How Brands Can Turn Live Events into Multi-Sensory Experiences in 2016

Tom Craze
21 January 2016

According to research conducted last year by London & Partners and CWT Meetings & Events, 78% of industry respondents believe that multi-sensory experiences provide more memorable, creative events than those that do not. Further, just 27% of the events professionals surveyed believed that truly multi-sensory events, with all five senses of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch being utilised together, are currently commonplace or effective.

While perhaps at a significant advantage to do so, the alcohol industry has already embraced the trend, with whisky brand Johnnie Walker Blue Label just one of those to trust in the benefits of multi-sensory events. In a collaboration with Bompas & Parr, unveiled at Merchant Taylor’s Hall last September, the brand created its ‘Flavour Conductor’ – an ambitious immersive experience based around aligning the notes and melodies of a church organ to various tastes and flavours.

The key to producing a successful multi-sensory event is encouraging audience participation - heightening senses can only work effectively when a true experience is on offer to guests. Peroni is another drinks brand which understands exactly that, and its House of Peroni installation has proved immensely popular in London for several years. Its 2015 version, based around the theme 'vit all'interno' (a life lived inside), was a traditional Italian design with a twist, with the intention of appealing to multiple senses through culinary experiences.

In retail, never has the competition from online shopping to the high street been fiercer, which many brands have attempted to address through adding creativity to traditional retail spaces. In the UK in 2015, there were currently more farmers’ markets opening than stores of Tesco, and retailers should capitalise on what is a clear, renewed appetite from consumers to experience produce for themselves before purchasing.

Food aside, pop-up shops, too, provide a platform for the unexpected, and enable brands to entice their audience with something other than shopping alone. Whether in the form of surprise venues or theatrical showcases that push experience – rather than commerce – to the fore, a key focus for 2016 is that the trend of creating spaces that people really want to visit continues.

Source: London & Partners and CWT Meetings & Events
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