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100% Design: A feast for the senses

Design events need to stimulate all the senses in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace and connect with attendees. Here’s how 100% Design is pulling it off this week…

Hearing

There’s nothing like entering a busy exhibition hall and hearing the buzz of interest and excitement of people learning something new. It’s not all about buying and selling, it’s about gaining inspiration and there’s no better place to do that at the moment than at 100% Design.

Over the last few years, exhibitions have harnessed the need to inspire by finely tuning their conference programmes to combine expert comment with CPD sessions and inspirational entrepreneurial tales. Gone are the days of exhibitors standing up and launching just another product droning on about the functionality and features – yawn. We want anecdotes about having to climb Mount Everest to find the rarest kind of air to grow the raw material, good news stories, unbelievable (but true) good luck stories of being in the right place at the right time and how the people that inspire us, like Jaime Hayon and Philippe Starck, get their inspiration.

Seeing (is believing)

There are always amazing sights at exhibitions and 100% Design doesn’t disappoint. Glazing specialist Panoramah! for example has a van suspended on a pulley system to show how robust and strong their triple glazed systems are and Italian company Antolini has row upon row of impressive natural stone columns which dwarf visitors to the stand.

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Touching

Chairs that look like they’re designed to be easy on the eye rather than the rump just have to be tried. Exhibitions are fantastic for acting like a child in a sweet shop without having to take notice of the “Do Not Touch” signs.

Everything is there for trying. There were squeals of delight from grown adults trying out the spherical seating from Lina and, in the space of five minutes, I counted 20 people walking onto the Kaza stand to touch their concrete creations https://twitter.com/KAZAConcrete – where would you get people doing that other than at an exhibition.

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Smelling

Ok, so you’re thinking this is a bit tenuous. How can smell make a difference to a design show? Well it does. The beautiful natural, earthy smells of the Eco Design and Build area with stand upon stand of beautiful natural wooden flooring, living walls and natural stone make way for the warm and fuzzy odours from lighting and textiles in the interiors section.

There’s always the cafes and coffee shops if you prefer the smell of cookies and pastries!

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Tasting

What inspires you about design is all a matter of taste daaaarling!

100% Design run until 20th September at Earl’s Court, London http://www.100percentdesign.co.uk/