Graphic recording/graphic facilitation: why your event needs it


Since 2018, I’ve had the opportunity to do graphic recording at some really interesting events.

I came across the concept several years back, when my friend and former graphic design colleague, started doing this kind of work. This was back in the UK where the practice is a bit more established than it is here in Kenya and Africa.

At that time, I was intrigued but never acted on my interest. Fast-forward to 2018 when somebody asked me to do it and, I decided to say “yes”.

To describe what it is, I feel this snippet from Wikipedia does it best: 

“Graphic recorders combine the skills of a note-taker and an artist to visually represent information communicated orally. Example services include creating visual summaries of meeting dialogue, conference speakers’ presentations and providing graphic facilitation for organizations doing strategic planning.”

Graphic recording – sometimes also referred to as graphic facilitation – is often used in meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences. 


3 reasons to consider graphic recording for your event:

The power of images

Visual representation of the discussion helps to make it more memorable. Both in real-time and afterwards. People remember around 80% of what they see, as opposed to 10% of what they hear. Thus, graphic recording is a great tool to help retention of the content being taught, presented or discussed.

Greater accessibility

Graphic recording can really help your event live on. It’s a great way to engage and give a snapshot to people who couldn’t make the event and enable them to connect with the essence of the conversation.

More content

One of my clients commissioned a follow-up illustrated booklet – to complement a more traditional report –  on the back of the graphic facilitation I did for their event. I worked on both the event and the booklet with illustrator, Nyambura Kariuki.

What to look for when hiring a graphic recorder/skills required to do graphic recording

Aesthetic skills

Drawings don’t have to be hyperrealistic. Google “graphic recording” and you’ll see such a variety of drawing styles used. It’s less about imitating reality and more about being able to communicate a situation, thought or idea. 

A curious mind

While doing graphic recording gigs, I’m often complimented, not only on the visuals but, on my understanding of the content being discussed. I think it’s because of my interest in learning, not that I necessarily have prior knowledge about the subject matter. Which leads me to the next skill…


In my quotes for graphic recording jobs, I always include allowance for research. I want to understand the background of the event I’m going to be taking part in. I need to know the context, the issues, the players, the common discussion points, the jargon and my client’s wishes for the forum. Looking into these things also helps me to think ahead about how I might visually represent them. 


I’m really grateful that the graphic facilitation gigs I’ve done so far have aligned so nicely with things I care about including women’s rights and the environment.

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