How to use the five senses to upgrade your next meeting.
Posted on May 23, 2019 By Jana Hofer
From aromatherapy to playing with your food, planners are finding new and different ways to engage all the senses at events. Taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound can set a mood, reflect a theme, and elevate an event into a truly immersive experience.
When planning an event, stage design and theme are crucial elements to drawing your attendees in. Color, lighting and modular stages will set the mood and can influence how each presentation or discussion is received. And say goodbye to boring text - video content is the new medium for delivering information. Not only is it easier and more fun to present content in the form of a video, but it is also easier for attendees to absorb it.
Still looking for simple ways to wow a crowd? Look at customizable visual effects glasses. Not only do they enable planners to offer augmented reality without the wires or costs, they transform any point of light into custom shapes, such as hearts, smiley faces, or whatever image best fits the theme.
Interactivity during events isn't limited to digital experiences. Instead of long presentations, short talks combined with hands-on activities reduces attendee's stress of remembering material and deepens understanding. This workshop model is fast becoming the preferred format for conferences and meetings because of the high level of engagement.
Consumers today know more about food than ever before. From magazines and television shows to gourmet stores and farmers markets, event attendees know what's happening in the food world and want to be entertained by their dining options. And sometimes that means playing with their food. From sushi rolling or beer making classes, to chef demonstrations, and food sourcing discussions, meals are more engaging and memorable with hands-on experiences that also tickle the palate.
One of the most under-utilized tools at events is scent. Diffusers are a great way to set the mood through aromatherapy. If your product or brand has a specific smell, diffuse it during an important presentation. Or consider using essential oils to set the tone for the day. Diffuse a mixture of oils in the morning to help attendees feel awake and alert and a different mixture to help attendees wind down before heading home. For break times, offer "scent tents" where people can relax and reflect on the event's activities.
Mood-setting sound tracks can turn empty programming time into an engaging touch-point with attendees. Offering headphones with multiple curated channels can give each person a truly individual experience, while planners still control the theme and mood reflected. On the other end of the sound spectrum, offer "dead zones" for attendees – rooms with ambient noise and no WiFi, giving people a space to disconnect and reflect without distraction.