It’s that time of the year – Preparing for the #NBForum2016

These days I’m preparing for the highlight of the autumn, the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki, Finland. A statement on their website tells it all:

“- – one the most exquisite business seminars in Europe.” And it sure is.

How does a sketchnoter prepare for a big event like this?

6 months ago:
I changed from an old drawing app into a new and updated one so that I could do graphic recording in a fluent way without having to think about the tools. Now the moves and gestures of Adobe Draw are stored in my muscle memory. Now, I am the zen master of Apple Pencil.

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3-4 months ago:
When companies want to hire me for real-time live sketchnoting, I have to be extra careful so that I don’t accept gigs close to the NBForum date. Why? Because I know that the week is going to be super busy then. This year I didn’t do well in this because I have a gig (yeah, I call my sketchnoting work trips “gigs”) on Saturday, the day after the NBForum. Luckily the gig is here in Jyväskylä, in my home town. I’ll pull that through. I hope.

1 month ago:
I had a nice and easy-going lunch meeting with Hans-Peter, one of the founders of Nordic Business Forum. We went through the timetables and technical specs. We also checked that I’ve got the tools and passwords that I need for sharing my sketchnotes directly via their blog.

1-2 weeks ago:
I downloaded the NBForum App and checked out the speakers .Then I started downloading podcasts that the speakers have either created themselves or that include interviews of the speakers. Why? I think it’s advisable to listen to their way of speaking beforehand. It’s important to know who has got a strange personal accent, who is a fast speaker and what kind of topics they have lately been talking about.

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This is also the time to check if I’ve got all the technical gadgets that I need for the event. A new HDMI adapter, a new Apple Pencil or at least fresh tips for the old one and a new set of brain is needed. Brain? I meant batteries. For the noise-cancelling headphones, I mean.

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1-2 days before the event: 
It’s time to set up the iPad. I create a template that I’ll be using for the sketchnotes: write the event title in a nice way, put some colour to the background and then take some copies out of it. Then I have at least a couple of templates ready when the things get hot during the event. And I know they will.

The day before:
I’ll travel to Helsinki and attend the technical rehearsal in the afternoon. I’ll say “Ooh!” and “Aah!” when I see the lights, thousands of seats and hear the thunder from the base. I’ll meet some familiar faces that I’ve gotten to know during the years that I’ve been covering this event.

The night before:
I’ll sleep lik- – Well. I hope I’ll be able to grasp some zzzz’s.

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Then it’s time to do some serious sketchnoting. This year I’m going to be drawing again in the tech area next to the stage (and behind the black curtains!) where I’ll be hooked into the NBForum live stream. So if you’re going to watch the live stream, you’ll be able to choose my sketchnoting as a camera angle. But if you’re there in Helsinki and see me mingling in the halls during the breaks, come and say hi🙂

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