Dr James Morgan, founder of the Event Tech Lab and principal lecturer of the University of Westminster, presented his research on the emotional behaviour of attendees at events at a recent seminar. Exposure Analytics hosted a conference at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly to promote its award-winning data collection technology.

During his speech, Dr Morgan touched on how cognitive and behavioural engagement, and spatial design can impact how an attendee creates memories of an event.

People’s behaviour within a space can be manipulated through an event’s layout and use of space. This manipulation is useful to event organisers because they can inspire an emotional response: creating positive memories increases the likelihood of a sale.

Going into more detail of emotional engagement, Dr Morgan said it revolves around “story-telling” and authenticity is key to inspiring an emotional response from consumers.


Drawing on an example of a Starbucks barista seemingly comically ranting to his online following in his car, Dr Morgan explained that the “low-production value” of the video added to its authenticity. The positive emotional response triggered by the comedic value and the authenticity of the video caused Starbucks sales to increase.

Demonstrating the “wheel of emotion”, Dr Morgan stated experiences can be designed to specifically trigger certain emotions. Focusing on positive emotions such as joy, happiness and anticipation during events can increase engagement, and therefore sales.

Live events benefit from inspiring positive emotional responses in their attendees as emotional changes lead to behavioural changes. Events can use their spatial design and story-telling techniques to inspire such changes and trigger an increase in sales. 

If you are interested in attending future events with Exposure Analytics and Event Industry News, please get in touch.

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com