When I started graphic recording 6 years ago all I really knew about it was that it involved drawing pictures at events and, since I was a professional picture-drawer already, I figured I could do it. It turned out graphic recording was a lot more complicated and there were many crucial aspects, like the basics of facilitation and an understanding of how meetings are run, that I had no experience with at all. Even my art background could only get me so far, since graphic recording was very different from anything I'd done before.
It's hard to imagine surviving in the business this long if not for the IFVP. I've been involved in a number of other professional organizations over the years and the IFVP was been far and away the best when it comes to professional support. Every conference features a ton of workshops on all aspects of graphic recording and visual communication generally, and the IFVP community is the most welcoming one I've ever been involved with. It's really a pleasure to interact with people from all over the world who are truly excited about what they're doing and eager to share their knowledge, whether in-person at a meeting or workshop or online, answering a (sometimes desperate) question in the Graphic Facilitation Facebook group.
I recently posted in that group asking if anyone was interested in forming a “mastermind group” (a term I'm not sure I used correctly) to share business advice. Much to my surprise I got a message 20 minutes later from IFVP Vice President Leah Silverman saying it was a great idea and the very next morning I had a Zoom meeting with Leah and Phil Bakelaar to talk about how to make it happen. Whatever happens next, that's an amazing response. Thanks Leah and Phil, and thanks IFVP. It's easy to be dismissive when you're told an organization cares but in this case, it's true.