As an innovative Event Execution Expert, I always look for the next best thing to increase attendee engagement and keep them coming back for more! Event and meeting retention is an important initiative for several organizations and in my experience retention directly correlates with attendee experience! People desire experiences that activate their senses. According to science and the great people at Factmonster.com, as human beings we are equipped with 5 sensory organs which when activated, instruct our brain on how to receive and act on the information it is provided, thus producing hormonal, emotional and physical responses.
Fact: As human beings we tie positive and negative memories to anything which stimulates two or more senses at a time. So why not employ some creativity and engage your attendees through their senses?
- Scintillate their sense of Sight
Strategically placed lighting and eye catching décor are two visual effects that you as the event planner can implement into your meeting space. In one of my blog posts 10 Reasons Corporate Meetings Suck, I mention how important lighting is to meetings because bright ambient light stimulates our brains yielding productivity. A beautifully lit stage with a brilliant stage wash allows attendees to see each speaker with ease no matter how dim the room may be or how far away they are seated. Think of creative ways you and your AV team can play with lighting to spark visual elation during your next meeting.
- Harmonize their sense of Hearing
It has been proven that background noise or music encourages brain activity. Have you ever heard of the Mozart Effect? Even though this has been found to improve intelligence in infants, music actually encourages the brain to organize itself; affording the opportunity for intelligent thought. For your next event, think about how you can implement music into your meeting environment.
- Tantalize their sense of Taste
There are over 700 food festivals which take place in the US on a yearly basis. With food truck franchises on the rise and a growing population of self-proclaimed “foodies” blogging all over the world- one can assume that carefully crafted food experiences attract even the pickiest eater. Do something different at your next event. Stimulate your attendee’s palate by curating conversations and activities around fun and memorable cuisine.
- Tame their sense of Touch
Pressure, texture, vibration and movement are all components of the sensation of touch. Think of items such as stress balls filled with soft sand and how that has a calming and therapeutic effect on those who are perceived to be stressed. Further, imagine how soothing it feels to relax your feet atop a heated bag of gel after a long day of being on your feet. If you envision touch as a language, then you can find creative ways to communicate your intended message and engage your attendees.
- Satiate their sense of Smell
Think about those Oxygen Bars you see in Las Vegas – Spectators pay to breathe in scented or flavored oxygen vapor which immediately causes the body to react. For some it provides mental alertness for others it soothes. Think about how you can lightly infuse the meeting environment to stimulate your attendee’s sense of smell.