Hello to our wonderful clients and friends. I wanted to check in on you to see how you were faring in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. I've had multiple conversations over the past week with many of you, and I know that things seem pretty bleak in all sectors, but especially for those of us whose livelihoods are tied to running events of any kind.
I received a text message this morning from a fellow business owner whose company has had to cancel all of the events that they had planned over the next two months (their entire income for that period), plus he let five staff go this morning.
The impact is unprecedented. But we're refusing to let this dampen our spirits! So I wanted to reach out and share some positive vibes as well as a resource that you might find helpful.
Firstly, I wanted to say that we're here for you. If you’re struggling, please reach out, by phone or via email. If there’s absolutely anything we can do to help. It could be:
The resource I wanted to share is from a good friend and mentor of mine, Mark Dobson. It’s a video series on how to be more productive when working at home. Mark’s been a huge help with my business over the past few years. He really knows his stuff and is a total class act. He’s made these videos completely free in response to the fact that so many people are having to transition to working from home.
They’re short videos—around 6 minutes—so not a massive time investment but there are some really good tips in there, so I encourage you to check them out.
I actually took the first video from this series and created a sketchnote of it. I may create sketchnotes of the rest of his videos if people find them useful.
That’s it. Be safe, and stay positive. These are challenging times, but business and communications are challenging at the best of times. You can do this! Take care of yourself and your family.
As the CoVid-19 coronavirus brings the world to its knees, we're seeing many of our clients be impacted. It seems no industry is immune, but the events industry in particular is suffering—conferences, workshops, and other large gatherings of people are being forced to cancel, which is devastating for event organisers, speakers, and attendees. Perhaps it's affected your company as well?
Debbie, one of our remote scribes, remotely captures an event on her iPad.
If you're planning an event and it's looking like you may be forced to cancel, you may want to consider hosting a virtual event instead. Tools like Zoom and WebEx have made videoconferencing much more affordable and accessible than it used to be, and there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure your virtual event is successful (see 8 Tips To Host Live Online Training Events).
There's one more tip that I'd like to suggest: engage a remote scribe.
Remote scribing works much the same as having a graphic recorder there in the room—we'll live sketch the conversation as we hear it, using an iPad or similar device, which can be projected in the room (if you have any local attendees) or shared in real time with virtual attendees.
The same benefits apply as if your graphic recorder was on site—real-time visuals spark new ideas, attendees are more engaged, and you're left with a colourful, rich record of the conversation. But it can happen from anywhere! As long as you have an internet connection, there's no reason why your event can't continue as planned, with attendees distributed across the country, or the world.
If you'd like to hear more about how remote scribing can help make your virtual event a success, whether it's for an entire day, or just a one-hour meeting, shoot us an email or call us on 1300 SKETCH.
If you're anything like me, when the end of the year rolls around, you probably start to think "I should donate to a charity or something".
Perhaps, like me, you randomly select a cause or two that you feel good about supporting, come up with an arbitrary amount to donate, and jump online to make the transaction. Then you're done with it and your conscience can rest easy.
Which is perfectly OK! But at Sketch Group, we wanted a more structured approach to giving. We wanted it embedded into our business. So we signed up for B1G1 (Buy 1, Give 1), a platform that makes it easy for organisations to link everyday activities with charitable projects. We liked this approach because:
As a bonus, what it means for our clients is that they also can also feel good about the fact that every time they work with us, they're also helping to literally change the world.
Below is a snapshot of the impacts we've made to a range of projects we've hand-picked to align with the sustainable development goals. We're so grateful to all of the clients we worked with in November who helped us make this impact.
You can read more about our attempt to embed a culture of giving into our business on the new Giving Back page on the Sketch Group website. You can also visit our B1G1 profile page.
Interested in working with us to help make a difference? Get in touch.
At Sketch Group, we don't just make sketch videos—we make motion graphic videos as well. We're super pleased to be able to share this one with you.
Loan Dolphin is a free online auction platform for home loans. Where banks and brokers fight for your business. It's colourful and disruptive and modern....so we made a video that styled with that. A really clear step by step guide to how their process works and what you need to do to get onboard.
The client had a great eye for detail and supplied lots of reference material so we could make a video that perfectly suited their brand. Not like a fish out of water.
At Sketch Group we say no!
We've done a lot of work with VELCRO® Brand this year—sketch videos, motion graphics ... We've used some physical props to make a sketch video three dimensional. And of course, we've incorporated some of their fabulous products on screen.
This latest video is part of a series of five videos created to explain VELCRO® Brand products—the uses, the specifications, some commonly asked questions ... and of course: the correct answers to these questions.
Each video had three distinct parts:
It's a perfect example of how to show off the technical elements of the VELCRO® Brand Ties and Wraps.
You could say, we're wrapped with it.
It's been a dream come true to be able to work with the National Museum of Australia to create this series of videos celebrating some of the moments that made us who we are as a nation.
Defining Moments is a curated collection of some key moments and events in Australian history, and we got to bring some to life.
We were thrilled to be able to create videos based on the very funny scripts by Australian author and historian David Hunt.
Historical accuracy was important - so was humour. It's a fabulous way of getting students of all ages to embrace learning.
Our very own Lucinda Gifford created the brilliant illustrations and we're just overjoyed with how they all came together.
There are videos on the Gold Rush, Eureka Stockade, Female Suffrage, The Castle Hill Rebellion and the Secret Ballot
Recently the first video we made with CPA about Blockchain won the Mumbrella Publish award for Best Use of Short-Form Video (yay), and now we're sharing the next in the series.
This one is about private versus public blockchains - and it's a perfect example of how effective sketch videos are at simplifying the complex. Our talented illustrator Serena continued the graphic style created in the original 'What is Blockchain?' video to explore the pros and cons of each.
Block out some time and check it out.
Representatives from Sketch Group and CPA Australia accept the award
On Thursday night the Sketch Group team attended the Mumbrella: Publish awards, as the video we made for our lovely client CPA Australia had been nominated for an award, in the "best use of short-form video" category.
The video aimed to explain blockchain to a non-technical audience. Watch the video
I'll be honest, we don't pay a lot of attention to awards at Sketch Group. It was an honour to be nominated, but the whole team was so busy last week working on videos, posters, and live events for clients that we nearly decided not to go to the award night. In fact, it was only a few days before the awards ceremony that I realised the event was not being held in Melbourne, and had to book some last-minute flights and accommodation!
As it turns out, I'm glad we attended, as our video won! The judges said they were impressed with how we simplified a complex topic and made it easy to understand.
Which doesn't surprise me to hear, as simplifying the complex is what we do at Sketch Group. But it is nice to have it validated every now and then!
Congratulations to everyone on the Sketch Group team that worked on this video, including producer Kerstin Norburn, illustrator Serena Geddes, and videographer Simon Casamento. And a huge thank you to our wonderful client CPA Australia for giving us the opportunity to continue to tell important stories.
At Sketch Group, we're delighted to be part of the organising team behind VizConf 2018, Australia's first large-scale conference for visual practitioners, which is happening in Melbourne on October 13, 2018. The theme for VizConf 2018 is Think Global, Draw Local.
There have been many conversations in the past about running a conference like this in Australia, so for many this has been a long time coming. We believe it will be worth the wait. In the tradition of large, international conferences such as IFVP and EUViz, VizConf will be a day of learning, connecting, and being inspired by other visual facilitators, graphic recorders, and visual thinkers.
I know many folks are excited about our two amazing keynote speakers Sunni Brown (author of Gamestorming and The Doodle Revolution) and Jessamy Gee from Think in Colour. But the Open Space sessions between these talks, hosted by veteran facilitator Michelle Walker are bound to be just as inspiring, as are the connections attendees will make on the day.
This event is a must for anyone interested in visual thinking. Here are the details:
If you're interested in taking your learning to the next level, we are running a handful of pre-conference workshops in the week leading up to the day. Sign up when you purchase your VizConf 2018 ticket to learn more about graphic recording, visual storytelling, and more.
Tickets are $330, but only 100 tickets will be available. So if this is something that sounds up your alley, get in quick as we are expecting to sell out.
See you there. Oh, and please share this exciting news with anyone you think might be interested in coming along!
We have to admit, drawing animals is one of our favourite thing. So when we were approached by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to create a video asking for community input into the Yellingbo Conservation Area Draft 10 Year Plan, we leapt at the chance.
It's great having visual references, maps and photos to work from and to help us create a realistic illustration of how a place will look now, and in the future.
If you'd like to see the draft plan and give feedback head to : engage.vic.gov.au/yellingboconservationarea
Or if you'd like us to draw some animals for you - talk to us!
Matt is Chief Doodler at Sketch Group. He likes swimming, LEGO, and chocolate lemon curd cake—but then, who doesn't?