their mobile devices. Simply point your camera at the print and witness a dazzling display of digital animations and motion graphics that bring your message to life.  

  • AR Gift Hunt: Design an AR scavenger hunt where users follow virtual clues or markers to find hidden gifts or holiday-themed objects in their surroundings. Each discovery could unlock a part of a festive story or reveal a special offer. 
     
  • AR Greeting Cards: Design holiday greeting cards that, when viewed on your mobile phone. Play personalized messages, display 3D animations, or even showcase a mini virtual holiday play.


Hologram:
 

That’s not all—step into the future with our holographic technology, designed to create a lifelike, real-time or scheduled, volumetric digital experience for your event. It brings the magic and power of the digital world into a real holographic presence. Whether you’re looking to beam a presenter to your event without having to travel, showcase a holiday message in an innovative way, or create an impactful experience for event attendees, this award-winning technology is a wow experience that will deliver your message in a memorable way. This year, let our hologram add that extra touch of magic to your celebration! Learn more! 

Add an Instagram Wall – One of the most fun and trendy additions, a decorative wall to take Instagram selfies and group snapshots is an easy way to get your party on social media. For the holidays, get creative with ornaments, greenery, or tinsel. You can even add props like reindeer ears, Santa hats, or party horns to engage your guests. 

Don’t overcomplicate the Menu – Holiday parties are a great time for guests to mingle with coworkers they might not see every day. This year, forgo a plated meal and opt for a cocktail-style reception with food stations. Not only is it a great way to get your guests interacting in a mixer-style fashion, but it’s also an easy way to address food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Leave it to Your Encore Experience Team – Because we’ve planned countless holiday events, let us help. Just like the rest of your coworkers, you’ve worked hard all year long. Don’t miss out on your own party by stressing over the details throughout the event! The simplest additions to your holiday party can leave a lasting impression. Talk to your Encore account representative today about how you can incorporate these ideas to make your 2023 holiday party the best yet. 

Let’s Talk About Your Holiday Event  Needs.

Call us at (647) 824-9189 or fill out the form below to get started!

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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. To address these hurdles, let’s consider some key audience facts:
 

      • 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.

      • Higher Expectations for Content:

        When it comes to the crowd-pleasing content people routinely engage with,
        such as popular streaming shows, even singular episodes have soaring production value. Episodes of 
        The Crown cost an average of about $13 million, and high-end streaming dramas like Stranger Thingsnow see price tags of $4 to $7 million per episode.

      • Higher Expectations for Digestible Content:


        Thanks to platforms like TikTok, which deliver fast-paced, hyper-targeted content to each of its 1.67 billion users, the bar for engagement is set incredible high. Your tech-savvy participants are used to being able to find, filter and immediately interact with media specifically selected for them by the platform’s scarily effective algorithm. If you want to earn (and keep!) attendees’ attention in today’s digital landscape, your content needs to fulfill their higher expectations.
         

Considering the impact of these trends, it has become more difficult to entertain and engage an audience and easier than ever to distract them. So, what should you keep in mind to ensure your content is compelling and has a lasting influence on your participants? Read on to learn 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: 

  1. 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.  

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.

mega verse image of woman standing in front of moving LED

*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
our moods

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.  


“When people are in an environment that has a fair amount of red accent light, their pulse rate increases slightly and they tend to breathe a little bit faster, which actually equates to them being able to think more analytically. This means that they are able to crunch numerical data better than in say a blue room which has the converse effect.”

The sway color has on our mindset and behavior has become so renowned, in fact, that prisons have even used a specific shade of pink, known as “drunk tank pink,” in efforts to calm violent prisoners.  

drunk tank pink - pink prison bars to calm violent prisoners

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
technology solutions 

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.  

video mapping and colors

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 consultationon 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! 

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.

Online gaming events and tournaments were a hot commodity during the pandemic. The gaming industry has been growing rapidly with no signs of hitting a 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 to be worth approximately US$1.62 billion by 2024 with North America being one of the largest markets. 

With the increasing vaccination rates around the world, masks are coming off, offices are filling up; it looks like people feel comfortable returning to social life and public gatherings. The next wave of in-person events is at our doorstep.

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.

A deep passion and joy are at the heart of what was once merely a childhood recreation for most players now turned into fierce competitive profession that can rival some established professional sports in personal earnings and notoriety…

The Esports market is comprised of a devout group full of exceptional tactical gameplay, extremely quick mental skills, and an even greater competitive spirit. The fans make up the majority of this community, the professional players an even smaller fraction, then even more rare are those tournament organizers and planners who have the stamina, organizational skills and bravery to actually plan, coordinate and host these seemingly monstrous undertakings. Like with any major event, hosting an Esports tournament is one of the most exhausting, yet rewarding tasks within the community.   

Step 1: Do Your Research — Check Out Other Esports Events

Step 2:  What Kind of Event Do You Want to Organize?

Step 3: What are the Essential Requirements for your event?

Step 4: What’s Your Budget?

Step 5: Promote Your Event

Step 6: Market Your Event to Others


Encore Gaming Capabilities

Plan Your Esports Event with Encore

Step 1: Do Your Research — Check Out Other Esports Events


Studying what others do is a fundamental part of your own hosting experience. The best way to learn how to organize Esports tournaments is to attend some yourself.

Attending tournaments organized by other parties gives you a chance to experience events from the perspective of audience members. You can scope out the scene, make contacts, and talk to players to gather the information that will be helpful in planning your own tournament. You might even be able to meet people who organized the event. Ask them lots of questions and take notes on everything.

What’s better? You can also participate in one of the tournaments.

Being a participant will give you a different perspective that will help you in planning and organizing your event. You can find out what motivates players to participate. This will also help you be a part of or build your own gaming community.

Step 2: What Kind of Event Do You Want to Organize?


Esports events come in all shapes and sizes and can last anywhere from a single afternoon to multiple days.  Knowing what kind of event you want to host will help determine the factors involved in planning and holding the tournament.

Here are a few things to consider when organizing an Esports tournament:

Choose your game:

The first thing to do when organizing an Esports tournament is what type of game you want to play and how many people will take part in it. When it comes to Esports tournament games, there are several ways to make a choice. Be wise and choose games that are popular/trending and will appeal to a larger audience. For example, games like League of Legends, Fortnite, and CS:GO have a huge following. 

Make an effort and ask your target audience. Talk to fellow gamers to determine which game is more popular in your community. Settling on a game that is not popular or one that you don’t know well can bring a lot of additional work.

Design your format:

Esports gaming tournaments include group and bracket stages to determine a winner. If your event is big and you anticipate many participants, a single or a double elimination bracket is the fastest and easiest way to decide a winner. Round robin or Swiss seeding can be more time-consuming, as it provides an opportunity for each player to run against every other contestant in the tournament.

Free or do you want to monetize your event?

What are your events goals and objectives? Are you looking to build or grow your gaming community? Are you organizing the event to build your brand? Are you planning an event to increase your revenue or earn big profits? Monetizing an event could include all sorts of things like:

  • Sponsorships
  • Ticket sales
  • Concessions
  • Vendor market
  • Signage and way finding ads
  • Online event app ads
  • Video streaming
  • Bets

You’ll need to decide on how you’ll collect money and how you’ll reward the winners. Automating the process can make it much easier for you.

Step 3: What are the Essential Requirements for Your Event?


Venue:

Esports tournaments can be held in a variety of locations. It’s better to pre-plan and decide on your event needs and potential audiences when choosing a venue. Not all venues will be able to provide what you need. Some venues may have limitations or certain restrictions on what your event can include.

Scope out the different venues available to you and make a list of all the important factors. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the venue big enough for your estimated audience?
  • Does the venue have proper licenses or do you need an event permit?
  • Does the venue allow food and drinks?
  • Is the internet connection strong and reliable?
  • Does the venue provide a backup generator?
  • Does the venue have ample parking?
  • Is the venue close to public transit?
  • Are there enough electrical outlets and room to set up equipment?
  • Does the venue have restrooms and adequate seating?

Planning and collaboration with an experienced event solution partner can help answer all these questions.

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 event.

Event technology:

Esports events need massive amounts of electronic equipment and a robust power system for the players alone. An Esports gaming tournament setup must include enough powerful computers to carry out several hours or days of the competition. It’s also important to have a strong power supply distribution and a backup plan in case of power outages.

More importantly, the audiovisual support and event technology you leverage can greatly unlock greater potential for your brand and allow your audience to scale and grow – maximizing the usage of the chosen venue. From essential sound and lighting to immersive visuals and massive LED video walls, you need an extensive suite of on-site and digital technology offerings to maximize the event experience and connect participants.

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. Both the local network infrastructure and the internet connection service must be strong enough to support all the digital action.

Slow connections frustrate players, create unfair competition, and your spectators can lose interest quickly, resulting in negative publicity for your event. Check out our Bandwidth Calculator on how to best plan for large-scale gameplay:

https://www.encore-can.com/bandwidth-calculator/

Event teams and admin crew:

Consider hiring 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 for:

  • Contestant check-in and ticket sales
  • Seating arrangements
  • Announcements and schedule monitoring
  • Referees for keeping scores, rules, and gameplay tracking
  • Tech personnel for troubleshooting
  • Food and beverages
  • Merchandise sales
  • Hotel accommodations agents
  • Shuttle and transportation coordinators

Step 4: What’s your Budget?


The budget is possibly the most important thing to consider when planning any event. You’ll want to carefully plan and consider your budget so that you don’t overcommit yourself with inadequate funds. Consider your goals and determine what is reasonable to spend on the event. You’ll also want the budget to match the size of the event.

Here’s a list of expenses you might want to consider:

  • Marketing
  • Venue
  • Technological and equipment costs
  • Registration software or service
  • Prize money
  • Staff costs like electricians, videographers, game monitors/judges, etc.
  • Food and beverages
  • Utilities and miscellaneous

 

You can also bring in additional revenue to cover some of the costs:

  • Registration for players
  • Entrance fee for audience members
  • Sponsors
  • Vendors
  • Hardware partners


Encore Canada offers affordable Esports and gaming event options
. With a team of creators, innovators, and experts, we transform events into immersive, collaborative experiences that deliver real results.

Step 5: Market Your Event to Others


Esports gamers interact through the internet and even compete using it. Therefore, the best way to promote an Esports gaming tournament is with the help of the power of the internet.

Social media is likely the most popular and most effective mode of advertising in the 21st Century, and for this reason, it should be your #1 go-to when advertising for your event. The internet contains multiple social media platforms that you can resort to using when you market your Esports tournament. There are millions of gamers watching streams of gaming events and tournaments on social media platforms every single day! You can come up with an ad for your event and have it targeted to a particular audience. Here are a few social media platforms that you can consider using to market your Esports tournament:

  • Twitch
  • Youtube
  • Discord
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Major Esports portals


Make a strategy for pre-event, during the event, and post-event marketing. Start planning 6 to 8 weeks ahead of your event.

Esports Arena

Source: Sportspro Media

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.