How to Incorporate the Five Senses Into Your Virtual Trade Show Experience

Virtual Event Five Senses

When it comes to a traditional, in-person trade show experience, there are endless ways to incorporate the senses to make a big impression. From robots playing ping pong to ice cream samples, you can draw people into your booth with the right sense-focused strategy.

Not only are your senses an integral part of the learning process, they also play a pivotal role in creating lasting impressions. For example, a song on the radio reminds you of a college romance, the taste of a favorite family recipe brings you back to holidays as a child, and the scent of pine needles reminds you of your first camping trip.

We talked about how to incorporate the fives senses into your booth experience, but what about doing the same for a virtual experience? It is possible, with some creative thinking. And, it is more important than ever to use the senses to keep your audience engaged in your virtual event.

Smell: It seems the technology to allow us to smell through a screen 

hasn’t been invented quite yet. In the case of incorporating scent into a virtual experience, you may consider sending items to participants prior to the event. Think nostalgic scents that may remind them of their childhood, or even a smell that could start an interesting conversation about your brand or their needs.

Taste: This is another great opportunity to think creatively for a virtual event. Perhaps you could also add an element to the aforementioned package that includes something delicious like chocolate chip cookies or a bag of local coffee or tea. Think about how to tie your message and product to something edible for an experience that will feel personal, even when it’s virtual. 

Sight: When it comes to bringing this sense to life, it’s easy to incorporate sight into your virtual trade show experience. Think bright, bold visuals and short, poignant videos and anything that really brings your message and brand to life visually. Even seeing one another on screen to have a virtual “face to face” conversation can help break the ice and lead to a meaningful experience.  

Touch: A tactile experience can also be memorable for your virtual participants. Consider including a blanket in that package you send before (or after!) the event with your brand or message on it. It will be an appealing item that your participants will likely keep around for years to come.  

Hearing: Aside from sight, hearing might be one of the most important elements of a virtual trade show experience. Bringing this particular sense to life can be anything from an engaging ice breaker game to get people smiling and laughing, to playing music as people wait for the event to begin. Be sure to test out sound quality, especially music because it does not transmit well on some platforms. 

If your budget does not allow for a “care package” to be sent to all attendees of your event, consider using a survey to qualify attendees and send the package to only those most qualified. Another option is to turn the sensory experience into part of your engagement strategy. Ask attendees to find items from around their home or office. Or have them bake cinnamon rolls for the morning coffee break, or make a cocktail with your guest mixologist for your virtual happy hour.

Hosting virtual events and trade shows to interact with your customers certainly presents a unique set of challenges. We understand that now, more than ever, it’s important to be thoughtful and creative when talking to and educating those who are current or potential customers.

Need help with a creative solution for your next virtual event? Our Virtual Exhibit Platform can help!  


Subscribe to Exhibit Concepts Blog

More to explore

NEXT Lab is a dynamic, experiential, and creative team dedicated to developing unique digital and virtual experiences for trade shows, museums, education spaces, marketing initiatives, and interior environments. Learn More