Why Your Next Event Needs An Art Break

With the return to in-person events in full swing, meeting and event organizers are on the hunt for new ways to inspire and engage attendees. Offering a fresh, unexpected twist on tired session formats is an effective way to do this.

Our favorite session shakeup? An art break!

Creative and restorative at the same time, art breaks are a fun alternative to the wellness or hands-on activities often offered during event breaks (think: yoga, meditation, or cooking classes).

In fact, research shows art is an effective way to hit reset and return to a meeting with less stress and a clearer head. The result: attendees will participate more intentionally and think more critically. Even better, no art skills are required to enjoy an art break. All skill levels are welcome!

Ahead are 4 ideas for adding an art break to your next event. Want to start small? Try hosting a DIY art break at your next team meeting or brainstorm. Download our DIY Visual Break Kit at the end of this article for everything you need to get started!


Visual Note-Taking Workshops to learn a graphic facilitation methodology

Drawing Workshop for Non-Drawers

Swap smartphones and laptops for markers and paper in an artist-led workshop that encourages participants to tap into their creativity. No drawing skills needed!

How it Works:

Before your event, you’ll work one-on-one with an Ink Factory artist to identify a workshop topic. From learning how to draw people to how to improve your handwriting, we’ll land on the perfect topic for your audience.

We’ll take it from there! Your artist will prep materials and supplies, manage on-site setup, and facilitate the session. We can even create custom handouts or templates to support creativity beyond the workshop.


Blind Contour Drawing Break

This exercise is a staple of drawing classes (although no art skills are needed) and is a great way to clear the mind during meeting breaks. It works best with smaller groups, so we recommend asking attendees to register in advance.

How it Works:

To start, provide each participant with a pencil and paper. Ask everyone to identify an object in the room to draw. Or, specify an object. Next, instruct participants to draw the contour of the object in one continuous line without looking at their paper. When time is up, have everyone share their drawings.
It’s almost impossible to create a realistic drawing so the results are often funny. Remember, it’s about the process, not the finished piece!


Visual notes were a main highlight of Pearson's ISTE trade show booth

Engagement Board

A programming break is a perfect time to hear from attendees–their ideas, aspirations or feedback. An artist-facilitated engagement board is an ideal medium to capture these thoughts.

How it Works:

Ink Factory designs and installs a whiteboard or wall at your meeting or event site. Typically, in an open area where attendees can easily see and engage with it.

The engagement board features one or a series of questions you’d like attendees to answer. An artist team of visual note-takers (aka, graphic recorders) manages the engagement board, inviting attendees to share their answers. The artists then illustrate these responses.

Attendees can share answers verbally, or write them down. When the event wraps, the illustration can be digitized and shared.


Visual Thinking and Communicating Skills

Visual Note-Taking Workshop

Turn your next meeting break into a visual note-taking 101 workshop. During 60-minute sessions, attendees can drop in to learn the basics of visual notes and how to put them to use in the workplace.

How it Works:

Ink Factory offers custom artist-led workshops to meet the goals and interests of your audience. Attendees will enjoy an immersive experience in visual thinking and communication and leave with the fundamental tools needed to begin using visual notes in their everyday lives. Favorite topics include visualizing goals, to-do lists, and meeting agendas.

Ready to shake up your next event with a can’t-miss art break? The artist team at Ink Factory can help! Drop us a message–we’d love to create something awesome together.


Host your own mini art break!

Download our Visual Break Kit for the inspo and materials you need to lead a visual learning break at your next small-group meeting.

What’s included:

  • Illustrated instructions for 4 different 5-minute art break exercises
  • 2 printable worksheets

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