Incorporating Multi-Sensory Experiences Into Events
You don’t have to do the research to believe that sensory experiences tend to foster more vivid memories. Whether it’s a song associated with a time in your past or the smell of a loved one’s perfume, sensory experiences often have a longer-lasting impact on memories (London & Partners, 2015).
When it comes to capturing the attention of your guests, creating an event experience that appeals to multiple senses can be a great way to do so. In fact, a survey by London and Partners and CWT Meetings and Events found that 42% of people said sensory activations can help events stand out from others. Despite this, a mere 27% of respondents felt the five senses of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch were being used effectively at events (smell and touch being the least appealed to).
So how can you give your guests a more dynamic experiences? Here are some examples of sensorial installations done right and how to adapt them for your events:
Let’s start with ramping up the visual effects at your event. Consider hiring living statues or other kinds of street performers to promote the theme and capture your guest’s attention. Better still, play on your guest’s olfactory sense (think the scent of greenery surrounding this performer), tactile sense (through wearing alluring fabrics) or adding in music or sound effects.
Interactive costume performers are another great way to enchant guests (and decorate your event space too). At this event, costumed star performers reacted to guest’s touch by changing the colors of their LED lights and moving their spikes.
Create a 4D Event Through Scent
Almost any event can be enhanced through scent. Olfactory or scent branding is a quickly growing industry, and it’s no mystery why. A unique scent can spark memories dating back to one’s childhood and research shows that olfactory recall can extend to at least 10,000 different odours.
Hyatt Hotels is one example of a brand that has committed to scent marketing in a big way. The Hotel’s signature scent can be found in nearly 300 hotels across the US and is regarded as a brand standard akin to their background music, color scheme and decor.
While creating a signature scent for your event is likely out of scope, there are simpler ways to appeal to your guest’s olfactory senses, include playing up smells that are central to the event theme (like this life-sized gingerbread house), scratch and sniff displays or even something as simple as boosting your guest’s concentration with lemon, cinnamon and peppermint.
Taste and Tactile Touches
There are many ways to incorporate touch into your events, from interactive art displays (think adult touch-and-feel books) to installations your guests can really lose themselves in like Anya Hindmarch’s Chubby Cloud pop up for 2018 London Fashion Week. The 3-day event was inspired by Hindmarch’s Autumn/Winter 2018 Chubby collection and featured meditation, bedtime stories from guest speakers, artists and live music.
If your event theme is central to a particular food or drink, consider how you can give guests an immersive experience surrounding this. Hennessy Le Grand Voyage pop up did this well by inviting guests on a journey of the cognac-making process — an experience that played on all five senses no less!