2024 Outlook: What's Trending in Planner Budgets and Event Production

February 21, 2024

Annette Moody

Annette Moody serves as senior vice president, production at Encore. She joined the company in 2002 as regional vice president of operations and was later named to vice president of product management. She is responsible for production, supply chain and Las Vegas operations.

The year 2024 comes with some good news: Almost half of association, corporate and third-party meeting professionals surveyed by Encore in December 2023 expect their 2024 budgets to increase, while 44% expect to remain flat and just 12% expect a decrease.  

Corporate and third-party planners report they are less likely than association planners to cut their AV spending over other budget items, but overall, the group ranks props, entertainment and offsite events as investments that are most difficult to justify for their stakeholders, according to the Winter 2023 Encore Planner Pulse Survey. 

They cite ROI data as the most helpful tool to justify AV technology/production spend.  

When challenged with demonstrating the value of certain investments, we aim to work with all customers up front in the solution and event design to align those choices with their organization’s objectives for the event.  

What else is trending?

Immersive is Still Top of Mind 

Elements that foster emotional connections, enthusiasm, collaboration and active participation can increase concentration, sharpen focus and form a lasting impression from the event.  

• 93% of planners are likely to use immersive technology to engage attendees 

• 85% of planners believe that immersive experiences foster greater attendee engagement 

• 83% think the technology that delivers immersive experiences would enhance their event ROI  

When asked about the top technology and production elements planners are finding the most value in the creation of engaging environments, here is what they shared:  

• Basic lighting elements, including stage lighting, GOBOS (Go Between Optics) and LED uplighting – 61%  

• LED walls, monitors or totems – 52%  

• Scenic décor – 50%  

• Background music, stingers or sound effects – 48%  

Association planners rank basic lighting, music, unique scenic and upgraded audio/microphones as their top selections for more engaging environments.  

These insights illustrate that simple production additions can dramatically transform an event environment. While some may think that an immersive or engaging event is something that requires only cutting-edge technology innovations, or only the biggest budgets, there is a wealth of creative possibilities available with the technology readily at our disposal.


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