Pictured above: a tray of mixed desserts at the Trust for the National Mall Annual Benefit Luncheon, which Linder manages and produces.
Taste: Here is where catering is so important. Similar to smell, one displeasing taste can negatively impact an attendee’s experience more so than multiple pleasing tastes. Negative associations tend to overshadow positive associations. But it can be overcome with proper preparation and thoughtful execution.
Taste is a sense that ties closely with smell, touch, and sight. Providing various food textures – smooth, crunchy, slippery, chewy, buttery, etc. – and displaying food in a surprising and appealing manner can provide guests with excitement, not to mention a great photo they can share with their social media networks, which ultimately promotes the event or the client by way of association.
Sound: Event professionals strive to incorporate different kinds of sounds into their events in order to project the desired atmosphere. The use of running water, for example, or birds chirping in the distance can produce a peaceful background noise that encourages guests to relax and feel safe in the in event environment. Conversely, selecting an eerie, unpredictable song as guests are entering a dark walkway can promote a sense of mystery, perhaps a bit of anxiety, and excitement. This sort of entrance might help set up an element of surprise as the guests enter the ballroom. Considering the sensations guests experience as they are entering or being led towards a particular moment in the event’s program can help inform decisions around sight and sound.
Sight: As the most emphasized sense at events, it is one that can often be overwhelmed, leaving the opportunity for people to overlook fine details. The best way to combat the overexposure of visual stimuli is to combine this sense with others, as mentioned above, or to create a multi-dimensional display. For example, projection mapping is form of visual display that transforms a place or thing, such as the walls of the Museum of African American History and Culture (Picture: Left), into a frame upon which imagery can be projected.
The power of events can come from the many different parts that make up the whole experience. This power comes not only from a client’s impactful mission statement or a moving program, but also in the way that the message is reinforced through a thoughtful event design. An event design that appeals to the maximum number of senses possible is more memorable and thus more powerful in the eyes of the audience. Therefore, as event architects it is our job to ensure that we construct event designs that take into consideration all the senses and their impact on the attendee’s experience. It is through this thoughtful approach that our clients can help deliver their message and secure the memory of their event in the minds and hearts of their attendees.
This post was written in collaboration with Haley Alexson, a former Linder intern.
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE to receive posts like this and special news exclusive to subscribers direct to your inbox
< Back to The Scope