Lisa, James, Wedge, Steve and Rahel

Reflecting on the 5th Intranet Now conference I keep thinking about the overwhelming amount of love I felt in the room. The comms and intranet community is pretty niche – there aren’t that many of us who would, as James Robertson pointed out, sit in a basement, next to a cool wall (the America Square Conference Centre is a lovely venue traversed by the original London Wall) talking about intranets and digital employee experience.

Sitting in a basement by the London wall

It was wonderful hearing from some of the great and good #intranerds who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years, sharing their experiences on stage, and I also got to meet lots of lovely people, too. With so many amazing things to choose from, it’s hard to pick one, or three, or seven, so here are ten things you missed if you didn’t make it to this year’s Intranet Now (or want to spend a few minutes reliving the joy of the day). Here, in no particular order, I enjoyed:

1. James Robertson calling Intranet Now the “best intranet conference in Europe” – and he’s Australian so he doesn’t beat around the bush. (He also did a great presentation about #DEX – the power of digital employee experience).

James Robertson holding up arm to show the power of #DEX

2. It was the first time I’ve heard Dana Leeson present, and she gave us all some great tips about how to get a business case signed off for an intranet.

Dana Leeson BSI

3. Simon Thompson, who has been a key figure in so many intranet projects (one of the main reasons why I think he’s part of the Intranati), joined us on stage talking about the importance of learning.

Simon Thompson standing at a lecturn

4. Janet White’s user experience on a shoestring showed us all that you don’t need a big budget (or any, for that matter) to incorporate user research into your project.

Janet White

5. Suzie Robinson’s presentation about what happens when you inherit a “new” intranet – a story that resonated very closely with a project or two in my past.

Suzie Robinson - timeline

6. I loved hearing about Invotra’s approach to off-boarding. Billy Clackers gave his first keynote address, offering some wonderfully personal personas before sharing how Invotra can help on, and more importantly off-board contractors and other employees, without taking the nuclear option.

Billy Clackers nuclear option

7. Sukh Ryatt from Oak gave us an entertaining presentation, with advice on how to become kick-ass Engagement Ninjas (which is a proper noun now, apparently) and informed us all that they’re the guys who first invented the intranet, which was backed up by Martin White, so it must be true.

Sukh - engagement ninja

8. Speaking of Martin, he chaired an excellent panel, featuring Helen Day from DWG, Fintan Galvin from Invotra, Sukh Ryatt from Oak and Dana Leeson from BSI, asking a few questions about search, amongst other things.

Morning panel with Martin

9. The afternoon had a slightly slower pace, full of table talks, workshops and time to learn, but not before I had the privilege to introduce Donna Noble, the Noble Yogi on stage. Donna shared a breathing technique with everyone, and some top advice to give us more time in our day.

Donna Noble standing on stage with Wedge and I sitting eyes closed

10. To round off the day, I invited James Robertson, Rahel Baillie and Steve Bynghall to join us at at the end of the day in a closing panel. I’m very grateful to James, Rahel and Steve for their insightful contributions which helped us wrap a day packed to the brim with information (and thanks to everyone for their patience as I found my notes and got back on track).

Lisa, James, Wedge, Steve and Rahel

Many, many, many thanks

Thanks to our partners, volunteers, speakers and participants for making 2018 Intranet Now my favourite one ever. Thanks in particular to Rahel, who was our Twitterer-in-chief for the day.

I mean, each year I’ve attended has been brilliant, but I’ve been more involved than ever before, and hope that I was able to build on the great work that Brian Lamb has done along with Wedge to build a really strong community-led event.

Thanks also to DWG for continuing to support Intranet Now – I can vouch that the conversations I’ve had in the past over a drink after a long day’s conferencing have been career-changing, and we’re grateful for their support.

I love Intranet Now as it gives me the opportunity to step outside of my (now often home-) office to meet other practitioners and share their experiences. I think the sentiment was echoed around the room, in our wrap-up panel, and since in the lovely feedback we’ve had.

I look forward to working with Wedge on future events – we’re already talking about what we’ll be doing next, so watch this space!

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