4imprint, LLC

| Updated: May 10, 2022

The average consumer is exposed to nearly 10,000 brand messages per day. This number is predicted to grow as the number of available marketing channels continues to rise. How can exhibitors break through all this noise to get their marketing message heard? Appeal to the senses.

A study by Oxford University found that more than half of U.S. millennials feel increasingly disconnected from the physical world—70 percent seek out experiences to stimulate their senses. But appealing to the senses isn’t just for millennials. According to the Harvard Business Review®, a multisensory experience is a perfect way to get people connected to your brand. These tips, along with creative trade show giveaway ideas that captivate the senses, will have people soaking up your brand message.

Creative trade show giveaway ideas to stimulate the senses


Virtual reality (VR) is a great way to visually engage those visiting your booth. It also positions your brand as innovative and tech-savvy. Plus, more than half (53 percent) of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand that uses VR. Take them on a virtual tour of your facility, provide interactive product demonstrations, or break down a complex process or practice with the help of an app and some VR glasses.


The nose knows! Did you know that the human nose has hundreds more receptors than the eyes and ears? Capture the attention of passersby by diffusing a pleasant blend of essential oils. Use an electronic diffuser to mist a blend of citrus and vanilla essential oils that can help energize and lift the mood of your audience. Raffle off diffusers in a grand prize drawing. Every time they smell this invigorating blend, they’ll think of your brand.


Tie your multi-sensory exhibit together by incorporating an experience-enhancing soundtrack. For high energy brands, hire a DJ to drop beats. If your brand is more laid back, consider an acoustic performer. Or create a calming effect with classical music or nature sounds. Download your booth soundtrack and send lucky winners away with an MP3 and a light-up wireless speaker. 


Our sense of taste doesn’t rely on the tongue alone; instead it is a combination of taste, smell and texture. According to a Rockefeller University study, we remember 15 percent of what we taste and 35 percent of what we smell (versus 1 percent of what we touch, 2 percent of what we hear and 5 percent of what we see), making the sense of taste a powerful one. If your company provides culinary treats, offer samples. For instance, a microbrewery could offer tasting flights, and a cheesemaker may include cheese samples. A flight paddle or cheeseboard makes a great complementary prize. If culinary treats aren’t your specialty, you can still leave a flavorful impression by offering decadent truffles or flavored lip balm as your giveaway.


Exploring different textures and touch sensations helps us process and make sense of our surroundings. Provide a hands-on experience with touchscreen displays. Position product samples so they are easily accessible. Provide comfy lounge seating, upholstered in soft fabrics. And display a few Sherpa throws that can later be raffled off as prizes. Or consider offering hand or neck massages to booth visitors. They’ll be touched by your hospitality!


Appeal to their senses by creating an exhibit they can see, smell, hear, taste and touch. These tips and creative trade show giveaway ideas will have them immersed in your brand.