With big name clients such as Swarovski, KPMG, Dom Pérignon and Bulgari, Exclamation Group director Anastasia Nisenbaum and CEO and founder Thomas Serrano know a thing or two about luxury event management. Using a calculated combination of entertainment, recipes, color, architecture and sound to tap into attendees’ senses, they begin every event planning process by mapping the emotional journey of the audience.
We recently asked Nisenbaum and Serrano for their insights on how events can transcend the ordinary and give attendees goosebumps. A stellar example happened back at a 2015 event, when Lebron James introduced a limited-edition luxury watch branded with his name. “To add further impact to an already memorable evening, we used a technique called cine-theatre, where Lebron placed his hand in a box, and the video screen behind him showed the watches being built on his wrist,” says Serrano. “This live show of the watchmaker’s craftsmanship further enhanced the entertainment factor and was an unforgettable experience for the crowd.”
Exclamation Group Tips For Goosebump Events
• Entertainment. Start by thinking about what would be most interesting to the attendees, and how to create an experience not available anywhere outside of the event that will deepen their connection to the brand, says Nisenbaum. “Create an emotional connection with a beautiful storytelling video or a sophisticated art installation, for example. Move your attendees. Surprise them.”
• Lighting. Lighting can drastically change the mood of the event, says Serrano. “It is important that lighting matches the tone you are trying to set and is in line with the brand. Colored lighting, moving lighting, black light and so on all send messages to attendees about how they should be feeling. It is important for lighting to be interesting but not overly distracting.”
• Sound. Sound is an often overlooked element, says Serrano. “When crafting the best sound for an event, we take into consideration many factors including age, gender and preferences of the group. The goal is that the music or other sound that we play will evoke meaningful emotions. This will make it more memorable.”
• Food. When planning meeting menus, start by considering the concept of the event , advises Nisenbaum. “After deciding the event’s story, turn to which caterer or chef is the best fit. I also recommend working with food designers to help ensure your concept and execution match.”
Mapping the Emotional Journey
How does mapping the emotional journey of attendees translate into a customized event plan? Here are Serrano’s 3 top recommendations:
1. “Similar to how it is done in Broadway shows, consider the emotional journey of the audience. At what points do you want attendees to experience surprise, excitement or happiness? These can be elicited through any one or a combination of the elements above: entertainment, light, sound and food. Plan the event around these emotional touch points.
2. “Lean into the emotion-generating elements. Mixing them together as you create an emotional journey will result in a more creative plan and a more memorable experience for attendees.”
3. “Think about the story of the event and try to incorporate an education element that will spark attendees’ curiosity and increase the emotional impact. Educational moments deepen the group’s connection to the brand and ensure that the event will not soon be forgotten.”
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