Creating A Multi-Sensory Event For The Ultimate Experience


The chances are good that you have experienced a multi-sensory event, whether you know it or not.

When planning an event, how do you ensure your brand is showcasing the fundamental attributes of the core objective and how do you ensure that the core objective of the event resonates with your attendees? 

The best events have a variety of compelling elements.

When all of our senses are stimulated, humans are most effective, creative and engaged. 

Experiences are derived from all the senses, not just touch.

They make us think, feel, react, and remember why we chose to engage with that particular brand in the first place.

The goal is to take your guests on a journey by stimulating all their senses and create impactful engagement.


The 5 Main Focus Points For A Multi-sensory Event:

  • Sight/Seeing
  • Touch/Feeling
  • Sound/Hearing
  • Smell
  • Taste


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Sight – Design & Visuals

If you had to ask your guests what they remember from the last event they attended, the chances are they will probably say the décor, room layout and stage.

Nothing captures attention more effectively than beautiful visuals.

The goal is to awaken your guests senses to recollect a specific moment or memory.

You can achieve this by designing a truly stunning event environment by using a dynamic stage design brought to life via captivating graphics, stunning lighting, and alluring styling.

Multi-Sensory Events - sight


Here are a few tips:

  • Focus on a central draw or one main wow piece and work your way out from there. Make sure it is the hero of the room. 
  • Great lighting, lighting is so much more than a spot light on a stage. Lighting can create an ambiance, enhance styled pieces or unique elements in the room, this will assist in building your visual experience. 
  • Design your stage set and content with a visual ascetics in mind, it will maximize the impact on your guests. The stage is where the core message of the event will be presented, make sure that it captivates and entices the audience.
  • Your overall theme or look & feel needs to be cohesive, ensure there is a gold thread across all elements of your event. Each element needs to be strategically themed from the content, menus and right down to the floral arrangements on the tables. 
  • Include small touches such as linen napkins, candles and scatter cushions. This will complete your look and will be the difference between a good event and a high-end event. 


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Touch – Feeling & Physical Experiences

Touch is a great way to introduce a new sensory experience to your guests.

It isn’t widely used by event professionals, but it can be a key instrument in improving guest engagement.

Invite attendees to use their sense of touch through conventional ways such as textured fabrics, intriguing furniture and crystal glassware.

You can also incorporate areas that are specifically designed to enhance touch such as product displays or interactive experiences.

Multi-Sensory Events - touch


Here are a few tips:

  • Carefully select complementary textures. The key is to create a balance, for example mix a rough, reclaimed coffee table with a smooth, velvet couch. 
  • One of the latest trends is to incorporate augmented reality into your events. To create an interactive experience you can use touchable water surfaces in your AR experience. Guests will be sure to be talking about this! 
  • The dress code also plays apart as what you wear affects the way you think. Studies show that a suit promotes abstract thinking, while casual attire can enable objective thinking. 
  • Coffee breaks are another easy way to incorporate the sensation of touch. Your audience wants to have the opportunity to move around during an event. Consider including activations during your breaks to allow guests to interact and engage with another sense. You can include interactive art installations or touch screens with strategically chosen information. 
  • Conferences can get a bit stale, a fun way to bring life to you conference is by  incorporating a chill zone. The chill zone can consist of charging pods, foosball tables and stress balls.


Hearing – Music & Atmosphere

Clear and well-balanced sound is vital, whether you’re creating a relaxed atmosphere, delivering an exclusive conference or hyping up the crowd.

Sounds can ignite the imagination and can create a sense of peaceful calm or vibrant energy in the space. 

Understanding and reading your audience is important in creating the perfect atmosphere for your guests.

Multi-Sensory Events - sound


Here are a few tips:

  • Select suitable entertainment for your event. If it’s a smooth jazz duo, hip-hop DJ or an opera singer, make sure that the performance speaks to the audience and the objective of the event. 
  • Always perform a sound check or dry run before the event. Microphone feedback, high pitched screeches or crackling can really deplete the overall experience for the guests. A team of audio professionals is a great way to avoid or verify audio issues. 
  • If you’re hosting a dinner experience, try to push the boundaries by incorporating a sound pairing with each course. Guests can experience a unique sound that enhances the course. Imagine the sound of the ocean while enjoying a fresh west-coast oyster with caviar. 
  • Background music plays an important role when trying to set to mood. Be cognisant of the type and style of music you’re playing while guests are networking. If the music is too drab it might send the guests home earlier than expected. 


Smell – Flowers & Fragrances

Smell is arguable the most powerful of all senses, as it is connected to the emotional and memory centre in your brain.

It is the way we attach emotions to memories; it is also associated with learning.

‘Scent marketing’ is starting to become more prominent within the hospitality industry, as carefully selected scents will help engage clientele, create a memorable brand and boost their overall experience.

Multi-Sensory Events - smell


Here are a few tips:

  • Strategically placed scented candles, oil burners or air freshers to activate your guests’ smell receptors.
  • Luxury events incorporate sophisticated scent machines that work through a cooling system to ensure the room is always smelling delightful.
  • In addition to making your event memorable, scents also affect your attendees state of mind. Lavender and other essential oils create a calm and relaxed state of mind, while lemon, cinnamon and peppermint will make your attendees more alert and aware.
  • Flowers add a lovely aroma to the room and create a fresh atmosphere.  
  • Be careful of harsh odours such as burning oil, bad bathroom smells or dirty carpets as this will have a negative effect on your guests. 


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Taste – Food & Drinks

Catering is a critical part of a memorable event – when you eat something incredible, you remember it.

Integrating cuisine and beverages into the event itself, you will fully invoke the sense of taste.

Multi-Sensory Events - taste


Here are a few tips:

  • When selecting a caterer for your event, keep your audience demographics, event theme, and potential dietary restrictions in mind.
  • Serve a unique and complimentary wine and food pairing. 
  • The taste needs to appeal to the audiences emotions, how does it make them feel? There are certain ingredients that promote certain things. For example cinnamon improves productivity while dark chocolate releases endorphins that make you feel good. 
  • Incorporate pop concepts such as a gourmet chocolate station, a rum tasting bar or a sweet/ snack station at a conference to keep the delegates fuelled through their session. 
  • Create a signature welcome drink that speaks to the overall theme. Ensure the drink is enticing by incorporating mixologists, it needs to be visually appealing as well as delicious. 


Important!!! – Avoid Sensory Overload

Too much sensory stimulation can be overwhelming to the guests, especially guests who are sensitive to smells or certain tastes.

Here are a few tips to avoid sensory overload: 

  • Don’t pair loud noises with strong scents. 
  • Have a method to your madness. If there is sound, smell or colour, there should be a reason. The idea is to enhance their senses not distort it. 
  • Be mindful of strong scents as it might overpower the other elements. 
  • Inform the guests of smells, tastes and sounds so they can be prepared for the experience. 



Ultimately, each event is unique and your individual event checklist will differ from anyone else’s.

Still, these five main multi-sensory focus points remain the same and deserve adequate consideration no matter the style or type of event.

If the basics are already overwhelming you, or you don’t know where to turn to for guidance, why not consult the professionals?

We’re always happy to consult on your festivities, and look forward to help create your multi-sensory event which will certainly be unique and memorable.

For more information, to obtain a quote, or just to chat, you’re welcome to make use of our contact page, or to contact us telephonically to set up a meeting.

We look forward to sharing our wealth of both connections and experience with you.



Let Us Help You Plan Your Next Multi-sensory Event

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