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3 Ways Visual Notes Promote Event Engagement
for Meetings & Conferences

3 Ways Visual Notes Promote Event Engagement
for Meetings & Conferences
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The pandemic has greatly altered the way events are conducted, with many organisations turning to virtual platforms such as Zoom to host meetings, conferences, and social gatherings. While these virtual events have allowed people to stay connected and continue with their work and social lives during lockdowns and quarantine, they have also led to a phenomenon known as “Zoom fatigue.” Many people are experiencing burnout and, as a result, are seeking ways to mitigate its negative effects.

Here are three ways in which visual notes can help to enhance the attendee experience when it comes to virtual events and promote better engagement:

Active listening

Ortus Draws - Virtual event

One of the key benefits of visual notes is that they encourage active listening. Instead of just passively absorbing information, attendees are actively processing and summarising the information in their own words and images. This can help to increase comprehension and retention, as well as keep attendees engaged and focused.

Collaboration

Ortus Draws - In-person event

Visual notes can be used to facilitate collaboration and idea-sharing. By creating visual notes, attendees can work together to capture key points and ideas and explore new perspectives on the material. This can foster a sense of teamwork and community and can also lead to the generation of new ideas and solutions.

Review and retention

Ortus Draws - LinkedIn post mockup

They also provide a valuable resource for attendees to refer back to after the event. The visual elements help make the information more memorable, and the notes can be used as a tool for reviewing and refreshing knowledge after the event.


In addition to these benefits, visual notes can also be used as a form of storytelling, adding a personal touch to the event and making it more memorable. Visual notes can also be used to create a visual summary of the event and be shared on social media, making it more engaging and reader-friendly for both attendees and those who could not attend the event.

In conclusion, visual notes, or sketchnotes, are an effective way to promote engagement and understanding in meetings and conferences, and this applies to both virtual and in-person events. They take advantage of active listening, promote collaboration, and drive retention. They also add a creative and personal touch to the event and make it more memorable and accessible. So, next time you’re planning an event, consider incorporating visual note-taking to enhance the attendee experience and lessen the burden of Zoom fatigue for your attendees.


Want to add some colour to your next event? Have Ortus Draws listen in! With a live illustrator present, you’ll have a concise, coherent, and colourful visual representation of the discussion ready to catch eyes and engage viewers.


Ortus Draws is a live sketchnoting company that specialises in bringing ideas to life with creative and informative mind maps. Our sketchnotes capture the key points of virtual events, roundtables, webinars, discussions, conferences, presentations, pitches, interviews, and internal meetings. Looking for an illustrator for your event? Contact us now!

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How to engage employees with visuals

How to engage employees with visuals 2560 1703 ORTUS DRAWS

In today’s fast-paced corporate environment, slide decks filled with paragraphs and bullet points are no longer as effective as they once were. ‘Time is money,’ the adage goes. Spending additional precious minutes both putting together text-heavy presentations and making sense of them during and after meetings is now counterintuitive—even detrimental at times—to business growth.

To save time on curating and comprehending critical business insights while increasing employee engagement, organisations can leverage the visuals-driven power of sketchnoting. A modern approach to capturing and simplifying information during meetings and discussions, this technique involves creating visual representations of ideas. Such representations include diagrams, illustrations, and flowcharts, which are used to illustrate and simplify complex information.

Apart from developing more comprehensive insights, sketchnoting adds colour and flair to discussions and meetings. Capturing and keeping the attention of participants is crucial to any meeting, and business.com prescribes the use of engaging visuals during presentations. Higher focus leads to better learning, so if you’re looking to increase the chances of your workforce remembering all those comprehensive insights, sketchnotes are the way to go.

Ortus Draws - Event GIF - Virtual Events

By using visual notes (also called sketchnotes) during discussions, business leaders can foster a significantly more engaged culture of knowledge-sharing across their organisations. Sketchnotes enable discussion participants to take down notes quicker, understand information better, and retain important ideas for longer. Doing so will increase productivity across the board, further ensuring business success.

Another way is to use visuals to create instructional materials. For example, creating diagrams or flowcharts to explain a process or concept can help employees better understand and remember the flow and processes. This is particularly useful for employees who are visual learners but can be beneficial for all employees.

Ortus Draws - Drawing

Sketchnotes can also be used to create visual aids for team-building activities and brainstorming sessions. This can help employees collaborate more effectively and generate new and creative ideas.

In addition to their use in meetings, presentations and training, visual notes and sketchnotes can also be shared and stored electronically, allowing employees to refer back to them as needed. This can make information accessible and help bring future ideas to fruition.

Visual notes and sketchnotes can be a simple yet effective way to engage employees and make complex information more accessible and memorable. By incorporating visual notes and sketchnotes into meetings, presentations, instructional materials, and team-building activities, you can improve employee engagement and productivity—and have fun while doing so.


Looking for more tips for using live sketchnotes in your events? Check out Ortus Draws here. Take a look at some of their best illustrations to see how they breathe new life into live discussions.Interested in creating a more engaging knowledge-sharing experience of your own? Contact Ortus Draws to book one of their talented illustrators to sketchnote your next event live!

Warming things up:
Creative icebreaker ideas
for your next discussion event

Warming things up:
Creative icebreaker ideas
for your next discussion event
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Roundtables and masterclasses are two of the best platforms for knowledge sharing in any industry. With more businesses seeking to discover new insights into today’s pressing challenges, event organisers have to find creative ways to make these discussions more interesting for participants.

We’ve got a few creative icebreaker ideas that you can use for your next discussion event. From illustration exercises to live sketchnotes, these fun and engaging activities will surely warm up your guests for their discussion.

Blindfoldoodle

This activity is a good mental exercise your participants can take at the start of your discussion. It’s an entertaining way to hone observation skills in preparation for any lengthy knowledge-sharing event.

Your participants will also certainly be amused with their illustrations and share a good laugh about how funny they’d come out. Remind them that it’s not about the result, but rather the process.

The best part: no art skills are needed!

Ortus Draws: Creative Icebreaker
Tip: Your discussion event participants may feel a little too shy to run this creative icebreaker activity, so provide your own sample illustration first!

Why-conic

In this activity, your participants will be given an opportunity to reflect on their reason for joining your event. While all of them may share one or two objectives in attending your discussion, it’s important for them to understand their respective purposes in participating.

Their illustrations don’t have to be too detailed. Just ask them to sketch icons or logos that symbolise their purpose or reason. This activity also ties into the dynamics of sketchnoting, which we’ll bring up later.

Ortus Draws: Creative Icebreaker
Tip: Encourage your participants to keep their sketches in this creative icebreaker activity as simple as possible. What’s important is that their icons or logos reflect their purposes/reasons.

Live sketchnotes

Icebreaker activities can sometimes be done all throughout an event. Level up live events with sketchnoting”>Sketchnoting’s a good example of an icebreaker that encourages participants to share their ideas during a discussion. Seeing their shared insights illustrated in real time allows them to track their contributions to the conversation and stay within the scope of the topic being discussed.

You can ask your participants to illustrate their ideas themselves, or you can take that added burden off their shoulders by having a professional illustrator do the job for them. Ortus Draws is home to some of the best live illustrators in the knowledge-sharing space, and their live sketchnotes add a more lively and colourful dimension to live discussion events.

Ortus Draws: Creative Icebreaker
Tip: It’s as simple as that! This activity may be the easiest creative icebreaker to pull off, but it’s the most meaningful thought exercise your participants will enjoy during any knowledge-sharing event.

Looking for more creative illustration exercises for your events? Check out Ortus Draws here. Explore some of their best illustrations to see how they add life and colour to live discussion events.


Interested in creating a more engaging knowledge-sharing experience of your own? Contact Ortus Draws to book one of their talented illustrators to sketchnote your next event live!

Ortus Draws Blog Mind map Sample
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Breathing new life into live discussions
with digital sketchnotes

Breathing new life into live discussions
with digital sketchnotes
2560 1703 ORTUS DRAWS

Virtual events have ramped up across different industries over the past two years. As a result, businesses are looking to expand their knowledge-sharing journeys to more audiences.

Their biggest challenge? Keeping audiences engaged throughout their events. Business leaders know full well that they must tap into their creative side to start more meaningful and productive conversations about industry topics. 

With all that in mind, here are a few exciting suggestions for making live discussions more interactive.

Ortus Draws - Drop the slide decks

Drop the slide decks

Virtual event attendees now prioritise more engaging experiences, and PowerPoint presentations no longer cut it in giving discussion participants the interaction they seek. Chunks of text on 20+ slides have also lost their appeal as a way to convey information at live events.

To keep your attendees interested in your discussion, try illustrating their ideas on a single page in real-time. Sketchnoting provides a livelier and more entertaining way for your participants to get a bird’s-eye view of their discussion. Live illustrations also drive the direction and flow of any conversation, serving as ready guides in case your guests get lost along the way.

Here are some amazing examples of live sketchnotes crafted by the talented illustrators of Ortus Draws. Watch how participants’ ideas came to life in the live knowledge-sharing roundtables they attended.

Ortus Draws - Transform note-taking—for good

Transform note-taking—for good

Research into the effectiveness of infographics as a learning medium shows that visualised information proves more potent in communicating ideas than plaintext. Roundtable organisers can leverage these findings by using live illustrations as a more interactive note-taking tool.

As the term implies, sketchnoting is an emerging standard in curating and organising ideas shared during live roundtables. Sketchnotes are not only handier references in terms of length compared to presentation decks (or worse: transcripts). They’re also more straightforward in terms of content, containing only the most pertinent information shared during discussions.

How sketchnoting has transformed note-taking isn’t limited to page numbers and curated content. Now that digital illustration tools are more readily available, roundtable organisers can finally do away with printing or handwriting sheets upon sheets of notes. One-page sketchnotes are the more sustainable option.

Ortus Draws - Simplify and amplify conversations

Simplify and amplify conversations

Here’s a fun idea for your next roundtable: stop the conversation once your sketchnote page runs out of space. No one’s looking to drag the discussion on, anyway. Once all your participants have chimed in on your topic, end the open forum and have everybody reflect on their shared insights showcased in your event sketchnote.

This exercise works great with discussion groups of any size. If you have just four or five guests at your event, encourage them to contribute to the conversation as much as they can until the sketchnote’s all filled out. For events with 10 or more people, maybe ask each participant to fill out a portion of the page until their sketchnote is complete (tip: challenge them to connect their idea with another already on the page).

You won’t even have to worry about creating these sketchnotes yourself. Let the illustrators from Ortus Draws take care of that for you. These adept artists are sure to make your next roundtable more colourful and insightful for your guests. Trust that they have the skill and experience you’re looking for—and the client reviews to back all of that up.


Looking for more tips for using live sketchnotes in your events? Check out Ortus Draws here. Take a look at some of their best illustrations to see how they breathe new life into live discussions.

Interested in creating a more engaging knowledge-sharing experience of your own? Contact Ortus Draws to book one of their talented illustrators to sketchnote your next event live!

Ortus Draws Blog Mind map Sample
Ortus Draws - Find out more!

Un[b]lock: 7 unique ideas for your next illustration

Un[b]lock: 7 unique ideas for your next illustration 592 420 ORTUS DRAWS

Running out of ideas for your next piece? Getting tired of the typical prompts? Looking to discover new styles and techniques? Artist’s blocks can strain your thought process—even your confidence as a creative. That’s why we’ve got five fresh and riveting illustration ideas for you to explore and try out!

Draw your favourite fictional character
in your style

Whether you’re a seasoned creator with years of experience or a fledgling artist still finding their footing, you can never go wrong with sticking to what you know best—and that includes your own style and the characters you adore.

Chances are, you’ve already doodled them on your sketchpad or notebook a handful of times, only in their original style. So why not inject your signature flavour into their looks to produce a fantastically unique reimagination of their persona?

Maybe you’d want to sprinkle in a bit of added flair to their outfits or transform their feel by turning their features more lifelike. You could even switch up their original colours by applying your personal palette!

Imagine what’s inside your favourite character’s bag

While we’re still on the subject of drawing inspiration from your favourite character, you could explore their personality further in your work by illustrating what they might pack in their bags before they set out on their wild adventures.

The sky’s the limit here, really. You can come up with your own take on their inventory and even include items or tools you’ve never seen them carry in the shows or movies you’ve watched them on.

Depict a scene
using song lyrics

Let’s leave your beloved fictional universes behind for now and step into the realm of your imagination—and don’t forget to take your music player with you in this scene.

Picture yourself standing in the middle of a wide room, white in all directions. Now, bring out your music player and choose one random song in your go-to playlist. Then, hit play and let the music fill the entire room.

It may take you a few listens (or just one if inspiration hits you quick enough), but once you hear a portion of the song that resonates with you, start painting the room with the images evoked by the words flooding the space around you.

After all is said and done, behold the masterpiece you’ve created. 

If that still doesn’t do it for you, though, you could…

Illustrate an idiom
or a proverb

You might consider adding a creative (maybe even witty) spin to idioms, proverbs, and other widely-known sayings. Here’s an idea you could start with: an image of Earth with a huge hole in the middle where the core is and, in that hole, a giant heart spinning.

Experiment with
unfamiliar mediums

Let’s take a quick detour into uncharted territory. You’ve probably already thought about doing this in the past, so now might just be the best time for you to use a new medium in your next WIP!

Don’t worry about spending too much on new gear, though. Unless you’re planning on dipping your toes into digital art, you can always find sweet bargains at your local art supplies store—even online if you look hard enough!

Draw a mind map
for your next WIP

Perhaps you’ve already got a few vague inklings about what your next illustration’s going to be. It’s just that they’re a little too jumbled up in your noggin for you to develop them into a coherent project idea.

There’s no better way to organise your cluttered thoughts than by piecing them together in a visual mind map. You can check out a few of our Ortus Draws-signature live sketchnotes here to get a feel of how you can mind-map your ideas effectively!

Go back to basics

If all else fails, you could just polish your fundamentals to sharpen your skills further. Practice does make better, so dust off your old workbooks, ready your tracing paper, and go back to basics.

We’ll leave you with one final—and our most valuable—piece of advice: don’t force it. It’ll only frustrate you further and chip away at your confidence even more. Take a step back from all your WIPs and breathe—or figure out how else you can deal with creative blocks, just like what we’ve illustrated ourselves here!

Ortus Draws - 2

Level up live events with sketchnoting

Level up live events with sketchnoting 2560 1707 ORTUS DRAWS

Gone are the days of mundane slides and meeting minutes gathering dust. Now, it’s all about personalised experiences. And when it comes to live events and roundtable discussions, what’s more personal than a live illustration of you and your guests’ thoughts coming to life as you speak?

What is sketchnoting?

Sketchnoting is a visual representation of a live event. Think of it as a collective mindmap for you and your attendees. As the discussion progresses, a live illustrator puts pen to paper—or, in this case, a tablet—and creates a visual depiction of the pertinent ideas, concerns, and talking points brought up. It’s a creative and effective way of documenting your event.

why is this important?

Break the monotony

High-level discussions and corporate meetings aren’t made up of just the boardrooms, generic suits, and monochromatic graphs we all see on TV and in cinema. At the end of the day, no matter where we sit in a company’s pecking order, we’re all human, and we crave engagement.

Instead of discussing over a series of slides and Q&As, having a live illustration can allow guests to stay engaged and interested. Studies have shown that imagery can reach and trigger the human brain in ways that words cannot. So live illustrations not only allows participants to immerse themselves in the discussion better, but it also activates emotions and imagination.

Live illustrations not only allows participants to immerse themselves in the discussion better, but it also activates emotions and imaginations”

A unique and
personalised experience

In any collaborative activity, visual aids should serve the discussion and not the other way around. Prepared slides lead the conversation down a pre-made path, while a sketchnoting follows wherever it goes. You will need a flexible roadmap for truly productive and open communication, not a rigid structure. 

Sketchnoting gives you the power to tailor your visuals to the discussion and the personalities in the room. Your event may be a part of a longer series tackling a singular topic, but no two discussions will ever be the same. These illustrations ensure that differences big and small have the spotlight, creating a one-of-a-kind record that properly represents each event. 

Imagery is an incredibly powerful tool that can do wonders for any activity but, if used wrong, could become counterproductive. The effectiveness of image-based communication lies in its relevance to the context. We have a limitless supply of stock photography and corporate artwork at our fingertips, but these come with the risk of being uninteresting, irrelevant, or even distracting.

Effective learning

Statistics show that approximately 65% of the population are visual learners, meaning that most people absorb and retain information more effectively with the aid of visual cues instead of plain text, verbal communication, or hands-on experiences. In addition, the human brain can process an image in as little as 13 milliseconds. Live illustrations capitalise on these innate human characteristics.

With digital illustrations, a myriad of perspectives are brought to life, and a choir of opinions is given a structure. As a result, participants can easily visualise challenges and solutions, all while having the luxury of a visible flow, the direction of which they can dictate.

Post-event matters

Studies revealed that humans have immense recall abilities for images, remembering thousands with up to 90% accuracy for days following initial exposure. That’s why, at the end of the discussion, participants are given a copy of the final sketchnote. This serves as an engaging and easily digestible reference covering significant points brought up in the discussion, whether it be from experts or fellow guests. 

Ortus Draws - Event

Knowledge-sharing does not end when the discussion does. The availability of a concise, engaging summary can be instrumental in the post-event dissemination of newly procured knowledge to colleagues, subordinates, and leadership alike. Guests do not need to take notes, draw from memory, or waste valuable time reading through meeting minutes that are often bloated, repetitive, or simply uninteresting.

What you can do

Want to add some colour to your next event? Have Ortus Draws listen in! With a live illustrator present, you’ll have a concise, coherent, and colourful visual representation of the discussion ready to catch eyes and engage viewers.

Ortus Draws is a live sketchnoting company that specialises in bringing ideas to life with creative and informative mind maps. Our sketchnotes capture the key points of virtual events, roundtables, webinars, discussions, conferences, presentations, pitches, interviews, and internal meetings. Looking for an illustrator for your event? Contact us now!