Shraddha Ranganathan

Odorama Colleague

Shraddha Ranganathan, ... - Juli 2019

Hi, new Odorama organizer!

You've found your feet here at Mediamatic, and you've found your place in the Odorama team - nice! Great that you're on board, let's do this! 

It will feel like a huge, difficult thing to manage on your own, but let me tell you a secret: you're not on your own. There are resources for you, and if you can't find answers in them, then someone at the office will answer your questions. For now, go here so I can give you all the info I have.

Good luck, and I believe in you. You got this! Make me proud!


Odorama Scent Jockeying - Scentman the Aroma Jockey producing scents during Caro Verbeek's presentation. Margherita Soldati

So, you’re the new intern in charge of Odorama. Nice! Welcome to the team! It’s a really nice program, and I’ve learnt a lot while working on it. 

It’s not difficult, but it is kind of stressful because the work comes in waves. If you’re like me, you’ll probably worry when there’s no work to do. (Don’t!) Via this document, I’m going to try and make it as easy for you as possible. Each header is a different section, so you don’t have to digest too much info at once. There are 10 (!) chapters, but they’re all pretty short.

First, some basics: The Odorama series is curated either by Frank Bloem or Caro Verbeek. They’re both brilliant in completely different ways. They’re also really nice, they make this job easier. 

As you already probably know, there’s a pre-decided theme around which (usually) 4 speakers will present a lecture. While they tend to come from different backgrounds, they all talk about the role of scents in the scope of that specific theme.  

1. Handling people

You’re the contact person for Odorama - that means you need to have all the answers. That might sound a little intimidating, but don’t worry, you have plenty of time to prepare all the answers. Plus, everything is written down in multiple places. 

  • The event is likely going to be written into Stager already. You’ll see a list of important details you need to fill out in the description at the bottom. Here’s an example.

  • Bar staff/people who don’t work upstairs may have questions. This is generally going to be about timing, etc. That’s what the Stager sheet is for - use it!

  • People (other interns, visitors, your family…) are going to ask you what the event is about. Have an answer ready! It really helped me to know what about the event I personally found interesting. You’re representing this whole thing - it helps to be really into it. 

2. Stager + Google Calendar

These are the easy ones - quick work.

  • Subscribe to the Events calendar. Or, even better, ask Sjoerd to write you in to the calendar. This way you can edit the events. You go to the event on the Google calendar and link it to the event on Stager. (It might feel excessive, but it helps if some people only use Stager or the Google calendar...gotta make it easy for everyone)

  • On Stager, fill in the details we talked about in the previous section. This is the schedule + coins + location + personnel + number of speakers. (Personnel and number of speakers matters because the kitchen needs to know how many people will be eating that day before the event.)

  • Now go to the personnel tab in Stager and fill in a photographer, the event manager (that’s you!), someone for ticket sales and an aroma jockey. You can do the aroma jockeying yourself, but try to avoid this situation. It’s better for you to be available to the speakers/to fix something in the location/etc.

  • Check the info under all the tabs! You know the event best - if something is wrong, changing the info in Stager is suuuuper important. 

3. Communications


I outlined this for you on the knowledge page. Go nuts!


4. Ordering stuff

You’re also in charge of the ‘boring’ stuff, like logistics. These are going to be either in-house logistics, or materials (which just means scents and blotters, usually). 


  • You’ll have to order scents well in advance, because trusting the delivery times is a bad idea. Be safe! Be careful! Be overly cautious! at least three weeks in advance. 
  • Now before you go ordering stuff, check the inventory!  Remember to check both pages - the Aroma Lab one and the Odorama box one. 
  • If what you need isn’t on that list, then order away! We usually use the hekserij but do a quick google search first to check if you’ll get it any cheaper. PipingRock is also nice, but they ship from the US so verzendkosten are pretty high. 
  • These are just the ones we use most commonly! If you’ve got a better resource, make sure you add it to the knowledge page for your successor to benefit from. 


5. What do you do with the scents? 


  • Once the ordered scents are in, get in touch with the speakers again. You need to ask them what dilution they’d like.
    In the aroma lab you’ll find a metal bottle of cosmetisch haarwater, which is perfuming alcohol. This is what you dilute the scents with. 
    • You will also find label sheets in the aroma lab. (Top drawer on the fridge side, there’s plenty)
    • At Etos you’ll find clear spray bottles that we use for the Odorama scents. These are generally 50ml bottles.  
    • To state the obvious: dilutions. (Skip this part if you’re really good at math and/or in the lab and/or familiar with dilutions)
      • x10050ml = X ml = how much solute you need.
        (50ml - Xml) = how much solvent (perfuming alcohol) you need.
        For example, you need to make a 15% solution of frangipani essential oil. 1510050ml = 7.5ml. So you need 7.5 ml of frangipani essential oil. (50ml - 7.5ml) = 42.5 ml of perfuming alcohol.

      • If the scent you receive is already a solution, it’s a bit more complicated. Say you need a 10% solution (product P). Your solute (e.g., iso butyl quinoline) is dissolved in alcohol at a concentration of 80% (solution S). There are multiple ways to do this, but this one is the easiest for me.

        First, figure out how much should be in a 10% solution. 10% of 50ml is 5ml. So you need 5ml of iso-butyl quinoline in 45 ml of alcohol. But if you add 5ml of solution S to 45 ml of alcohol, you’re really only adding 4 ml (80% of 5ml).

        So, 80% of what amount would be 5ml? I use the formula x100 ? = required amount. For this example, that would mean 80100 ? = 5ml. A little cross multiplication, bada-bing, bada-boom, you get 6.25ml.

        Personally, I’ve overestimated this formula before and scared myself for no reason, but I’ve also underestimated it and confused myself beyond all reason.

      • There’s also serial dilutions. You need this method if your original solute is extremely concentrated, and you need a very small amount/a very dilute product. I don’t know if you’ll need this,  but if you do, here’s my favorite guide


  • Check whether they want to distribute the scent via the Dyson or using blotters. (We also buy blotters at the hekserij. Feel free to find something cheaper!)

  • If it’s the Dyson, there’s a guide available for that as well. (I put a lot of effort into that one!)

6. Location

In the summer months, Odorama is held in the Sluisdeurenloods (the barn).
In the winter months, it will be in the Haeckel room. Set up does differ for these two, but not by much. 


Here you can see what the barn is supposed to look like when we have an event. This page should contain the set up for the Odorama in the Haeckel room. 

7. Presentation

Remember all those annoying emails you sent about them sending you the slides (in 16:9, please!)? They’ll send them not on time, and in a confusing array, but hey, you still have to put it together. Here’s an example of a final presentation we used.


  • General format: 
    • Odorama: [Edition] on the first page + a relevant video looped in the background  
    • Second page has Odorama: [Edition] in the same place without the video. (This look super cool in the presentation itself)
    • Second-to-last page has the next Odorama announced on it. 
    • Last page usually just says Mediamatic on it

  • Try not to change any of the pictures they send you! What you can do, however, is make it prettier. Try to find higher resolution pictures if they’re bad, or just edit out any ugly bits and bobs.

  • Make sure there’s a slide that says ‘break’ in the middle, and a slide that says ‘questions?’ after every speaker’s last slide. 

8. Food & drinks

Nobody will ever accuse us of being bad hosts. But in order to ensure that, you have to take care of a few things before and on the day of the event. 


  • Tell the kitchen staff (after lunch, 1500h is a good time for this) - how many guests are eating? Make sure they know how many plates to make and at what time dinner is expected. 1800h in the winter, and 1830h in the summer.

  • You need to eat too, you hard-worker! You don’t eat with the guests, but with everyone else who’s working that day. This is generally served half an hour before the guest dinner. TELL THE KITCHEN! They need to know how many extra ‘intern plates’ they need to make. Count yourself + photographer + ticket salesperson + aroma jockey + AV support + event assistant (if any).

  • Speakers and staff get coins for the event. 1 coin = €2. Speakers get 10 coins each, staff gets 5 coins each. Staff do not get discount when using coins! So if you want a glass of wine, that’s €4 = 2 coins!

  • Side note: You make the coin bags. Make sure you write on the bags: i) the name of the person getting them and ii) the value of the coins (1 coin = €2, remember!) 

9. Set up! 


  • Dyson Fan: download the app (it’s called Dyson Link), you need to make an account and connect it to our device, with the app you can control the Dyson it up and making it rotate

  • Do a light and sound check! Whether it’s the barn or the Haeckel room, you want to ensure that the light doesn’t shine directly on the screen.

  • Do a cleaning check - how does the floor look?

  • In the barn, do a light check the evening before. Make sure the light isn’t directed towards the screen.

  • In the barn, make sure there are heaters set up around the chairs (on the outside, not in between the chairs!)

  • Print the schedule out for the curator. It can’t hurt.

  • Adapt! I can tell you everything I’ve done so far, but you’ll face unique challenges with set up. Be fleeeexible!

10. Day of the event 

So this is how your day will go at the event. 

  • You come to work, you expect there to be lots to do, but there isn’t. Because you took care of everything. Good job, you!
  • After lunch, suddenly it gets busy. You start a space check, sound check, kitchen check, last minute presentation check, and then suddenly it’s like, 1700h.
  • You eat dinner at 17.30h (ish) but it’s rushed because you feel like there’s a lot to do (but there isn’t). Relax! 
  • Speakers start to come in at 1820h. This is your moment! Go say hi! Get them comfy, tell them when to expect dinner, give them the coin bags. Have a chat or let them have their space, up to you.
  • Keep an eye on them - when it looks like they’re done eating, take them through a run-through of the presentation. This is also a moment for last minute changes. Don’t panic! You can handle this.
  • Hand the printed out the schedule to the curator!
  • It’s 2000h, things are starting, and from here, I can’t tell you anything anymore. Be proud! You did this! Good job, you!

Take care of this project. I only did 3, yet I’ll always care about this program deeply. Know why you’re doing this!

On that note, you got this! I believe in you!

All my best, 

Shraddha x