Add Swagger To Your Next Conference

If you work in the business world chances are you’ve either attended a conference or helped organize one. Ink Factory’s visual note-taking is incorporated into multiple conferences a year which tend to follow the same patterns: keynote speaker? Check! Panel discussion? Check! Handouts? Check! Conference-branded schwag? check!

Now, there is nothing wrong with this format. It is, after all, a tried-and-true format for large-scale conferences—and who doesn’t like schwag? But what if there was a way to inject some additional creativity into your conference that will inspire and engage attendees well after they leave? How can visual notes create swagger, not schwag-er?

Artists create visual notes at live events

Unique engagements

Content is king and it’s why you bring people to your conference—to share your information. The time and monetary investment it takes to successfully design, create, and launch a conference is huge. Therefore, it’s important that your attendees can take advantage of this investment by being able to uniquely retain, recall, and engage with the content presented—visual notes can help with that. Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that “visual stimulation is more effective than audio stimuli at achieving higher memory retention and recall,” and “Specifically, it seems that the use of visual stimuli with the act of writing seems to elicit the best recall.

A study at the Wharton School of Business found that, while half of an audience was persuaded by a verbal presentation, 67 percent were persuaded by the same presentation, which also included visuals. Audience members were also more quickly persuaded by the presentation that included visuals.

Instead of adding visuals to your presentation using traditional tools like PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi, engage attendees using real-time visual note-taking. Visual note-takers, also called Graphic Recorders, actively listen to what is being said, synthesize, filter, and then visualize key information in real-time using a combination of hand-drawn text and images. Conference organizers will walk away with large-scale, artful representations of the content presented, while attendees are able to interact with and photograph the visual notes well after the speech is given ensuring this content lives beyond the presentation.

Digital visual note taking in front of a huge conference audience

Inject the tech

In today’s tech-savvy world, conference organizers would be remiss not to take advantage of the smartphone in everyone’s pocket. Organizers could begin engaging attendees well before the conference by priming them with their branded app. Companies like EventEdge, Pathable, and EventMobi continue to enhance the conference experience by designing slick, intuitive, and innovative mobile apps. In most apps, attendees find just about everything they need to know about the conference and what to expect right at their fingertips.

In a perfect world, attendees would be able to register and pay for the conference; store their virtual ticket; book their hotel; and check into the conference. Organizers could also use the same app in conjunction with their visual note-taker. Instead of analog graphic recording (marker to paper), we also offer digital graphic recording. For this new digital offering, not only would attendees see a presenter’s speech coming to life real-time on the big screen, but they would also have access to these visuals via the app within minutes of the finished presentation. Take it a step further and send alerts to attendees when images from other sessions are available. This way, attendees can note only keep the content accessible, they will be able to learn about sessions they didn’t get to attend!

An artist creates digital visual notes on a drawing tablet

Long live the content

Take advantage of the content from your event by using visual notes as virtual ambassadors for your next conference. Reignite the conversation and jog memories by taking advantage of your social media and your followers. Tag #MotivationMondays, #TransformationTuesdays, and #WednesdayWisdom on Twitter. Send updates to attendees in your app using the visual notes to recall some of the main points of the conference. The possibilities are endless.

No matter the size of conference you are designing, it has to be memorable (for the attendees and yourself). Creating a truly unique experience will allow information and dialog to live way beyond the closing comments. Ink Factory visual note-taking adds a much needed layer to your conference by creating real-time, engaging visual experiences that help retain and recall important information through large-scale visuals that are sharable, printable, and ready to propel the content throughout the entire year.


NeoMam Studios. (2014) Thirteen Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics.

Udomon, Iboro, Chuyee Xiong, Ryan Berns, Kathleen Best, Nicole Vike. (2013) Visual, Audio and Kinesthetic Effects on Memory Retention and Recall. Journal of Advanced Student Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison.