Multi-sensory events: Using the five senses to make meetings more enjoyable and effective

Multi-sensory events: Using the five senses to make meetings more enjoyable and effective

20-11-2019, 13:00 - 14:00

Theatre 2

Most of us are fortunate enough to have all five senses: hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. All of the information we have about the world around us comes through these senses.

When you think of the senses that are most important for conference participation, you inevitably think of hearing and sight: the audio-visual input. But there’s a growing new trend of multi-sensory events - conferences that are designed to appeal to the full range of feelings and senses of participants, not only their eyes and ears.

In recent years, research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology research has uncovered the amazing power of our senses, and all of the evidence points to one clear conclusion: that by harnessing the latest scientific understanding of how our senses work, meeting planners can create far more effective and engaging experiences for attendees. And not only are multi-sensory events more enjoyable, they’re also much more likely to be successful in meeting their objectives – helping the participants to learn something and remember it subsequently.

Through providing your participants with immersive experiences, incorporating sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, the messages conveyed to them at conferences, product launches, product presentations and so on become much more memorable.

Our five senses act as biological learning portals, with all information and stimuli entering our brains through those doors. So the more of the brain that’s activated, the more easily learning occurs and the more likely we are to remember what we learned. Human brains crave unique multi-sensory experiences, and we’re learning more and more about how such experiences can be incorporated into the design of meetings and venues, from the diffusion of certain fragrances in the meeting room to the use of neck and head massages during breaks in the event.

My presentation will look at examples of best-practice in introducing multi-sensory, immersive elements into the design of meetings and the design of venues. The content of the presentation is relevant to meeting planners as well as people managing venues for business events, and it will give them useful take-aways that they can directly apply in their work.


  • Professor Rob Davidson


    Managing Director

    MICE Knowledge

    Rob Davidson is a Senior Lecturer in Events Management at the University of Greenwich in London, where he works in the London Centre for Events...