What Is Graphic Recording and Why Is It Valuable?

Many of our clients are new to graphic recording, and are looking for information about how it works and how to bring it to their events.

We are thrilled that visual note taking is growing in popularity, finding new audiences and purposes around the world and attracting attention! And while you're researching, we want to reintroduce this super cool practice and its value as we see it. 

Graphic recording (sometimes called visual recording or scribing) is drawing verbal ideas into visual maps during live events. 

How graphic recording works:

Graphic recording artists are usually hired to be present during speaking events, workshops, meetings, conferences, focus groups and other similar engagements, to create a visual capture of what the speakers discuss during the session. 

Our artists work with markers on a large drawing surface, or digitally on screens so that the audience can see the drawing unfold live while the event happens. We can use multiple smaller boards or create fewer large continuous drawings.

Our agile artist team often scales to create larger and more involved projects. Our team has diverse artistic backgrounds, and so we offer a range of styles and are open to new ideas.

After the event, we pack up our drawing boards for our clients, who often take them back to the office to display them internally and/or for customers. And we follow up with digital versions of the drawings that can be shared confidentially or published more broadly. 

The preparation might surprise you.

A graphic recording artist acts as an impartial party, so does not need to have deep understanding of the event content before arrival. We are trained to listen closely and use context to establish meaning and make connections, which we translate to the drawings. Because of this, planning and preparation before the event are usually simple. 

The planning process, the live drawing, and the shape of the output depend on the event.  After years of working with organizations of all sizes, at events of all types, we have established an all-inclusive package to keep things simple, which we can offer for almost all projects. But we also often tailor our work to an event's special needs. If you're interested to learn more about graphic recording for your particular event, please reach out!

Overall, graphic recording is a simple concept, but it can add significant ROI to a live event when done well. 

Graphic recording adds value to live events in multiple ways: 

  1. Audience Engagement. Humans are both verbal and visual learners, and they need both to take in and cement new information. As an event is happening, the graphic recorder captures the big ideas, reinforcing them visually so that as audience members watch, they are constantly drawn back in to the content at-hand.

  2. Entertainment. Graphic recording is usually improvised on the spot, and can take almost any shape. This dynamic style of information capture is inherently interesting and even captivating to onlookers, who might otherwise get distracted.

  3. Lasting Record. Most events take weeks and months of content and logistical planning, only to fly by in a matter of hours. Graphic recording creates a living reference of all that work and valuable output.

  4. Upload-Ready Shareable Content. Graphic recordings can be uploaded to social media, shared in event follow-up newsletters, and/or included in reports and executive summaries.

5 Ways to Use Graphic Recording to Enhance Live Events

Because of its usefulness and versatility, visual note taking can be hired for lots of different kinds of live events. 

Events that Benefit from Graphic Recording:

  • Keynote sessions

  • Panels

  • Breakout group sessions

  • Remote meetings (live notes captured digitally)

  • Workshops

  • Courses

  • Interviews

  • Focus groups

  • Expos

  • Awards ceremonies

  • Client pitch meetings

  • Leadership meetings

  • Vision planning meetings

The possibilities are many, and clients come to us with new ideas often.  Read more about some of our recent projects:  

We love to graphic record, and we also illustrate stories and infographics, create live art and more.

If you have further questions about the process or are unsure of what might work best at your event, we can start by talking through your ideas and goals and making recommendations. 

Like what you see? Contact us to tell us about your event and get a conversation started.