More and more companies are requesting digital graphic recording for conferences, workshops and trade fairs. It seems like digital graphic recording is taking over analog for many companies. But why is that? In this blog post, I will explain what benefits I see with digital graphic recoding while also mentioning some of the trade offs compared to an analog graphic recording.

Hopefully, this will help you decide which format would be best for your event.

What is Digital Graphic Recording?

Digital graphic recording means that instead of using a big paper canvas to visually summarize the key messages of your event, the graphic recorder uses a device to do the same. I personally prefer using an iPad with an Apple Pencil but others also use Surface Pro, Wacom Cintiq or something similar.

The graphic recording happens in real time and is in some cases even projected onto a display for the audience to see during the event. This way the entire drawing process can be followed. Other times, it’s only shown at the end of the event, since many people find it to be too distracting during the talks. 

Benefits of Digital Graphic Recording

Here are some of the benefits I see with digital graphic recording.

  • Social Media Readiness

    Since digital graphic recording is done with a drawing software it can easily be exported in high resolution as a PNG, JPEG or PDF. Therefore, it can be easily shared on social media​. This is a great way to boost engagement online​ and to ​share the content​ of the talks.

  • Onsite Prints

    The advantage of digital is that the graphic recording can be ​printed onsite and distributed to all participants​​. Digital graphic recording is most commonly printed on a ​​flyer or a postcard​​.

  • Drawing Process

    When the graphic recording is projected during the event, the ​​audience can follow the entire drawing process​ in real time​​.

  • Immediate Access to Graphics

    Upon completion, the graphic recording can be ​​uploaded to a shared folder​​. This way, participants have immediate access to the graphics to review the contents of the event​ on their own devices.

  • Virtual Option

    Nowadays with a good internet connection, the graphic recorder doesn’t even have to be physically present to do the graphic recording. Therefore, digital graphic recording can also be used to summarize virtual conferences and meetings.

  • Engagement Factor

    No more boring Power Point Presentations! Digital graphic recording is more engaging to your audiance than any kind of presentation, even if you designed it with Canva.

  • Screen Recording

    With most of the drawing software graphic recorders use, there is an option to create a video of the drawing process with screen recording​. This video can be used as a conference summary for social media or as a teaser video for next year’s event.

Considerations with Digital Graphic Recording

  • Technical Issues

    One of the biggest issues with digital graphic recording is that technical glitches may happen. Things like a software crash, connectivity issues, and lag in the drawing time can’t always be avoided. Therefore, it’s important to have a backup plan for those scenarios like a second drawing tablet or some markers for analog graphic recording on a flipchart.

  • Less Interaction with the Audience

    With large paper graphic recording the audience usually gives feedback and suggestions to the graphic recorder. They take pictures while the graphic recording is still in the making and feel like they are also part of the process. This is much more difficult to do with a tablet.

  • Different Engagement with Recorder

    In the case of digital graphic recording, the graphic recorder is usually hidden away from the audience. This means it’s usually harder for people to go up to the graphic recorder to interact about the recording.

  • No Physical Artifact before finished Recording

    With large paper graphic recording people can physically move along the paper and observe every single image. They can touch the paper. It’s also quite common for people to gather in groups in front of the recording to review and discuss the contents. This is naturally not the case with a digital graphic recording.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the pros and cons of digital graphic recording. If you’re still unsure about what would be best for your event get in touch or just leave a comment below.

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