Graphic Recording is the act of live illustration of a spoken discussion, conversation, or speech for gatherings large and small. The purpose of the visuals is to connect ideas, issues, and comments. Graphic recording is aimed at helping attendants solve problems, and visualize the entirety of a conversation in a single image or multiple images.
Recording happens in the same room and while a speaker is speaking or a discussion is taking place. But yes, we support virtual or hybrid events with live-streamed digital sketchnotes!
We use big paper or foam core boards, thick markers, and exceptional listening skills to create these visual records. Consider these large sketchnotes or mindmaps of your meeting, conference, roundtable, community discussion, or strategy meeting.
Graphic Recording can take place in the back of the room, or front and center in tandem with a speaker. Clients are always in charge of deciding where to place the act of illustration, and where to place the images after they are completed.
70+% of us are visual learners. That means that visual reinforcement of ideas and concepts are absolutely essential to convey messages, solidify meaning, and to improve retention of information. Visual Engagement through graphic recording verifies an event attendee's thoughts, experience, and memory of a discussion or session.
As we return to normal in 2021, it's exciting to be with people again. But as mask use continues for the near future, it's important to have visual touchpoints for event attendees to gather around as conversations may prove more difficult to start! We've all been at home for months and have to get over some phobias!
Graphic Recording need not be for prescribed conversations, but for conversations of new concepts and new ideas. The ability to see ideas take shape on a board, and to understand the breadth of a conversation at large is hugely beneficial for brainstorming, strategy sessions, and other open-ended conversations.
I had no idea what the heck you guys were talking about until he drew it for me.
Photo Credits: Every Angle Cleveland
Increase Meeting Energy, Improve the Messaging and Add a Little Color!
Graphic Recording for Conferences and Seminars
When a Conference Speaker has access to and utilizes graphic recording - everyone benefits. Speakers themselves find an audience that is more in tune with the messaging, the audience message retention improves exponentially, and the conference itself benefits in three ways:
- A visual target for social media sharing of the live event
- Exceptional imagery to be used for future conference promotion
- A memorable point of differentiation among other conferences
Graphic Recording for Company Meetings
Geographically or functionally separated individuals can see a meeting as an exciting avenue for friendship and the spread of ideas. Management can fail to inspire or fail to convey a proper message as the purpose of the meeting. Visual Communications via graphic recording can add that flare ( and beats death by Power Point EVERY DAY)
Big Paper can simply draw and color alongside a suite of speakers over the course of a meeting or can work with your team ahead of time to prepare and outline visuals that reinforce the messaging. A pre-planned graphic recording is just as live and engaging, however more thoughtful and visually engaging.
Companies use Big Paper for
- Meeting Recording
- Strategic Vision Casting
- Customer Journeys and Flow Maps
- Sales Whiteboard Design
Big Paper Strategy's Matt Orley has experience in engineering, manufacturing, non-profit fundraising, web marketing and interior mural printing. He might not be an expert regarding your specific industry, but his broad background makes him flexible.
Graphic Recording for Roundtables and Community Discussions
Events that seek community input offer a pace of discussion that fits well with graphic recording. Group and public discussions + rountables gather input that floats around topics, flow with a skilled moderator, and bring together many opinions. Graphic Recording offers participants a cohesive and centralizing view of the conversation. Clients include community panels, churches, event tour stops and nonprofits.
Benefits of Utilizing Graphic Recording at your Event
Event Attendee Engagement
Graphic recording encourages and honors those that contribute to the content of an event (whether it be a single keynote speaker or a public discussion participant). Graphic recording encourages contribution as a whole. Because of increased participation, actions, decision-making, and content comprehension are more widely developed and clarified. Graphic recording honors people's contributions and shows them they've been heard.
Hiring a Graphic Recorder shows a commitment to creativity, playful attitudes, and a willingness to explore ideas and thoughts in new ways.
Entertainment and a Fuller Experience
Graphic recorders are invited to capture content, but at the same time, they are also there to perform. It is powerful to see someone capture ideas as they are occurring in real-time, and people simply enjoy watching someone perform-graphic recording - they make meetings or conferences more fun, a metric hard to measure but not to be underestimated. Enriching and deepening the group experience by going beyond business-as-usual and thinking outside the box, graphic recording provokes people into more participation and a deeper thought process.
Graphic recording distills ideas to their essence and increases clarity. It organizes ideas by drawing connections and relationships, enabling participants to see links between ideas and understand the bigger picture. All content is visible and can be referred to at all times, while slides and talks are fleeting and quickly
Graphic recordings are shared with people who were not present at the event to give them an insightful overview of what was said. It can act as the basis for further conversations around the topics that were discussed, and it enables a cascade of information and knowledge both during and after the recording.
Ask a question!
Frequently Asked Questions
A phone/ zoom conversation or two will help tailor a program to your needs, identify any preliminary project work, and work out logistics. Preliminary work includes conceptualizing and mapping out drawing components prior to the meeting, research, and reviewing presentations and speech notes as available or pertinent.
You will receive a proposal via email to review. A 50% deposit invoice will be available to secure your meeting date.
Upon your request, we will also send a standard Non-Disclosure Agreement, or, if your legal team prefers- we can review and sign your standard document.
Live Illustration is fun to watch, however it's not necessarily meant to be the center of attention. So the answer to 'where does a graphic recorder / live illustrator stand?' Is really up to our clients. Matt has stood on the stage behind speakers, on the side of the room, or far in the back.
If graphic recordings boards are being moved from a ball/conference room to a common area- it is a good idea to find a location with a quick and easy path between both
We draw on paper, white boards, and foam core material. We utilize easels and our own set of moveable wall panels. Preliminary conversations will define which material is best for your event, and how we will get it on site.
For most events within driving distance of the Big Paper Studio, Matt will load and bring all materials. When plane travel is required, we may ask to work with your event team to secure a drawing surface. We utilize art supply stores as well as national supply distributors to secure materials.
Depending on the project and location we may ask for the provision of easels - which are generally available at hotels, conference centers, and other common meeting locations.
Lastly, as a matter of furniture, a small table is requested to set materials on during a live illustration.
Most people absorb information best when it is represented visually. While PowerPoint presentations are helpful, a unique and eclectic creative experience can engage meeting attendees in new ways.
Hiring a live illustrator or visual practitioner shows investment in your people. Being able to hear "Wow I didn't think they thought we were worth this much" shows your employees that they are valued.
Having a live illustrator practically guarantees that meeting takeaways will not be forgotten. Attendees often snap photographs of Big Paper creations.
Bringing in an outsider brings a new perspective to any meeting. Not only do we help ask the stupid questions no one else is seeking, but our loyalty rests solely with the outcome, Asking tough questions and being a No-Person in a series of Yes-men is freeing to all people involved.
Bringing a mind with other-industry knowledge and biases, and a wide array of experiences in both left brain and right brain thought is helpful for heading in new directions and inspiring creativity.
Photographs of big paper strategy sheets can be used for internal communications, slide share presentations, reports, sales tools for future event ticket sales, and even leveraged in print on coffee mugs, awards, and more.
Our work is often hung or placed in corporate offices, employee lounges and acts as a reminder of past events and excitement. Some clients professionally mount graphic recordings in frames behind glass or clear plexiglass.
Graphic recording is the act of creating live illustrations that follow the verbal components of a meeting, talk, or conference through summaries in both written word and graphics.
A graphic recorder will use large surfaces ( foam boards, paper, chalkboard, whiteboard), and high-quality markers, and other marking tools. Images are either created as a performance in front of a group, in the same room as the event and revealed just afterward, or created over multiple days and revealed at the conclusion of the event.
Using concepts of visual storytelling, a graphic recorder will translate facts and figures into characters, emotions, metaphors, and dialogues. The resultant imagery creates stories that viewers can involve themselves with, as opposed to forgettable bullet-point lists.
The result is also an understandable large format image or set of images. Because work is often limited by time, fine art design should not be expected, but relatability and understanding of the design should be expected.
The three skills involved with graphic recording are listening, synthesizing, and drawing, most often in real-time. Leading businesses and event organizers around the world seek out deeper engagement for their visual learners.