Leaving an impression on event guests is hard. We get it. They’ve seen it all and you’ve reached the bottom of your bag of tricks. How can you emerge from the crowd to create an event that’s a class above the rest? How do you ensure the longevity of your event after it’s done and dusted?
The key to a successful branded event is to create fully immersive experiences that incorporate the five basic senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Whisk your guests away into your brand universe by creating an experience that seduces them from all sides. In fact, this has worked so well for us that we even garnered an award for it at the 2019 Agency Of The Year (AOTY) awards!
The award-winning multisensory event – Five Senses at Four Seasons – made the night one to truly remember as a new star lit up Kuala Lumpur’s glittering cosmopolitan skyline: the grand opening of Four Seasons Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. This one-of-a-kind event served as an unforgettable, undeniably grandiose beginning, a celebration of the hotel’s momentous debut in the heart of the nation’s capital.
Building upon this, we’ll share some tips on how to deliver an incredible experience at every sensory touchpoint.
Win them over at first sight
Wow your guests with a visual extravaganza. From the typography on your invitation cards to the ushers’ uniforms, the devil really is in the details. The first impression takes place the very minute that invitation drops, so make sure you nail it. Go wild, go crazy, but stick to a theme. During the Four Seasons launch, the stage backdrop and deco were set up to reflect the essence of the brand – soft spring, blooming summer, sentimental autumn, and the purity of winter. Even our celebrity performer donned a gorgeous white ballroom gown that sparkled under the dim lights to mirror the ‘winter season’. Needless to say, it was an utterly breathtaking display of what the brand stands for.
Serenade them with sounds
Sounds have the power to set the mood of an event. Music evokes memories. A study by Oxford University found that people listening to certain music during a wine tasting session actually improved their perception of the wine. Build a playlist to delight and excite, and be selective about the style of the emcee. The Four Seasons launch was a night of entertainment, sit-down dinner, and free mingling; requiring distinctively different ambiences during each segment. As tinkling laughter and dinner conversation flowed through the night, background volumes were adjusted to avoid overriding, but instead bolstering guest interactions. Our standard practice is to carry out an on-site recce before confirming the venue, in order to determine the quality of acoustics and plan accordingly.
Arrest their olfactory senses
Scent captivates. A whiff of your grandma’s trademark dish sends you straight back to your childhood. One effective trick of the trade among hotel chains is to use the same fragrance in their hotel lobbies around the world, which helps guests to remember their stay at the hotel and increases the chances of returning customers. And here’s a secret: event planners can deploy the same trick for their event! Take care to prevent the smell of food and beverage from dominating the overall atmosphere unless it’s an F&B event.
Tantalize their taste buds
Nothing beats good food, except maybe good wine! F&B is a defining part of the hospitality experience. Choose the right caterer based on your guests’ profile and preference and take note of allergies or special dietary restrictions. Let your guests sample the best of what your brand has to offer. We served a special six-course menu prepared by Four Seasons’ all-star in-house chefs, replete with exquisite garnishes and mouth-watering ingredients. Here, the takeaway message for guests was that the Four Seasons dining experience in and of itself is enough to mark it as a purveyor of luxury hospitality.
Tempt with touch and texture
The touch of the draperies, the texture of the invitation card. The cold smoothness of a sanitized soup spoon and the silkiness of the napkin against lips. These are all tangible experiences that have the potential to make or break the look, and more importantly the feel of your event. Guests at the Four Seasons launch were treated to best-in-class quality and finishes that illustrated a feel of the pampered lifestyle Four Seasons has to offer. The textures you choose for your event should always be informed by the event theme – think satin chairs for an A-list guest list, tropical poolside props for a summer party.
When all that is said and done, how can you balance these five senses to avoid overwhelming or underwhelming your guests? Let’s set a new standard for your event. Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your next multi-sensory event.