Fully experiencing the world around us involves the coordination of our five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, taste. A myriad of studies conducted over the years has revealed and proven that sensory stimulation plays a critical role in memory formation and association.
What does this mean for marketers? Martin Lindstrom, a renowned author and brand consultant, found that brand impact is improved by 30% when more than a couple of senses are stimulated and by a whopping 70% when at least three senses are integrated into the brand message. JWT Worldwide further supported this claim with their own study, which showed that 73% of Millennials crave experiences and events that stimulate their senses.
The top 10 event management companies in Singapore and the world have embraced these findings and implemented multi-sensory experiences into their marketing efforts to boost sales, boost brand awareness, and provide a great customer experience.
CWT Meetings & Events and London & Partners conducted a survey in 2015 on multi-sensory brand events. The research revealed that 78% of meeting planners, the top 10 event management companies included, a multi-sensory event is a more notable experience for the participants.
Here are some ways you can make your next brand event appeal to all five senses:
Seeing is believing, and nothing will capture your audience’s attention more effectively than stunning and beautiful visuals. The visual aspect of an event that successfully captured and held its participants’ interest through their sight makes the event more memorable by activating the ability of the audience to recollect specific moments. More often than not, this is when what they see evokes strong emotions in them that will stay in their memory long after the event is over.
A perfect example of a successful visual stimulation is when Redoxon held their Boost & Slide event. They presented their audience with a vibrantly-coloured 100m water slide, along with colourful floaties, that is, indeed, a sight for sore eyes. The crowd of local and international participants that attended the event goes to show that visual appeal will take your event to new heights.
Choosing the right soundtrack for your event helps create a fully immersive world, instead of something that sounds and feels like an exhibit. Marketers need to be sensitive to the effects of music on their attendees. Jazz, for example, has been shown to bring down stress levels. Moreover, live music performances excite audiences and create an amazingly memorable experience. Design and orchestrate a “score,” that will accompany different parts of your event. Hearing these scores somewhere else, even when your event is over, will help bring back memories from your event to their mind.
According to a research conducted by the Sense of Smell Institute, people only recall about half of the visual pictures they see after three months, but they can remember more than 65% of what they smell even after a year. For instance, a single scent can evoke certain emotions and take us back to a forgotten memory.
How so? Smell is the only sense that has a direct connection to the body’s limbic system, or the region of the brain that processes emotions and memories because it gets transmitted through our olfactory bulbs.
Smell, however, is often overlooked during event planning, albeit it can be an effective tool in making your event memorable. Additionally, scented events are more enjoyable because ambient scenting enhance audience experience and improves memory recall of your brand event. Consider incorporating a fragrance or aroma into your next event by working with an event scenting company, or by including scented items in your swag.
Food is also a significant part of a meeting or event. Tasty grub and refreshing drinks bring to life an organiser’s theme through the imaginative presentation of dishes, smells and ingredients.
Take note from Grab’s Food Truck Fest, where over 14 vendors showcased their selection of gastronomic treats together with a Singaporean twist, while Grab presented how the public can use its latest mobile wallet function as a more convenient way to pay for their orders in this event. Aside from that, the venue that Grab selected gave the participants a perfect view of the fireworks display that New Year’s eve.
Touching is our most profound way of emotional expression. When we use our hands, our sense of touch is stimulated, and we tend to remember what we touch more clearly. There are a string of ways styling can incorporate a sense of touch, such as tactile elements, textured decorative panels, or even fabrics. Use the tactile aspects of the props, decor, furniture and other physical objects at your event to your advantage and make your brand event more memorable.
As humans, we have been blessed with different senses to enjoy and appreciate what we have around us. As marketers, you get to decide how your event would tap into your audience’s senses and make them remember your brand event as an impressive one.
By leveraging on the emotions and senses of your attendees, you can increase the chances of them remembering what they have learned in your event. Through providing your participants with an immersive experience, the messages conveyed to them at your brand event become much more memorable.