The Five Senses of Meetings: Make Your Meetings More Visual

Look no further: Here are seven ideas to make your next event a sight to behold.

Your schedules are printed. Your slides are ready. Now it’s time to think about taking your event to the next level. After all, 65% of people self-report as being visual learners, which means appealing to their sense of sight will help make your meeting one to remember.

If you want to create an engaging experience that attendees won’t soon forget, focus on incorporating iconic visuals that go beyond the usual meeting media. Here’s some inspiration for your next eye-catching event.

For ways to bring the other senses into your events, visit the other articles in this series: touch, sound, taste, and smell .

Set the tone on social media

Before your event even begins, ramp up the visual excitement with posts on social media. Try a color-block feed like The Collecteur, bright multicolor shots like Kate Spade New York, or graphic quotes like Brit + Co. You can even dedicate all 12 squares of your grid to one big image that simply can’t be ignored.

Go bold with bright visuals

Take a cue from a conference made for design professionals. The schedules, notebooks, and wayfinding signs from AIGA’s annual design conference a few years ago were so unapologetically attention-grabbing, with vivid colors and bold type, that attendees were more likely to keep them for inspiration than toss them in the trash at the end of the day.

Get graphic with note-taking

During a presentation, it can be difficult to strike a balance between paying attention to the speaker and taking notes on the useful information they share. Chicago Ideas Week brought in a visual note-taker to capture key information and quotable moments in graphic form. The artwork was then displayed for attendees to peruse. These notes can also be sent to eventgoers in PDF form or printed as a booklet.

Color on the walls

During spring break campus events, the University of Texas at Austin encouraged students to leave their mark on a giant Texas-inspired coloring wall—essentially a huge coloring page. At your next event, invite participants to get creative and decompress between sessions as they fill in the blanks on a themed wall with paint pens.

Create a shareable backdrop

Veuve Cliquot had not one, but three backdrops at a 2021 polo party, which set the stage for the event and provided a fun spot for selfies and photos. Opt for a branded, snap-worthy backdrop—think florals, balloons, or neon—and attendees won’t be able to resist posting about your event on social media.

Entice attendees with interactive film

HP encouraged data scientists to hone their skills with an interactive film that promoted their Z by HP line. Participants watched a four-part film, then analyzed and worked through a dataset to try to solve the film’s mystery. While an interactive film may not be in your budget, consider kicking off your event with an engaging video that touts a new product or service.

Identify attendees at a glance

Target used colored badges to differentiate corporate employees, speakers, and attendees at an event for their incubator program. If your event involves people from various companies or industries, try going visual with badges. Think red for sales professionals and blue for product managers, or green for vendors and orange for attendees.