Multi-sensory events: what they are and why they matter

It comes as no surprise that multi-sensory events are in demand. As the pandemic weakens, or perhaps grows stronger with the recent Omicron variant (fingers crossed it doesn’t), people are yearning for something engaging.

Whether it be physical sensation, conversation or gamification, our senses are eager to experience something outside of TV shows, YouTube videos and running a home office 24/7.

What’s interesting is that this is a global phenomenon. It’s not just one person who’s tired of the remote monotony — everyone wants to catch a break. And where there’s a demand, there will be a supply.

So in the months or years to come, you can expect to find stimulating multi-sensory events. They’re going to be more than the Zoom meeting, more than walking the dog — they’re going to be the manifestations of the creativity that’s been suppressed for 2 years. It’s exciting stuff.

It’s prime time to start thinking about how you want to connect with your audiences, and after this article, maybe you’ll start thinking multi-sensory.

What are multi-sensory events?

Image: Envato

Multi-sensory events are events that stimulate the senses; touch, hearing, taste, sight and smell. 

In a way, you could call one of your remote work meetings a multi-sensory event. You have to listen to your peers and see them on the screen. But we all know these meetings are less than stimulating.

When we say multi-sensory events, we mean events that inspire action, creativity, enjoyment and discussion after stimulating the senses in an engaging and creative way.

Netflix shows us how it’s done

We can look at Netflix’s Money Heist as an example, which recently rose to Netflix’s #1 show on the global top 10 list.How did they host a multi-sensory event? By holding their fans hostage on a plane.

Talk about an elaborate marketing gig! Following the theme of heisting, Netflix held their fans hostage on a plane where they binged 5 episodes of Money Heist so that other fans could enjoy it spoiler-free. 

It’s less of an effective spoiler-preventer than it is a fascinating marketing stunt. But we can definitely see how stimulating this event was.

It’s got the physical touch of being on the plane, the sight of Money Heist characters holding them hostage, the acoustic ambience of it all, and the thrill of being held hostage by Money Heist.

People love this kind of stuff. It’s engaging, innovative, and transcends our expectations for marketing. In other words, it gets our attention and keeps it.

Don’t forget digital events

When we hear that something is going to be a digital event rather than a physical event, we might groan. We’ve seen how physical-gone-digital can be, and it doesn’t always work. 

But although digital events often can’t compare to the engagement of physical events, it doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. 

The pandemic has rewritten the way we connect with each other, and if done correctly, digital events can definitely engage people where they wouldn’t have been engaged otherwise. We can look at Heineken’s Desperados’ Halloween party in Dracula’s Castle as an example. Yes, the beer brand live-streamed a halloween party in a castle in Transylvania, Romania.

While there were people there physically, obviously many couldn’t venture to Romania for this party, especially during the pandemic. Yet they were still able to experience the Halloween party shenanigans from afar.

Colorful lights, music, spectacular costumes — we bet you could say the thrill was palpable as a virtual attendee. 

Start thinking multi-sensory events

Put the social media marketing away for a second and start thinking about hosting multi-sensory events. If you own a bakery, you can host a muffin-eating contest or something. Get creative!

Traditional marketing is effective and important, but events like Desperados’ party and Money Heist’s hostage situation are what generate the buzz.

Events are exciting, bold, memorable and potentially viral. They don’t have to be complicated or extravagant either — if it’s a multi-sensory event, it’s different and it’ll get peoples’ attention.

That’s all we have this time on VoiceTalks. We’re wishing you the best in your marketing endeavors and hope you find great ways to connect with your audiences!


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