Every iteration of our Access to Capital: Money to Mainstreet event has been roughly the same, intentionally so: We wanted to ensure attendees of each event received the same high level experience and information. However, we felt there was something missing in the Town Hall section of the event. The content of the panels was great, but there could be more. So, at our most recent Access to Capital in Seattle, we took the opportunity to turn what had been only audio into visual: We brought in a graphic recorder.
Graphic recorders are artists who take audio information and transpose it into visual form, usually on a large board with colorful markers. In other words, they’re really good at turning sentences into pictures. And they can do it while people are talking. If that sounds like some sort of witchcraft to you, you’re not alone. I, for one, can draw really good lines – so long as they need not be straight – and that’s about it.
But our graphic recorder, Kelly Kingman, drew five large pictures throughout the day, deftly mincing sentences into creative pictures captioned with insightful quotes. The results, pictured below, exceeded our expectations, and gave attendees a new way to interact with the information supplied by the panelists. Now, those who preferred to listen without taking notes were able to do so – they simply snapped a picture of the drawing at the end of each panel. Furthermore, attendees were able to send those pictures to others who may not have been able to attend, increasing the reach of the information.
Though we record all the panels from each Access to Capital event, videos are intangible. It’s easier to push video to different outlets across the internet, thus garnering more eyes, but a graphic recording has other uses post completion. There’s the option to use them as office decorations, to take them to events for explanatory purposes, and to let your designers use them as springboards to awesome infographics (a popular and engaging way to spread information). It’s a great way to increase engagement at the event, and disseminate advice from the event afterwards!
Have you used a graphic recorder before? Did you do anything fun with the results?