Making More Meeting Sense

In our July cover story, we talked to meeting planners, designers, and neuroscience experts about something we called Return on Intangibles -- how environmental and emotional factors can affect a meeting's outcome.


I wish I’d known then about the work of brand consultant Martin Lindstrom in applying neuroscience to marketing, if only for this one statistic: We process 15 percent of what our senses tell us in our conscious mind, and 85 percent in our unconscious, Lindstrom asserts. Almost our entire understanding of the world is experienced through our senses.

In the meetings industry, W Hotels has a wonderful grasp of this concept. At some W hotels, planners can order a “Sensory Set Up,” with elements designed to engage all the senses: candles, flowers, aromatherapy, tactile “twisty” pens. (Both genders like the enhanced set-ups, a representative for the Scottsdale W told me.) W hotels also offers “Wish Workshops” — breaks where meeting attendees can take knitting and cooking lessons — and “Recess,” a time for attendees to get physical with yoga or other active team-building activities.

What about your meetings? Do you have any stories to share about how you have deliberately appealed to your attendees’ senses, beyond what they can see and hear?

Photo of W Scottsdale Sensory® Set Up, courtesy W Scottsdale

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.