Why You Need An Artist At Your Next Trade Show

The trade show floor can be a tough competition. Hundreds of vendors vying for participant’s time and attention during a busy conference can mean the countless hours your marketing team put into a trade show booth’s design and giveaway items could have a less-than-intended impact.


An illuminated trade show booth created by Ink Factory for Maestro Health


Visual notes are the solution to that trade show floor struggle. They’ll have people flocking to your booth – even coming back for more the next day. Visual notes can be incorporated into a booth’s design in so many ways. They can be the main attraction or one element to your display.

“When our artist captured the content presented during our session, the end result was impressive to say the least – people took photos with the image and came to our booth the next day just to see it again; it doesn’t get better than that!”

Julie Bastien, Senior Director of Marketing at PointRight

A conference attendee snaps a photo of Ink Factory's visual notes at the Fresenius Kabi trade show booth

Visual notes draw people in

For Fresenius Kabi’s booth, in collaboration with IMS Solutions, we illustrated three sections of pre-determined content when the trade show floor was open at the 2017 ASHP Midyear. Passersby were amazed to see an artist working live, which pulled them into the booth. They could read all about Fresenius Kabi’s offerings, and chat with representatives from the company. Because visuals engage the emotional processing part of our brain, they’re better suited towards exciting people about your brand than standard trade show displays.

“The live visual notes in our trade show booth were the perfect conversation starter, delivering our message in a fresh and creative way.”

Julie Bastien, Senior Director of Marketing at PointRight


Conference attendees pose with visual notes created by Ink Factory showcasing their input at Netsuite


Capture feedback

A fantastic way to engage with participants on the trade show floor is to pose a question to them – like NetSuite’s question to Non-Profit attendees at NTEN 2015. We drew boards with “How does technology further your social mission” featured prominently, and as people approached to answer, NetSuite’s representatives were able to engage them in conversation. Attendees were thrilled to see their answers drawn live in front of them, posing and posting on social media. And at the end of the event, Netsuite was left with several boards that showed what their clients were looking for in a partner, better informing them on how they can improve their organization and serve their clients.


A conference attendee takes a selfie against a wall of visual notes

Engage with social media

It’s common for conferences and organizations to employ hashtags to engage with participants on social media during events. 25) Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images (Source). It can be a struggle to engage with people on social media when content is a bit dry, so when we’re drawing at a trade show booth, people love to snap a picture and post it on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The more we draw, the more your ideas are shared with the world!

“The boards were a great way to bring the conference theme to life and we had tons of people taking selfies with the wall. We have found the illustrations to be a great item for social media around the conference and for driving awareness in general for Intacct.”

Peter Olson, Director of Corporate Communications, Intacct


The finished trade show booth Ink Factory created using visual notes for Pearson

Your ideas will outlast the conference

Our clients love visual notes because they not only engage audiences live, but they also serve as a beautiful and concise record of the content that was presented and discussed. The key ideas you’re trying to get across to your audiences are immortalized in the images we create – and they’re perfect for sharing long after the conference has ended. Want to follow up with your booth visitors? Send them a copy of your visual notes! We remember 80 percent of what we see, but only 10 percent of what we hear. To the brain, words are more abstract and more difficult to retain, but visuals are concrete and more easily remembered. If you want to remind participants about your brand, make sure you’ve got visual notes to make that connection!

“People kept coming back to visit throughout the day, and throughout the conference, to see how the mural was turning out and what was being added. I certainly think it was one of the most photographed things in the entire exhibit hall.”

Lauren Lopez, Pearson North America Marketing Programs


An artist from Ink Factory draws live on a trade show booth for Pearson