Scenting Events: The Secret to an Unforgettable Brand Experience

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What do you remember about that last event you attended?

No matter how hard you try, you wouldn’t be able to recall the tiny, minuscule details such as the colour of the napkins or the flower arrangement at the third table from the right – by no fault of your own.

The human brain has to process up to 400 billion bits of information per second – and in order to keep you fully functional, it has to prioritize information by emotional intensity.

The stronger the emotion, the longer the memory endures.

And to answer your question, you’ll remember one thing only:

You’ll remember how you felt.

Event designers are aware they have to create the ultimate emotional experience to fight the forgetting curve in the long run. And one way to do that is by hosting multisensory events.

Since the event design should primarily revolve around the visitor experience, it’s no wonder multisensory events are becoming increasingly popular.

The goal is to make the attendees feel good – and encourage a natural connection to develop between a visitor and a brand.

Read on to learn more about the ways sensory branding can help you establish a long-lasting relationship with your customers and get a glimpse into the latest event design trends.

How multisensory events are changing the brand experience  

In a survey, 78% of event organizers said they strongly believe that engaging all of the five senses is one way to be more memorable as a brand.

In an era where competitors are often a click away, multisensory events are the ideal way to engage, connect and ultimately, build brand’s loyalty.

Here are the benefits of multisensory events

·    Increased engagement

Most multisensory events are undeniably fun – can you resist not taking the virtual water slide? By massively improving the live experience, the customer engagement naturally increases during and after the event.

When appealing to all of the five senses – sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste – you initiate a more personal, more emotive experience.

Since most decisions are emotional – yes, even the ones that seem logical – it’s easy to see the link between the emotive experience and an increased percentage of actively engaged consumers.

·    Boost brand loyalty

With so much choice on the market, consumers are no longer looking for a product only. Now, they’re now on a quest to find an experience.

The multisensory events are an excellent foundation to establish a loyal customer base simply because they grant the experience everyone’s after.

Once consumers find what they were looking for, they’re inclined to stay. In fact, the Event Marketing Institute reported that 74% of one-time buyers were likely to become regular customers after attending a live event.

·    Create lasting memories

In general, people love visiting events for a simple reason: they feel good while attending. As a host, it’s your job to make them happy and show that you care – and they are unlikely to forget.

And what’s a better way to leave a good impression rather than tickling all of the five senses? The stats say it all.

According to a 2018 report published by the Event Marketing Institute, 91% of visitors stated they leave with more positive feelings for a brand after attending an event.

How to host an unforgettable multisensory event

To create the ultimate event experience, put yourself in the shoes of the attendees.

Who are they? Why are they there? What’s their behaviour going to be like? What do they expect? How can you make them feel good?

And then, use those answers to appeal to all of their senses.

Sight

The visual plays a vital part in any multisensory event.

Stimulate the eye to capture attention throughout the venue but also, to put the visitors in the right mindset by achieving that wow! effect upon entering.

Apple did exactly that at the iPhone X launch. Visitors were first taken on a brief tour of the new Steve Jobs Theater, a massive glass building, and rode a glass elevator – a completely mind-blowing experience on its own!

Sound

Choosing the right ambient music to communicate your brand’s message and entertain at the same time is a delicate task. Music affects the human mood – and the role different sounds play is much bigger than simply filling in the silence.

However, music doesn’t only affect your mood. It can also affect your palate.

Sonic seasoning, as it’s called, can alter the way food tastes – and it may help you create that true holistic experience for attendees.  

Touch

There’s room to incorporate the sense of touch at almost any stage of the event – Pandora certainly knows how to do it.  

Allow guests to explore and feel different surfaces. Think walking on a soft carpet for an added touch of luxury and thin champagne flutes that feel pleasant to hold.

Hosting plenty of speakers for the day? Keep your visitors alert! Offer rollerball pens & leather notebooks to give them something to do with their hands.

Taste

Taste shouldn’t only be associated with the food catered at events – combined with other senses, it holds the power to impress and amaze.

Taste usually goes hand in hand with touch and sight. Apart from playing with different food textures and flavours, think about the little details that add up – offering heavy silver cutlery may provide a superior experience than eating with cheap plastic spoons.

Optionally, consider providing visitors with the opportunity to touch food with their hands or prep food at the table.

Guests loved it when the tables at the Sensorium had an edible garden growing in the centre – they even had to forage their own salads with shovels that were provided by the organizers!  

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Smell

Incorporating a brand scent logo in the venue won’t only improve the overall event experience – it opens up another touchpoint for visitors to interact with your brand.

Being the most powerful of all senses, a pleasant aroma ingrains itself in the olfactory bulb and can, later on, be effortlessly revoked. A study confirms this – 83% of the participants agreed that a distinctive smell can trigger all the happy memories associated with an event.

Want to exceed expectations? Offer small scented gifts & memorabilia on departure – they’ll think of the event each time they take a sniff!   

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How to ensure event attendees don’t forget your brand

People forget roughly 95% of what they see – but they do remember a staggering 35% of what they smell.

Incorporating olfactory branding in the event design adds a refreshing twist to it while at the same time, it helps you leave a long-lasting impression on attendees.

A brand doesn’t have to offer fragrance-related products only to be able to include olfactory branding in an event.

Multiple event types can be scent branded:

·    Fashion industry – shows, launches, summits, expos

·    Brand – product launches, event sponsorships

·    Corporate  – launches, awards, events, trade shows

·    Weddings & private parties

Interested to learn more?  

Click here to find out more about adding olfactory elements to your event or click here to contact us!

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