Small meetings have become an incredible source of growth and opportunity in the wake of the pandemic. Catering to a group of 50 or fewer participants means you can provide more targeted programming, promote greater intimacy between your audience and stakeholders, and foster meaningful interactions that build trust. This holds true whether you’re conducting a management training or strategizing session, holding a board meeting or focused on team building. Regardless of the use case, small meetings can generate a closer level of connection and engagement to drive business outcomes.
Doing so, however, is not without its challenges. Today’s tech-savvy attendees have higher expectations for the level of production, technology and meeting tools than before the pandemic. Event professionals also face rising related costs, shorter lead times and changing attendee dynamics – influenced by higher anxiety levels and lower, eight-second attention spans.
The growing number of meeting professionals with less than a year’s experience plays another factor. These professionals want to create successful experiences, and having a full-service provider on their side that can provide end-to-end support can make all the difference. Whether someone is a seasoned meeting planner or excited to get their feet wet and deliver their first outstanding program, having the optimal technology support is a crucial part of any successful small meeting strategy.
Read on to learn six ways technology solutions can empower event professionals to create small meetings that deliver a big impact.
1. Create a high-production look
With effective technology solutions in place, you can help ensure that your small meeting feels as significant as a larger conference production. Why does this matter? Coordinating a visually impressive meeting can positively affect audience sentiment and strengthen your programming – which is critical whether you deliver content to 50 people or 500. Achieving this all comes down to smart technology choices. You can take the guesswork out of this process by partnering with Encore. We can help you make the most of your space with aesthetically clean and professional-looking technology solutions. Here are a few of our top recommendations:
- Eliminate room clutter
Create more floor space for seating and eliminate room clutter with a short-throw projector and tension screen. This not only expands your meeting capacity, but also creates a more visually appealing environment for participants. With this consolidated setup, there is no visible projector, cords or cart taking up space and distracting from your programming.
- Use quality audio
Don’t lose opportunities for interaction or engagement by overlooking the importance of high-quality audio solutions. If participants are straining to hear your presenter, they’re less likely to fully grasp or connect with your content. Opt for a compact powered speaker to make sure your message is delivered loud and clear.
- Customize your visual elements
Want to make your meeting more memorable? Take advantage of clever design accents that can leave a lasting impression. Branded screen skirts are a perfect way to do this. They can feature company logos or other designs relevant to your meeting theme to visually reinforce a brand or idea.
2. Elevate the ambiance
When making intentional meeting design choices, don’t overlook the power of color to affect attendees’ emotions. LED lights are an excellent tool for this. They can change hues instantaneously to alter the ambiance of your event and elicit certain feelings in your participants. Simply use an IR Remote or wireless control to change their color on cue.
This budget-friendly solution is also ideal for small accent spaces. LED lights can fit almost anywhere with their 3.5 in x 3.5 in footprint. Another advantage? LED lights use less energy than most other lighting solutions, which can help raise the “green” factor of your meeting. With a range of LED options to choose from, our experts can help you create an environment that inspires everything from excitement and creativity to critique and analysis – all at the click of a button.
3. Increase engagement opportunities
A common theme for meeting professionals, no matter their audience size, is the desire to boost participant engagement. With an event platform, you can provide simple-to-use yet powerful tools that enable participants to connect with each other and your content. Chime Go℠ by Encore is a fully-supported, quick-start event app that equips users with key information – from agendas and maps to forums to Q&A tools – all organized in one hub and branded with your logo. It can be turned around in as little as four working days, which makes it ideal for planners navigating short lead times, and provides an easy, affordable and professional way to add a new level of engagement to small meetings.
With Chime Go, you can elevate the experience for participants with an easy-to-use event site and interactive features like:
- Pre-event and onsite access
- Detailed digital agendas & maps
- Live Q&As/Upvoter
- Real-time broadcasts that enable attendees or presenters to join remotely
- Live analytics to view engagement levels, capture questions asked and more!
Instead of your audience passively digesting content, the event platform’s digital tools can help deliver greater ways for participants to interact with your programming throughout the experience – and directly from their own smart device.
4. Set the tone with music
“Having no music creates a void that you’re not used to having in day-to-day life when you go into public spaces,” says Nick Greene, Encore Product Manager for Audio and Power. “It creates an awkward silence…imagine showing up at a company meeting at 8 a.m. and walking into an empty room with no music. There won’t be the energy.”
Ensure you’re creating an atmosphere that breathes new life into your small meeting with the perfect tone-setting tracks. Encore Music provides hit songs from today’s popular artists, already licensed and ready to play. With hundreds of curated playlists to choose from, select the perfect soundtrack for your meeting to enhance the experience and curate your desired mood. Whether you’re looking for an upbeat tempo to invigorate discussions, mellow jazz to introduce thought-provoking themes, or even a festive dance track to energize your audience after a long day, Encore Music offers a diverse range of creative choices to meet your needs – and without you having to obtain a separate music license as you would with a generic streaming service or bringing your own music.
5. Deliver memorable content
When planning your small meeting, visually enhancing your content goes a long way in helping to make a lasting impression and ensure it doesn’t fall flat. Amplify your presentations – with a minimal impact on your budget – with our self-serve creative. We can equip you with professionally designed PowerPoint template slides with three matching elements: A logo loop, intro video and speaker title. The elements are designed to be used together for a seamless transition but may also be used individually to suit various display requirements.
Have another creative idea you’d like to bring to life? A small meeting doesn’t have to mean limited possibilities. Our team of experienced designers can work closely with you to create stunning graphics and videos tailored specifically to meet your needs and budget — from logos and invitations to custom videos and presentations.
6. Protect against internet interruptions
Whether you need to ensure a speaker’s multimedia presentation works without a hitch or that in-person attendees can download an event app, interruption-free, secure and reliable internet is essential to your small meeting’s success. It’s also become a big part of attendees’ expectations, with audiences now counting on uninterrupted streaming capabilities to multiple devices, including laptops, smartphones and tablets, as part of their experience.
As your strategic partner, Encore provides fast, seamless internet, best-in-class connectivity and extensive technical support to protect against any embarrassing lags and ensure the focus stays on your message.
Dynamic expectations call for dynamic solutions
Gone are the days when small meetings meant reduced expectations. Today’s attendees have dynamic expectations that can’t be met without the right tools. Whether you’re focused on delivering a high-production feel, improving engagement or setting the perfect ambiance, having the right technology solutions in place is key to leveling up any small meeting experience and transforming it from mundane to memorable.
Request a free consultation with our experts to learn more ways we can help you deliver outstanding small meeting outcomes. We’d love to discuss your specific needs and empower you to deliver an experience that connects and inspires.
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
In-person events will continue to increase with each new quarter
Most planners expect their audience numbers to grow this year
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
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
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.