Boost Attendee Engagement through the Senses
Creating an unforgettable experience for meeting attendees is no easy task. It requires organization, patience, support, and attention to intricate details. Meeting planners must consider all elements of a meeting when trying to put together an impactful program. One way to ensure your next program is a success is through sensory design.
Meetings that incorporate all five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell have the ability to touch emotions which in turn lead to an impactful experience. Each sense provides different information that is combined and interpreted by our brain. Consider all the elements that go into the planning process and how these can appeal to the senses to boost attendee engagement:
Sensory design gives rise to attendee engagement
Sight – The destination itself can provide endless possibilities to stimulate the sense of sight. Likewise the venue, decor, and lighting can also captivate our sense of sight. It’s impossible to walk into a venue without noticing the layout, wall color, windows (or lack thereof) and flooring. Decor textures, shapes and sizes can be visually interesting or simply fall flat. Lighting can have a powerful affect on our sense of sight. Bright lights stir the senses, and pave the way for a high-energy, upbeat vibe, while cool colored visuals evoke a relaxed, peaceful environment.
Hearing – Sound is one of the easiest ways to tap the senses. Whether you’re going for a soothing, relaxed ambiance or looking to get people up and dancing, music proves to be an effective way to engage attendees.
Touch – A fairly easy way to access the sense of touch is through decor elements. Adding a variety of textures to decor can both appeal to our sense of touch and help set the overall tone of an event. Certainly rustic wood farm tables speak a far different language than elegant satin linens or sleek, glass sharing tables.
Taste – No matter how great the venue, decor, message or entertainment, if the food and beverage falls short, the entire event can be a bust. Great food and drink will always be integral to event success. Relying on the eclectic cuisine of a destination will help give attendees a taste for vibe and lifestyle of the area.
Smell – Known as one of the most influential senses, because of its ability to quickly tap the emotions, the sense of smell is often used to entice consumers. Have you ever walked into a Costco and been lured to the back of the store thanks to the warm, comforting, scent of fresh baked cookies? Or felt instantly relaxed and ready to unwind when walking into the lobby of a spa? That’s because both places understand the mesmerizing power of scent and use it to elicit a specific behavior.
Using scent to entice attendee engagement
Meeting planners hoping to create a memorable experience can play up unique scents around their event. “Scents have a powerful effect on the brain and can give us an instant boost in productivity and focus,” says Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, Cary Caster. Certain scents can increase brainpower, alertness and memory, as well as boost productivity and creativity. For example, the scent of lemon is known to improve moods and raise levels of norepinephrine, the brain chemical linked to decision-making and motivation. Ginger aids in mental sharpness, whereas lavender has a calming effect, great for reducing stress and creating a collaborative environment.
A sure way to touch all five senses is by holding your meeting in a naturally beautiful destination. Newport Beach, CA offers just that location. As a year-round, coastal destination, Newport Beach provides a sophisticated yet comfortable backdrop for group meetings and events.
When you’re ready to begin organizing your next group meeting, contact the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships with valuable resources.
Written By: Visit Newport Beach Meetings
As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.