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Sensory Events Are The New Black

This year so far has seen a huge rise in events that promote engagement and in particular, sensory engagement. 

This type of event works really well as such things as product launches and a lot of the big brands are embracing this form of event marketing. 

Instead of hosting an event in a great venue and merely showcasing the product like in times past, there is more active encouragement and facility to activate all senses, eg, smell the product (where appropriate!), touch the product and create a mood around a product in terms of sound and visual techniques. 

For example, there are brands out there that create a sensory experience for their customers at every brand touch point worldwide. So, if their brand is stocked in Selfridges, customers that go into their brand area will experience the same smell, sound, ambience and touch as in the brand’s stand-alone store in Tokyo, all at the same time of day. A remarkable undertaking but a hugely powerful one.

As an event organiser I am always looking at what the best brands are doing in their events and seeing how I can replicate and incorporate this into my events and sensory immersiveness is definitely top of my list.  

Here are my top tips of how to introduce a sensory experience to your events:

Have a scent

Most of us has a signature perfume or aftershave that we wear so why not have the same for your event? Subliminal marketing is really key as people won’t even notice the smell perhaps but when they smell it somewhere else, they will remember your event and associate that fragrance with you. This is pretty powerful stuff. 

Think about VR

Now I’m not suggesting that we all sit there in VR headsets (although that would be pretty cool) but VR is definitely not going anywhere so we all need to embrace it. I have seen the rise in large conferences now having virtual speakers allowing a more in-depth experience compared to just a face on a screen. This offers a talking point and allows a huge point of difference. 

Be brave with your venue

The more unique the venue, the more opportunity there is to get creative and encourage interaction. If you are planning a conference or a workshop that can have a serious tone, set it in a hugely creative environment to stimulate the attendees’ senses and, importantly, showcases the values of your organisation. 

Introduce customisation

Instead of a regimented structure to your event, there is a trend for allowing attendees to contribute to the event and have an element of ownership. This can be through various paths attendees take depending on audience response, social media interaction and activities. This not only makes the event fun and unpredictable but is hugely memorable. 

Remember local and sustainable

There is not only a desire, but a demand, to support local produce and encourage sustainable elements in your events. People like to see local supporting local and showcasing fellow local talent in the area so always keep this in mind. Sustainability is also a huge factor; think about your plastic use, can you get rid of completely? Can you incorporate a charitable element in your event? 

These are just a few of the things to think about in line with sensory marketing and if this is something you’d like to investigate more, I would love to chat further. 

Shaun Johnson