In an industry that is evolving incredibly fast, how do you keep up? How do you make sure that your event is engaging your audience with your brand, and delivering key messages that will inspire and create action? The answer is simple: plan an event that will ignite all the 5 human senses.

Now for the science bit (it’s short so stick with it): sight, sound, smell, taste and the ability to touch help us to form our perceptions, build our opinions and influence our behaviour in relation to the environments we are exposed to.

Keeping this in mind, it should be an event planning fundamental to create a holistic experience that shapes the delegates event journey; connecting them in a meaningful way with your brand. Let’s take a look at the ways a multi-sensory event can be achieved:

Sight

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Create a buzz with well thought out event visuals. From the very beginning of your attendees’ journey, the way they feel about your event can be influenced by what they see. Consider this when formulating your event marketing strategy: the use of branding in communications, the creation of email invites (that stand out from hundreds of other emails in an inbox), pre-event preview content using mixed media- this could include location insights and guest speaker snippet interviews. Be seen and capitalise on social media: create a social event identity and build momentum leading up to, during and after the event.

Light can also be used strategically to maximise visual impact at your event. Who can help achieve this? Your event will undoubtedly need the expertise of AV professionals; they can assist with the architecture of your event lighting in-line with you budget allocation. Manipulating light can create an atmosphere that resonates with the audience; especially when used in partnership with other great visual content. Clever lighting can also be used to help create the feeling of different spaces within an event venue; removing the need of physical objects to create boundaries.

There are many other visual facets to consider and perhaps your best starting point is to see your event through the eyes of your audience. How can you give them direction throughout your event? Think well positioned, clear signage. What colour and display schemes would steal their attention and delight them? What technology can you utilise to present sights that will exceed the expectations of your delegates? Projection mapping, virtual and augmented reality techniques are helping to achieve this. Develop an event that will visually allow your delegates to become connected with your brand from the outset.

Sound

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Music is a powerful entity and can set a mood and evoke emotion; pick a soundtrack that reflects the tone of your event and works in combination with other event elements to create the effect desired.

Musical selections aside, it’s also worth planning the key messages that need to be communicated during your event. Take into account the timings of audio content and who will be delivering the information- some material in its nature will not be easy to convey and may be technical but find a speaker(s) who can keep the attention of your audience; pair long content with shorter, faster paced segments.

Struggling to hear, being shocked by microphone disturbance or awkwardly waiting for audio to come back on when it’s unexpectedly cut off, are experiences you want to avoid your attendees enduring. An expert AV service can work with you to ensure a quality sound for your event and will handle all the technicalities involved to deliver a ‘pitch perfect’ sound.

Smell

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Okay, so you are probably thinking that although the use of sight and sound are important they are not ground-breaking inclusions in the construction of an event, but the introduction of smell may be more of a foreign concept. Using smell can drive a response from attendees: consciously or sub-consciously. How can smell be used? Look at:

  • Product fragrance- does your product have a fragrance that you can showcase at your event?
  • Scent generation machines - select fragrances that subtly (or not so subtly -depending on the event) work in harmony with other event entities to evolve a delegate’s experience to the next level

Other options that can contribute to the fragrant experience:

  •  Location selection
  •  Food prepared and served on-site
  •  Diffusing multiple scents to define specific areas in your event space

A word of warning- be careful not to overload on the smells you pump out and be mindful to make informed selections; nothing too pungent or off putting. You don’t want to risk a ‘snotty’ reaction to your event due to a smell onslaught.

Taste

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A soggy sandwich and cup of tea in a styrofoam cup isn’t going to make the cut in a sleek and professional event set up. The selection you make for your events catering can reinforce the theme and provide another outlet for your delegates to participate and get involved. Possible ingredients to create an event taste sensation:

  • Food demonstrations-add a spoonful of celebrity chef for a real zing
  • Serving food in collaboration with a live performance
  • Food stations
  • Taster plates
  • Blind food tasting
  • Formal sit-down dining
  • Mixology sessions- although the timing of serving alcohol may be worth considering
  •  Quirky, fun, yet practical food/drink packaging choices

Food and drink selections for your event can create a unique dimension in which to make a long-lasting and memorable impression, that will inevitably link back to the recollection of your brand.

Is anyone else feeling hungry? See, even the mere mention of food is a powerful thing.

Touch

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Don’t underestimate the power of touch. With so much focused online, giving your attendees the opportunity to touch your product or items linked to your service, will help attach them in a real and tangible way to your brand. Encourage a tactile and a hands-on approach at your event; think from the top line, down to the granular detail of how textures, interior décor, props and shapes of objects can promote a physical connection with your event that delegates will want to share.

The way your delegates ‘feel’ should always be front of mind- after all, who else are you creating the event for. Produce an event that demonstrates you have gone the extra mile to make sure nothing detracts from the overall experience:

  • Temperature control- check
  • Comfortable seating-check
  • Areas to network- check
  • A quiet zone to relax and reflect- check
  • Enough food and drink- check

Of course, what you will need to include in your event depends on its purpose; the key takeaway from this is to consider how to make your attendees feel amazing at each ‘touch’ point in the environment you create.

Put it all together and what have you got…

The senses if deployed in isolation from one another will no doubt create an ordinary, potentially mediocre event experience. But, used together in a carefully formulated and integrated way, the collaboration of the senses can create an elevated, immersive, powerful and inspiring multi-sensory event experience for attendees. Creating the ‘wow’ factor will help support in instigating the required actions from your target audience and cement long-term relationships with your brand long after the event has finished.

In2Events exist to create experiences that unite businesses. We help brands to create the wow by first understanding their why! Specialising in corporate events, venue services and exhibitions we help connect brands to the people that matter most; their customers, partners and staff. Work with In2Events on your next event and together let’s create amazing! Call us today on: 02392320581 or send a message to: info@in2events.co.uk

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