Virtual vs Live: How to Choose Graphic Recording Services

What Is Graphic Recording?

Graphic recording is the process in which a live artist, scribe, visual note-taker listens to verbal communication in real-time, synthesizes for the big ideas and main themes, and visually depicts those ideas through hand-drawn images, text, color and typography. It’s essentially the capture of content in real-time by a skilled visual artist.

Graphic recorders work with the material you wish to communicate and create visual notes that distill the content of a meeting or presentation into a kind of illustrated conversation (aka “graphic recording”)  that you can watch unfold in real time, and display and share out after your event.

Creating a digital graphic recording of a meeting or event is an engaging and fun way to capture and portray the information presented by the speakers in a format that helps participants process that information faster, understand it better, and retain it more completely. It’s a powerful way to enhance your message and drive engagement around the ideas.

Graphic recordings are a great way to work with complex, perhaps stale content and provide an excellent resource that presents and reframes information in a dynamic and accessible way. 

The science backs it up. In fact, people process visual information differently than the things they only hear or read. Visual cues using artistic depictions—images—are more evocative and dynamic and can help people better comprehend and remember details and ideas more readily than written notes, a slide deck, or even video of a speaker.

Infographic about the science of visual communication

Types of Graphic Recording Services

Whether you’re staging an in-person event in a central location or a virtual event bringing together people who are physically distant from one another, a graphic recorder can work according to your specific needs to capture your message and present it to participants, near or far, as a live graphic recording that will engage, captivate, inform, inspire and resonate with them long after the live event.

Virtual Graphic Recording

Graphic recording by The Sketch Effect about Remote Visual Notes

Virtual meetings are more prevalent than ever and present unique challenges to effective communication. Online meetings simply aren’t as engaging as in-person gatherings and participants distracted by goings-on in their remote workspaces may miss crucial information. Capturing their attention—and imagination—with live visual content is a way to keep them engaged, both real-time and post-event.

Virtual Event Use Cases

Virtual graphic recording enhances remote gatherings in ways that punch through the barriers to engagement that online meetings can bring. Graphic recording services do more than merely create digitized versions of your presentation. They’re a vibrant and captivating addition to your event that showcases and emphasizes your ideas in a mesmerizing—and memorable—way. It’s an “in-the-moment” cool-factor for all attendees.

Our Process for Virtual Events 

Digital graphic recorder sketching on a tablet during a virtual meeting

Your artist will connect with you before your event to conduct a thorough AV test and discuss your communication goals. After carefully reviewing your agenda, your artist will make the necessary preparations to integrate real-time virtual graphic content with your specific streaming platform. 

When your event goes live, constantly evolving, hand-drawn, organically created visuals will accompany your presentation and engage your audience while emphasizing your key points with color, expressive text, and more.

After the event, we’ll send you digital JPEG images of the final output. Those assets can then be shared via using email, website, blogs, and more. For a small additional cost, we can even deliver a time-lapse video recording of the live visualization process that you can share with attendees as an extra special, fun deliverable.

In-Person/Live Graphic Recording

Graphic recording artist live sketching at an in-person event on giant canvas

Graphic recording greatly enhances in-person events, as well. Live, unfolding illustration that underscores your key points will keep attendees entertained and attentive. Watching unique artwork that accompanies your presentation get drawn out by a real artist in real-time keeps your audience actively engaged—and receptive to your content.

Live Event Use Cases for Graphic Recording

Even the most captivating speaker might have difficulty keeping an audience attentive and involved throughout a long presentation and speaking in front of a crowd can be challenging to anyone who doesn’t relish being the center of attention. Presenting live, hand-drawn graphics that illustrate your points will keep attendees focused on your message—and not you, alone on the stage or behind a podium.

Our Process for Live Events 


Action shot of graphic recording artist on stage with a caption bubble that reads "Understandable and actionable"

If onsite recording services better serve your needs, we’ll connect with you ahead of your event to discuss the details and make any necessary arrangements. At the time of your event, your artist will set up either a physical canvas (such as large foam core panels, a roll of paper, or a whiteboard) or a digital canvas (such as an iPad or other drawing tablet) in your presentation space, actively listen to your presentation and illustrate it in real-time. 

Afterward, you get to keep the physical sketches (if done on a traditional, physical canvas) and you’ll also receive digital JPEG images of the final output, which can be easily shared out after the event using email, an internal website, blog, or more. 

The Benefits of Adding Graphic Recording Services to Live & Virtual Events

Photograph of audience during live sketch with a caption bubble that reads "This meeting is not lame!"

A graphic facilitator or graphic recorder can translate the thoughts communicated during presentations, meetings or other group discussions into a series of hand-drawn images and text that highlight central concepts important to the material you’re addressing. The resulting digital graphic recording provides the participants of a meeting or conference with a live visual document that provides exceptional clarity and insight.

Graphic Recording Services From The Sketch Effect

Collage of graphic recordings

Our team of artists can support any event, virtual or in-person, by illustrating your ideas as you express them, helping you to deliver your message to your audience in vibrant, moving color. Compelling video depiction of live artwork illustrating your key concepts can help you reach people as you never have before and keep them engaged and involved with your message long after your presentation.

CTA graphic with images of graphic recording artists live sketching at in-person events

Schedule a consultation to discuss your next event and to learn more about how The Sketch Effect can help you reach your communication goals.