When your senses lead you
By: Laura Gallagher

Being a designer, I’m naturally drawn to things that look awesome and I truly care about making our client projects look great. However, what would happen if SIGHT was taken away?


I recently visited Budapest on holiday, and even though I try to switch off, you just can’t help but be inspired. I was lucky enough to visit the ‘invisible exhibition’, which quite literally puts you in the footsteps of those who are visually impaired. Throughout this experience your blind guide takes you through many scenarios such as the home, the street (and my favourite the bar), but in complete darkness. It was so scary having your sight taken away, even for just an hour. But it made me use many of my other senses I would just take for granted in these situations.


I was more tuned in to sound just by listening for people and traffic. I was more aware of touch, trying to avoid walking into anything. It was an amazing experience that let me understand what visually impaired people go through and how I could potentially help in the future. This made me think about how we already use different senses and how we can embrace this more to enhance experiences for delegates.


Sound
We work closely with skilled sound designers, technicians and voice over artists. And this often goes hand in hand with choreographers or video production to make sure all elements come together to create the best overall experience possible.


Touch
Well, as a designer, touch naturally brings me to print, there’s nothing better then receiving something tangible which feels really nice. Quality is really important to us whether it’s generic collateral or something more experimental, we won’t let anything go out the door unless it as good as it possibly can be.


Taste
For a recent superhero themed event, for TalkTalk, we brought the New York vibe (it's the home of superheroes after all) into all the food for the event. Food stalls were dotted around the venue where delegates could pick up various refreshments including popcorn and pretzels.


Smell
We all know how McDonald's pumps out the smell from their kitchens to entice people in… Maybe we could have pumped out smells of pollution and New York street food for our superhero event. Or we could have created smells of rotting flesh for a zombie themed project we did. It would be interesting to see how we could weave this one into upcoming events, so make sure you check back 😉


Sight
On a recent Bayer project, we collaborated with Ogilvy Change to explore the Nudge Theory - an experimental theory that plays with the behavioural actions of the delegates, without them knowing. One of the simple experiments was in the coffee area, testing delegates whether they will pick fruit or chocolate muffins… chocolate every time, right? That was until a few simple steps were put in place, for example having the fruit raised slightly higher, placing a mirror behind the muffins and stacking the muffins. These simple things made the muffins seem less desirable to the delegates.


Overall, I don’t think we’re doing too badly with our senses. However it’s highlighted to me how important it is to embrace each one as an opportunity to create stronger experiences for delegates in our future events.


Categories: Inspiration