Today’s meeting rooms are evolving into experiential environments focused on attendee engagement. This modern meeting room environment now better connects with attendees at an emotional level through all their senses.
The senses provide a direct pathway to our emotions and science confirms that the better connected someone is to an experience on an emotional level, the better able he is to recall his experience later. What if you could design a meeting setting that incorporates a complete sensory experience?
It’s far more than a full agenda, intriguing slide presentations, expert speakers and interactive Q&A. It’s finding ways to immerse attendees using all their senses: sight, smell, taste, touch and sound.
Once the meeting’s goals have been established, the environment can be planned with specific enhancements designed to maximize the attendee experience, increase engagement and overall retention.
Connecting the meeting’s purpose and desired outcome can be tricky. There is a fine line between creating a memorable and meaningful experience or just adding cool looking stuff that is mostly a distraction. The key is to have a clear purpose established and then design sensory experiences around it.
Here are a few simple ideas for each of the three senses that we as an audio-visual production partner focus on most - sight, sound and touch. These ideas can help create experiential environments that excite and engage attendees in and beyond the meeting room.
Creating a Visual Experience
Although we try to resist the urge to “judge a book by its cover”, the big picture or the appearance of the meeting space plays a large role in the overall experience. First impressions are of the utmost importance. That said, here are a few clever ideas to visually enhance your event.
Surround attendees with video mapping and 360-degree imagery that can literally transform spaces instantly and accentuate main stage presentation screens.
Immerse attendees into a new visual world using virtual reality headsets and augmented reality applications.
Push content to attendee’s personal screens with applications designed to work in conjunction with main stage presentation screens.
Encourage attendee interaction with video walls and monitors that display social media feeds in real time.
Replace the flat conference signage with environmentally conscious digital signage. Branding and messaging come alive with video monitors and displays that are constantly changing with real time information.
Use lighting variations to change the ambience of the room. You might incorporate moving lights for energy, different colors to match the brand or play with different levels of lighting (brighter rooms to enhance socializing or shadows to create intimacy).
The Power of Sound
Meeting room sound has evolved and can now be enhanced to ensure every presenter’s spoken word and nuance is perfectly heard from every seat in the house. Don’t overlook the sound levels because attendees will disengage if they can’t hear what’s being shared with them.
Consider adding full digital sound and line array speakers to enhance the audio experience.
It’s truly all about that bass - A modern meeting room sound system should utilize sub-woofer speakers to power audio when needed and ensure full fidelity for all spoken words.
Surround sound to accompany music and videos provides attendees with 360-degree sound and helps hold their attention.
Create excitement with great music for opening moments and presenter walk ups.
In expos and in high noise settings, use private listening systems and personal headsets to narrowcast to audiences.
For fun Q & A use the Catch Box microphones that attendees throw around the room rather than the old “wait for the mic” runner to speak.
That Special Touch
There are some creative ways to touch your attendees with ideas that get people out of their seats and engaged.
Touch screen monitors using interactive applications invite attendees to involve themselves with the experience.
Audience response systems allow attendees to provide answers to questions and view their responses live on the big screen.
Of course there are also low-tech options to consider such as starting the wave, giving high-fives, throwing around a beach ball, and how about a well-trained conference mascot dog that attendees can pet and interact with?
When it comes to an experiential event, the message and purpose are of the utmost importance. Once you have a clear vision, you can add your creative ideas to create a full sensory experience – your imagination is the limit!
Your event is a reflection of your brand and company culture, so take this opportunity to design the best experience and leave a lasting impression. For questions or assistance with your next big event, feel free to reach out to our AVmedia family. AVmedia is known for its international production and creative services team, as well as its growing on-site audio visual and production services arm that is focused on changing the stigma around what people think about “in-house AV.”