Making Sense of the Five Senses


The newspaper industry seems to be slowly fading away. iPhones, iPads, and Kindles are challenging the way we used to read books and magazines. But, the smell of a newly-opened novel or the feel of a sleek magazine cover still attracts some readers. Tweets, check-ins, photos: we’re sharing at enormous rates online. Yet, looking into someone’s eyes and firmly exchanging hand-shakes cannot be replicated.

So, what does that mean for show organizers or trade show exhibitors looking to create memorable experiences at their events? Simply, beware of the “shiny object syndrome.” Balance technology with old-fashioned sensory experiences.

With the prevalence of technology in our lives, authentic moments are often more rare – and precious. Since these true, physical experiences are more exceptional nowadays, people are more delighted when they encounter them.

 Our team has a wide network of designers with different levels of experience and backgrounds. We can draw upon Microsoft tabletop displays or 3D televisions, but we find that sometimes simple is better. The more hands-on “science museum” type design really does stay with attendees after an event (especially all those who learn best through their sense of touch).

I’m certainly not suggesting that you should ignore technology when designing your next booth or organizing your next show. No, I’m just reminding you (and myself) to make sense of the five senses during the creative design process. Figure out how you’ll stimulate attendees with sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste (now there’s a challenge), and you’ll create a truly memorable experience. Check out one of my favorite projects, Harry Potter: The Exhibition. Giving guests the chance to “pull a Mandrake” was just one of the sensory experiences.

We’re interested to know your most memorable sensory experience at a trade show, event, retailer or museum – sound off on our Facebook page!

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