Smell succes: Scent marketing at trade shows

Laura Ebeltjes
Apr 3, 2024 8:59:04 AM

Trade shows are often overwhelmed with visual sensations. However, scents find a direct path to your visitors’ emotions. Dive into the realm of scent marketing and be inspired by science-backed success stories.


The science behind scent marketing

You understand the importance of capturing visitors' attention like no other. But did you know that scent marketing directly influences people's emotions and memories? By cleverly using scents, you can create a strong emotional connection and leave a lasting impression crucial for your booth's success.

Research from the Sense of Smell Institute found that people forget their visual memories by 50% after 3 months, while they still accurately remember scents by 65% after 1 year.


KOP - Info Geur EN


Scent marketing at businesses

Recently, we applied scent marketing for our client Fuze Tea. Their goal was to offer visitors a complete sensory experience with color, scent, taste, sound, and touch. We created a cozy corner at their booth with swings and a Sound Shower*, while a scent machine spread an aroma of fresh fruit for a complete experience. By stimulating the visitors in these various ways, the bond to the Fuze Tea is easily strengthened. 

*With a Sound Shower, the sound comes to life when you stand under the speaker. When you step out of the zone, you hear nothing.


Geurmarketing_ stand_Fuze Tea


The benefits of scent marketing for your brand

It's more than just a pleasant smell! Let's look at 4 compelling reasons why scent marketing can be an asset for your business.

  • Building value: Perfumed spaces are perceived as more expensive and luxurious. A Nike study found that 84% of participants responded positively to scent marketing, making them willing to pay 10-20% more.

  • Extended dwell time: Visitors stay an average of 15 minutes longer in locations which smell nice. For instance, scent marketing research showed Samsung shoppers visited 3 times more product categories when exposed to a pleasant scent.

  • Theme or product promotion: Scent adds character to an environment. For example, a well-known nightclub in London doubled the sales of Malibu rum by spreading the scent of coconut.
  • Distinctive feature: By choosing a recognizable scent that suits your brand, you attract their attention but also create a memorable experience for your visitors. Take, for example, Lush stores (which retail fresh handmade cosmetics): they have a unique scent derived from a blend of essential oils and ingredients like lavender, citrus, and peppermint in their products. This scent makes the brand instantly recognizable and creates a pleasant and inviting atmosphere in their stores. It has become an essential part of their overall identity.


Lush Store

Credits: Lush


Now, here are our tips:

  1. Choose the right scent: Consider what scent fits your brand and message. Choose something that creates the desired atmosphere, such as a fresh citrus scent for energy or vanilla for coziness. But above all, seek advice from a scent expert.

  2. Keep the scent subtle and consistent: Make sure the scent is not too strong and spread it evenly. You want to create a positive atmosphere without overwhelming visitors.

  3. Test the scent beforehand: Scent experts understand how scents influence people, but they my not be familiair with your business. Let people experience it first before rolling it out on a large scale. Ensure that, apart from the scientific effect, it also truly fits your identity.

  4. Create a total experience: Mix the scent with other sensory stimuli such as color, light, and music to provide a complete experience. Starbucks cleverly uses this in their stores. They combine the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans with their colors and even the music they play in their stores.

  5. Expand the experience: So, look beyond just the trade show. Use the scent in physical stores, offices, and various communications such as packaging materials, business cards, and letterheads. Make it an integral part of your identity.

  6. Choose alternatives: If you're not set on a specific scent but still want to captivate and retain your visitors longer, consider baking fresh bread rolls or stroopwafels*. These scents are delightful and inviting, making them another form of scent marketing with proven results.

*Original Dutch treat



KOP - Fragrance wheel EN


Make an impression: discover our Expo boosters

Are you ready to use scent marketing for your trade show presence? Or do you want to look around at our other Expoboosters first? Feel free to contact us if you want to know more!

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Laura Ebeltjes
By Laura Ebeltjes

Laura is our Content Marketer! One who thrives on words and visuals. She truly gets happy creating content.

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