As a new AQR member I was intrigued by the invitation to attend my first Breakfast Bites session. I know how to do infographics, right? Yes, I have the basic skills but I was eager to do some fine tuning and meet some new faces.

This was the first Breakfast Bites held in the north. I think we all appreciated the short hop, skip and jump it would take from our offices. We’ve all been there. You’ve booked on to a training course or a seminar because you’ve got a real interest in the subject and are eager to learn more. Then, a couple of days before, the daily pressures creep in and you either cancel (thus avoiding the trip to London) or your mind is elsewhere. And we all know how important being truly present is.

This session was held at one of our usual haunts: Spectrum in Leeds. At first it was strange to be part of the group rather than moderating it, but our group of 15 soon got into the swing.

Our moderator Rachel had an obvious passion for insight and making the story land with clients. We started with the theory. Design, data and story. These are the three components we need to master. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t overcomplicate it. Rachel taught us to break out of the usual way we create visuals and get back to basics. Draw on paper and draw again. Develop your ideas as you discuss to get to the real story.

We were split into small teams, each one taking a debrief and producing an infographic. I put my unrefined drawing skills to the test and after four or five iterations we got there. We were happy with the outcome and learnt the basic principles along the way.

Believe it or not, we can all be creative. Give it a go. I’m looking forward to welcoming the AQR back to the north and meeting up with familiar faces soon.