The Ultimate Event Activation: Engagement Boards

The Ink Factory team has been busy creating event activations at big conferences, meetings and expos–with one of our favorite offerings, the engagement board. We’ve always loved this under-the-radar visual tool. They grab attention and sparks conversations without being obtrusive.

With more and more event and trade show pros requesting them, it feels like the perfect time to share Ink Factory’s unofficial Guide to Getting Started With Engagement Boards. Keep reading to learn what they are, tips for using at an event, and how they can benefit you and your audience.


How does this event activation work?

An engagement board is type of event activation: a live-drawn, interactive mural. It’s created using large whiteboards that we install at your event space. Each board features a question or prompt. Attendees write their responses on notecards and Ink Factory artists hand-draw them in real time. The result? A vibrant piece of art that everyone helped create!


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Engagement boards as meeting and event activations

Engagement boards are an effective tool for driving interaction and idea-sharing among event attendees. Here are just a few of our favorite ways engagement boards can make an impact.

Inspire and Engage Attendees

Sometimes you need to draw attendees into an event – literally and figuratively! We often place engagement boards at entryways and registration areas, prompting attendees to share something they hope to learn or gain by attending.

Other times, an engagement board can mirror the energy or tone of an event. Recently, 6,500 teachers gathered for Get Your Teach On (GYTO), an annual conference dedicated to teacher growth and development. Organizers leaned into this with an engagement board that asked “What most inspires you to be a teacher?” Watch all the ways visuals brought GYTO to life here.


Capture Audience Insights

An engagement board can serve as a casual focus group – helping you glean insights from a target audience on a specific topic. When Ink Factory exhibited at the Event Planner Expo, we utilized engagement boards to ask attendees about what excites them and what challenges they foresee. We work with event pros all the time, so knowing what’s important to them right now allows us to better meet their needs.

Curious to know how event pros responded? Download the completed engagement board here.


Artists draw an event activation at the shedd aquarium in Chicago


Reinforce A Mission or Cause

For non-profit organizations, engagement boards can help connect attendees with a mission or cause. At its annual fundraising event, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium greeted guests with an engagement board that asked “What’s your favorite memory at Shedd?” Guests were eager to share their personal experiences.

“The participatory element really stood out to us. We loved to see what moments stood out to our guests and how that connects to our mission.”




A visual artist draws an event activation


Tips for Getting Started

Considering an engagement board  for your next event activation? Our team will guide you every step of the way; however, here are a few details you’ll want to think about.

  • Location, location, location. Where you place your engagement board at an event matters – from the main entry to the expo floor and more. Think about your goal and pick your location accordingly.
  • Pick a purposeful prompt. Clear and concise asks elicit the best responses. Make your question conversational and open-ended.
  • Have a data plan. Your completed engagement board will be full of insightful information. Be sure you know how you’ll process and analyze this information for future use.
  • Share your art. Thank attendees for their responses by sending a digital copy of the completed engagement board. Include any social handles and hashtags for easy sharing.

If you’re ready to get started–or just want to brainstorm–we’re here to help. Send us a message or schedule a call with the form below. We can’t wait to create something awesome together.