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.

When it’s time to select your venue, a site visit is one of the most critical steps. Not only do you get to physically step in your space and imagine your event coming to life, it’s a chance to ask the most important questions with your potential venue team.

Unfortunately, so many of us are busy with the details of the space contracts and food and beverage minimums, that our time with AV providers is often cut short. On your next site visit, be sure to squeeze in some time with your AV partner and ask these questions to ensure a successful event.

What would you recommend to make a greater impact with my budget?

If you only ask one question, this is it.  As planners, of course we have ideas right out the gate with an inspiration board – but no one knows the space better than an on-site event experience team. During your site visit, discuss your vision and ask what they would do to make it work within your plan and budget.

Because they have worked so many events within the very space you’re standing in, they can take the groundwork of your initial plan and elevate it – whether it’s rigging screens differently for new vantage points or trying new seating levels. This discussion can change the whole direction of your event and catapult it to new heights.

What other services do you offer?

These days, AV companies do so much more than just audio-visual. With teleconferencing, content design, and event internet, the same company will likely be able to provide you with almost everything you need for your event. So, before you start the taxing process of looking around for extra technology quotes, be sure to explore the opportunity of leveraging your in-house partner.

Are there any exciting new technologies I can employ?

It’s the old adage of “if you don’t ask, you don’t know.” Technology changes rapidly, and there may be something new on the horizon offered by your event partner. Maybe it’s a new mobile engagement app that could be a great way to show meeting value to your stakeholders. Your provider will be eager to talk to you about everything they have – you just have to ask!

Who will be my point of contact, and how hands-on will they be?

Don’t wait until you’ve already signed a contract to ask this question (or worse, until there’s a day-of crisis). Ask up-front how big their team is, and who will handle which parts of your meeting. It’s also a good idea to find out if the entire team will be on-site, or if there is an off-site team (for example, in the case of internet), so you know exactly what you’re dealing with going into your meeting and who’s on first.

What information do you need from me?

Communication is a two-way street, and your event partner may have some questions for you as well that will spark some ideas. Be sure to open up the conversation and make sure they have a full understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish up-front to avoid complications later on.

Takeaways

Arming yourself with these questions for your event partner during your site visit can instill confidence in your decision with venue selection, and ensure a seamless event from the start with a team that understands your goals.

Even the smallest event can involve surprising complexity: innovative technology, remote participants, not to mention on-site changes. And with each vendor or production partner, that level of complexity becomes amplified by the need to manage additional people and processes, expectations and production schedules. That’s why – especially if you have limited time and resources – partnering with a single event production provider to weave together all your creative, production and technology needs will make your (and your team’s) life exponentially easier. Here are three smart ways to leverage the power of a single event production partner. 

1) Align on strategy and solutions to enhance the participant experience

The best event production partner will be with you and your team from the very beginning – getting to know your event goals, history and patterns and co-creating the event strategy with you. Understanding why you are meeting and what you’re trying to achieve will help them make recommendations on how to bring your vision to life.  

If this partner can manage everything from the creative design/branding to sets/décor, speaker content and coaching to onsite production and technology, then you don’t have to worry about reiterating your vision to every vendor. Your event production partner bridges that gap, ensuring that all the disparate pieces of your event are united under one coordinated, well-communicated umbrella designed to help you achieve your event goals. A single provider also means no surprises: They’ll guarantee that software is up to date, presentation audio and video synch up, SSOs and APIs are integrated, and more. This eliminates many of the barriers to enjoyment attendees experience when tech infrastructure is cobbled together between different vendors. 

Even better alignment is assured if your partner has a relationship with the host venue. Partners embedded with your host venue can facilitate relationships with the venue team and help them align with your event strategy, desired participant experience and goals. In-venue partners also have the inside track on identifying potential challenges and proposing solutions to anticipate your needs. For example, their insider knowledge and relationships with hotel service groups helps you maximize room layouts, set-ups, quick turns, show flow and the timing of breaks and meals so they synch with other events happening in the venue. This also helps them troubleshoot problems that typically pop up during live events. This optimization and alignment between all your event vendors amplifies the cohesive nature of your event, creating a truly memorable experience for your participants as well as a relatively stress-free experience for you and your team. 

Once you find an event production partner you work well with, engage them to work with you across your event portfolio. They will be able to track important per-event and year-over-year metrics that will demonstrate how your work contributes to achieving organizational objectives. And they can ensure quality, ease and consistency from one event to the next while creating an economy of scale across venues. Best of all, they’ll already know how you like to work, what you’re trying to achieve and what’s worked or needs to be improved from event to event without you needing to educate them. This kind of relationship provides an excellent customer experience that translates into exceptional events and outcomes, no matter where in the world you produce them. 

2) Leverage production partner expertise

A single production partner isn’t only an expert on event technology. Creative branding, presentations, exhibitions, hybrid events, mobile apps, general sessions or audience engagement – they comprise teams with expertise in all these areas.  

The best partner will be able to explain good, better and best solutions for creative, production and technological aspects of your event goals and budget parameters. If the partner knows the venue, they’ll know what works in each room, and how to show each space off to its best advantage. They may be able to offer bundled services or special event packages you can’t find anywhere else. They’ll also know which options might produce a similar result at a different price point, so be transparent about your budget and other constraints so they can customize recommendations for you. There’s an incredible benefit to working with a team that knows you. And who can replicate established best practices for your events, no matter where they are organized.  

You want a partner whose team is up to date on the latest trends, technologies, audience engagement and customer satisfaction strategies. When interviewing potential partners, ask how their team members are educated and trained. What kind of capital investments are they making in their people, products and technology solutions? What is their approach to customer success? Do they see challenges or solutions? Alignment with your organization’s brand values is another crucial factor to consider, as it’s an important indicator of whether they will match your organization’s commitment to delivering service excellence and customer support.

3) Trust your production partner to coordinate resources and relationships

The fastest way to put time back on your calendar is to trust your event production partner to coordinate the resources and teams needed to execute your event. If they helped set the strategy and have deep knowledge of the host venue, then they only need your brand guidelines, feedback and approval to run with the other elements.

For example, you don’t have to worry about sourcing separate providers for audience engagement technology, an event app and in-room audiovisual. The event production partner can provide all those services and teams and make sure that everything works together. You can rely on them to do everything from producing walk-in motion graphics, designing lower thirds and choosing the audio stingers to livestreaming the general session and packaging it for your online learning management system post-event. They can provide stage managers and set designers.

When you engage one provider to do everything from creating the event strategy, designing the branding and content, producing the show and executing it, then you are more easily taking a holistic approach to your event, where every element is completely aligned with your event goals. This enhances the customer experience for your participants, exhibitors and/or sponsors.

This relationship makes your life easier because you have a single point of contact: the event production partner’s project manager, who sets deadlines and deliverables and ensures all the event elements are on track. The event production partner’s team will manage the inter-team communications with the creative, production, technology and on-site team.

Because of the variety of services, products and solutions, your partnership can scale based on your needs. A single event provider puts a strong network of resources at your disposal. This is especially important if you have a complex event. If they have a regional network of warehouses and venues, they can quickly scale up to provide you with additional resources, staff and equipment to amplify what may already be onsite.

In short, engaging with a single event partner will save you time and headaches as they coordinate the moving parts required to bring your vision to life. Having a single point of contact for all your event needs streamlines communication and simplifies the planning process. Because they’re aligned with your event goals and can help you track their achievement, they make you look good and help you demonstrate the value of your event portfolio in ways that will raise your profile within your organization. Best of all, when you partner with one team from strategy to execution, you maximize alignment and deliver truly memorable experiences.

Produce a memorable experience for your meeting participants by grabbing their attention, sparking their curiosity and leaving a
lasting impressio
n

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! 

You’ve heard the term ‘immersive experiences.’ But what does that mean? Let’s go beyond the buzzword to look at how you can use cutting-edge and traditional audiovisual (AV) technology to leverage this trend. 

What is an immersive experience?

An immersive experience is one that engages one or more senses. It encourages people exposed to the experience to become active participants rather than passive observers. It invites them to relax and engage with their environment in new, more memorable ways. 

In an event context, an immersive experience can describe several things. But, at its root, it is an environment that mentally, physically and/or emotionally engages the senses:

      • Sight
      • Sound
      • Smell
      • Touch
      • Taste 


Now that we’ve defined what immersive experiences are, let’s talk about how to create them.

Using light to influence participants' mood


Lighting helps participants connect with each other. When
you’re in a darkened theater, you sit back and relax because no one can see you. But when the faces of people sitting around you are visible, you feel connected to their enjoyment of what’s happening. When they cheer or laugh, it’s easy to get swept up into that same joyous feeling. When you choreograph lighting to what’s being presented on stage, you can chart and control the audience’s emotional journey.
 

Lighting also sets a mood. Being in natural light improves mood and increases happiness. And using LED screens helps you maximize venues with natural light without sacrificing presentation visibility. 

Colors affect mood. For example, blue light accelerates the relaxation process, yellow boosts happiness and concentration, white light alleviates depression, and purple light reduces emotional and mental stress. When designing the experience you want participants to have, incorporate color theory into how you light the space. 

Let’s not forget other technology that leverages the power of sight. LED screens can transform small spaces like windows to the largest exhibit halls into whatever you want to display. When you add vibrant encompassing visuals to a room, then you can transport guests to other worlds with the push of a button. And closed captioning can assist guests with hearing loss be connected to the message directly

Leveraging sound design to encourage engagement


We’ve grown so used to hearing music when we’re out in public, that when it is absent, that creates a void. The music you select to play at your event is crucial — Creating anticipation for what will come, setting the mood and grabbing participants’ attention.
Encore Music provides carefully curated and fully licensed playlists for every occasion and audio clips that can be remixed or used for videos, walk-in music and stingers.  

Audio should be used to strategically engage participants in different ways. For example, technicians can surround the audience with sound to totally immerse them in what’s happening. They can move sounds from one side of the room to the other to create a sense of movement, including tracking with what is playing across the screens. The volume and intensity of the sound can be used to drive the event’s storytelling. 

Aside from these techniques, there are also tools like directional audio, which provides a focused stream of audio that can only be heard in a specific space. This lets you create activation areas that don’t bleed out into the rest of the event or show floor. 



You can also use “silent event” technology like headphones to hold simultaneous sessions in a communal space without interfering with anything else happening 
there. Don’t forget the power audio narration has to help visually impaired guests engage with experiences they can’t see.

Injecting scents into events

Have you ever noticed how hotel lobbies smell a certain way? Hoteliers leverage olfactory science to influence guest attitudes and mood. This is because our sense of smell is the strongest of the five senses, and the one most tied to memory and emotion. In fact, 75 percent of all daily emotions are generated due to smell. 


Scents can be used to add character to a themed environment. Think coconut oil and beaches or lavender and summer gardens. They also enhance taste. That’s why you swirl wine around a glass and smell its ‘nose’ before tasting.
 

Scents also can influence behavior. A Nike study found that subjects were willing to pay 10 to 20 percent more in scented environments. Lemon scents can increase productivity. Lavender and jasmine scents ease feelings of stress. 

Be thoughtful and judicious when you use scent, as some people are highly sensitive or allergic to perfumes. Scents can be infused through the space with atomizers, naturally distributed through floral or food displays or embedded on physical objects, like scented candles or paper. 

Engaging audiences with the power of touch


There’s
a reason why museums warn visitors not to touch sculptures. People often explore and make sense of the world by touching objects that appeal to them. Watch a baby or toddler and you’ll see how basic this instinct is.
 


Adults aren’t often encouraged to interact with objects physically, so it creates a fun, playful environment when they are permitted to do so. One way to introduce this into an educational session is to use a throwable microphone, like a
Catchbox. These cushy squares eliminate the need for mic runners as audience members can toss the microphone to each other. With some coaching on how to use it, this becomes a fun and engaging way to conduct a Q&A. 

Interactive projections and projection mapping can create opportunities for participants to play with the environment or enjoy light competition with each other. These games and experiences can be projected onto flat surfaces, like tables, floors or walls. They can also be projected onto unexpected surfaces, like falling water. 

Inviting participants to a moveable feast


When people file into a ballroom for a meal function, they think they know what to expect. Subvert those expectations by creating an immersive experience centered around their sense of taste.
 


Encore Project Manager Miguel Sanchez used projection mapping to coordinate table-based imagery and meal courses to create a
synchronized experience for nearly 400 diners. Every time a different course was served, the entire look and feel of the table shifted along with it to create a different mood around the food. This combination of technology and gastronomy transported guests visually and enhanced their enjoyment of each course. 

Putting it all together


When the
Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida Chapter wanted to amplify their 27th Annual InterContinental® Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, they partnered with Encore to transform the main dining experience and open auction event into a New York City aquarium with 360 Film and LED walls. A saltwater scent was piped into the room to enhance the illusion. The transitional experience between the opening reception/silent auction and grand ballroom featured a mesmerizing visual ‘supernature’ LED tunnel. The technology allowed the Encore team to quickly flip the grand ballroom and pump music into a new environment for the afterparty. Guests were so thrilled by the immersive experience Encore created that Make-A-Wish raised a record-breaking amount of money — twice as many donations than what was generated the previous year. 

The takeaway


Immersive events are more than a buzzword. They’re a way to enhance participants’ event experience by engaging their senses. When thoughtfully done, you don’t need fancy equipment to produce an immersive experience that engages, educates and entertains event attendees in ways that make traditional experiences feel flat. 
 

Ready to try your hand at this trend? Contact Encore to see how we can transform your next event into an immersive experience. 

Businesses all around the world are using immersive technology like virtual apps, AR, and VR to raise awareness, differentiate from competitors, and drive sales. Augmented Reality (AR) in particular is being adopted across different industries (online and offline) at a rapid rate. This spike in interest for Augmented Reality in events is being fuelled by a plethora of reasons, including ease of accessibility, advancements in immersive technology, and the overwhelmingly positive response from users.

The use of AR in events is on the rise, and for good reason: events, conferences, and meetings have become a perfect conduit for experimentation with AR, bringing a unique opportunity to integrate the digital and physical worlds for attendees. 

While most event planners have returned to planning in-person events, AR also enables audiences to experience from the comfort of their homes, an ideal tool for the current climate of both hybrid and in-person events.

The Impact of AR on Meetings and Events

Apple’s recent launch of the next generation of phones, such as the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, is a huge step towards the adoption of AR technology. Each set contains Apple’s ARKit, a free iOS 11 software that allows developers to create AR apps that provide a real word experience through digital objects. Similarly, Google’s Arcore technology has completely transformed the way we see AR, by adding the power of Augmented Reality to your Android Smartphones.

With the technology of AR so widely accessible, it’s no wonder that AR can allow every user in a room to experience the powerful messaging and images, making it perfect for boosting engagement and reinforcing messaging. The event industry is embracing this advanced technology to shape and change the way we engage, attend, and market our businesses at events.

Enhancing the Attendee Experience

Ensuring an unforgettable and positive experience for every guest is the heart of any successful event. With the many creative applications of Augmented Reality, event organizers and their partners can easily connect with attendees in many innovative ways. Whether they’re developing engaging programs, supplementing presentations and performances, or simplifying practical information to make attendance a logistical breeze, Augmented Reality helps with it all.

  • Gamification of the Attendee Experience


Adding an element of interactivity is an impactful way to add variety to events.  Gamification through mini-games, leaderboards, and interactive graphics are a great way to add a dimension of fun to events and can even aid in facilitating networking opportunities.

For example, attendees can be encouraged to meet key sponsors on a digital scavenger hunt or participate in friendly competition at select booths around the venue much like the craze of Pokemon Go.

  • Supplementary Resources for Presentations


Presentations are an integral part of business events, and AR can take them to the next level too. Activate your audience with an engaging AR-powered welcome address through their mobile device. Set the tone of the event with as the help of our MediaLab content specialists to craft a life-like ‘avatar’ of  leadership. Don’t rely simply on communicating to your audience through static PowerPoint slides: AR gives speakers a tool to invite attendees to actively participate for a more compelling presentation and a session that will strengthen the connection between the person on stage and those in the audience.

  • Virtual Tours for Your Attendees


Attending events at big and unfamiliar venues can be overwhelming, but with interactive floor plans and maps, attendees can benefit from a hassle-free, personalized guide to pinpoint where they want to go. Replacing or supplementing physical map wayfinding with an Augmented Reality experience can help guests navigate throughout the entire event space.

Boosting Brand Profiles

Augmented Reality content can be visually stunning, giving brands a wow factor to increase customer engagement and sales. By leveraging existing graphics or logos and engaging users to reveal rich digital animations and motion graphics, you can deliver a premium engagement experience for events such as trade shows, product launches and exhibitions. AR is way more than a simple marketing gimmick: it has the potential to be a tool to offer audiences customized experiences and present key information in a way that helps inform their purchasing decision-making and reinforces positive brand connections. A fully browser-based experience with 3rd party software downloads is not required and AR Active Sponsorship can optionally be integrated within a platform like Chime for even deeper integrations and data analytics.

  • Exhibiting Customised Products


Hosting trade shows often requires a large space to accommodate partners and products, especially if those products are large themselves. AR gives businesses a chance to showcase new products and services to a captive audience by bringing those same products into one space virtually. Imagine a car “viewing” station where you can select which car, you’d like to view at will and get a 360, life-size view. Or imagine seeing a beautiful destination or meeting space they could host their upcoming event. The ability for visitors to get up close and personal to explore and interact with a range a company’s products, while also being able to customise elements such as colours and interiors, is an unparalleled feature for product marketing. 

  • Amplifying Reach


AR experiences doesn’t just have to connect people on-site: their reach can be amplified beyond the walls of the venue. From on-demand geofilters to eye catching bespoke company AR experiences can offer attendees an attention grabbing innovative, and novel factor that can be shared virally across social media platforms.

  • Diversifying Sponsorship Opportunities


Augmented reality gives event organizers an additional option for revenue through innovative new sponsorship offers. This gives businesses the chance to engage with potential customers and gain brand exposure. For example, Coca-Cola’s AR campaigns in sports stadiums highlight how sponsors can have a positive impact on the attendees – creating memorable experiences for the individual during the event, as well as having a longer lifespan through sharing content more widely. 

Enhance your events with Encore Augmented Reality Capabilities:

We believe in personalizing experiences through thoughtful design and engaging story-driven visuals for augmented reality experiences, marquee mainstage events, or virtual/hybrid audiences. 

Our creative team is made up of skilled professionals with 3D design, motion graphics, filming, and editing experience. Every project, client, and event are different. What works in one environment for one client may not be the ideal solution for another. Our approach is centered around customization—taking on your project knowing it’s unlike any other before. We strive for a strategically designed, well-executed, and high-value experiences with compelling content—all customized to your vision—to meet and exceed your objectives.

AR + Integrated Digital Platform

Our Chime Live engagement platform transforms the virtual and hybrid experience with a full-service end-to-end solution tailored to your unique event needs and comprehensive integration of our Augmented Reality solutions. We customize Chime Live to tell your story and highlight what’s important, driving engagement to deliver the outcomes you need – before, during, and after your event. 

Onsite or online, Chime Live delivers seamless connectivity for in-person and remote participants for mid-size events – anywhere in the world.

Rich analytics to track AR engagement and return on investment

  • Login history
  • User info
  • Dwell time
  • Page views
  • Banner clicks
  • Leaderboard
  • Voting results
  • Device details
  • Total app interactions
  • Average interactions per person

Plan your event!

Planning to organize an event that incorporates Augmented Reality or looking to scale your event business? We’ve got you covered. Encore simplifies all your venue and event requirements while delivering upon your vision.

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.  

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.

What value do your in-person events provide? Respondents of the Encore Winter 2022 Planner Pulse Report say the greatest value their gatherings provide is networking/relationship building (74 percent). Sixty-one percent say it’s connecting people/employees to an organization’s mission/vision/values; an equal number say it’s education/training/professional development opportunities. Maximizing return on these three areas not only benefits attendees, but it also can benefit meeting professionals.  

Of course, understanding the industry landscape is another critical factor in designing meetings and events that resonate with audiences. One trend we’re continuing to see? Demand for in-person experiences remains high, with three in five planners surveyed for the Encore Winter 2022 Planner Pulse anticipating their event attendance to increase by more than 10 percent. The challenge will be to get these audiences to return next year.  

To this aim, meeting and event professionals are focused on delivering event experiences that are significant and provide clear advantages for participants. If attendees feel your conference delivered a smooth and streamlined experience, helped them build their networks, connect to the organization and gain important insights, then they’ll be satisfied and more likely to attend again. 

Finding tools to prepare attendees for events, as well as connect and engage them during the in-person experience, isn’t easy. Many of the digital tools people relied on during the pandemic fall flat when events are in person. And, according to the Winter 2022 Planner Pulse Report, there is an expected rise in this event format each quarter. 

An event platform that delivers end-to-end solutions

A notable exception is the Chime Live℠ event platform. It was developed for use at in-person events, though its capabilities have been expanded to fulfill the needs of any event format.  

During the pandemic, its virtual and hybrid event capabilities became much more robust. Now that people are meeting face-to-face again, Chime Live provides an exceptionally flexible platform that can upgrade any event format. 

With in-person events, planners can engage audiences before, during and after the program, while also taking elements of the conference off-line. Here are a few key ways this platform can do that and boost the overall impact of your next event. 

Manage complex event schedules

With Chime Live, Encore can use the agenda-building tool to create personalized itineraries for participants, based on the customer’s requirements. These individualized tracks may be pushed to separate groups of attendees.  

So, for example, if you’re planning a healthcare conference, different tracks could focus on various medical conditions, enabling you to provide targeted information to your audience segments. Alternatively, these sessions can be set up to enable participants to bookmark those they’d like to attend. 

Another advantage? These personalized conference schedules can be made available to participants before they arrive onsite. This is especially valuable in helping keep events that feature a number of different breakout sessions running smoothly and even more valuable if your event sessions are taking place across multiple venues. How? Participants simply need to use their smartphones to access their customized agenda to understand where they need to be and when or choose which sessions best speak to their goals and interests. 

Enhance your participants’ learner journey

The tool also gives conference organizers the ability to enhance the attendee’s learner journey by showcasing speakers, assigning pre-conference work and sharing educational resources, such as pre- or post-event knowledge checks. Want to deliver engaging learning opportunities throughout an event? Simply provide live polling during your desired sessions.  

Another way to bolster learning opportunities is through peer-to-peer interaction. Foster meaningful conversations about your programming by giving participants access to networking tools — these may even be provided pre-event with Chime Live. 

Provide valuable content before, during and after events

Extending access to conference content is increasing in popularity among meeting professionals. Sharing content pre-event builds anticipation and boosts marketing efforts. Post-event, content can be repackaged to increase monetization opportunities and reach new audiences. This 365-day approach to participant engagement also encourages communities to form around the conference, which can enhance your influence. 

Chime Live gives meeting organizers an effortless way to prep, organize, present and share this information directly to participants’ mobile devices before, during and after the conference. If there are changes to the schedule or speakers, or important updates about the venue, those can be handled in an instant and pushed directly to everyone’s phone or Encore-provided iPad. 

A sustainable way to keep attendees focused on conference content

One of the best perks Chime Live offers is the ability to carefully choreograph conference content to keep attendees focused and engaged during the event. With Chime Live, this process is also more sustainable. To distribute conference materials, an Encore project manager can preload all the paperless content that attendees need on Chime Live-enabled iPads. These resources can be available for attendees before, during and/or after the event for easy reference. 

Providing resources this way can up the green factor at your meeting or event by eliminating the need for packets of printed materials, like handouts and discussion guides. If you’re managing last-minute changes to attendee resources, these adjustments may be available immediately with the digital tool, rather than you needing to reprint. Distributing content this way also enhances the participant experience by giving them everything they need to connect, network and learn at their fingertips. 

Using their iPads, attendees can ask questions during sessions and upvote their favorites. They can also use the device to chat and network with each other. Planners can amplify audience engagement by pushing out interactive polls, Q&As, forums and more to the iPads at specific times.  

Perhaps one of the coolest applications for Chime Live technology is as a second screen. While a presentation is being given, attendees can use their iPads to ‘zoom’ into the presentation slides, rewind to parts they might have missed and take notes. With this tool in their hands, participants are focused on the presenter not on their personal texts or emails. 

Keeping the conference conversation going

Want to give attendees access to conference content after the event? If you’re using the Chime Live event platform, you can keep its library of conference content and videos online and give event participants access to additional educational and networking opportunities.  

Get key insights to continuously improve your events

Chime Live’s rich post-event analytics report can augment these strategies by providing essential information about patterns of engagement, the themes and content that most resonated with audience segments, and attendee return on investment (ROI). This data can demonstrate the event’s value to key stakeholders and decision-makers. It also can improve the event’s programing. Knowing what content resonated with audiences can help meeting and event professionals pinpoint future themes and content to develop. Understanding what engages your audience and when they tune out increases the potential for improving future engagement. 

A streamlined event solution

Staffing challenges, economic uncertainty and fatigue from planning hybrid and virtual events is driving a desire to reduce the overall event footprint and to streamline the experience. Meeting and event professionals also want to ensure the time attendees spend at the conference is more meaningful and productive. 

Let’s examine a real-world example of how one event professional overcame these challenges. Jo Merriman, Encore Director, Commercial & Operations, used Chime Live’s end-to-end solutions to enhance the event experience for a financial customer planning their Annual General Meeting.  

With high-value investors flying into Avignon, France, from around the globe for the event, Jo showed the customer how the event platform they already knew and loved could also address and streamline complex logistical challenges surrounding the program’s multiple venues, sessions and schedules.  

The event featured several fund meetings held across two different venues in the foreign city. Yet with one single solution, Jo was able to help the customer streamline the experience for attending investors while also connecting and engaging participants during each session to deliver a seamless five-star experience 

Want to see how she did it? Explore Jo’s case study here!