Intranet Now 2014 – Great expectations exceeded!
By any measure the Intranet Now conference which took place today in the Radisson Hotel, Portman Square, London, exceeded all expectations. That this should be the case is entirely down to an extraordinary level of vision and work by Wedge Black and Brian Lamb. There were around 170 people in the venue at the start of the day and almost the same number at the end of the day. I made a lot of notes during the day which I’ll turn into a conference report en route to Switzerland tomorrow and publish on Thursday.
For now the headlines were
- A clever mix of a conference and an unconference
- Excellent presentations throughout the day highlighting both successes and issues still to be resolved
- A mix of 20 minute and 5 minute papers which created a lot of energy in the room
- Presentations from organisations ranging in size from small charities to multi-national businesses
- Over a dozen 20 minute discussion sessions from which participants could attend their choice of four
- Cabaret-style seating which encouraged networking
- Sponsor presentations that kept to the script
- Superb refreshments, with thanks to Igloo and Interact Intranet, and the Radisson kitchens
- Time-keeping to within 5 minutes of schedule throughout the day.
- Good space close to the main conference room for breakout sessions and networking.
- A post-conference bar session sponsored by the Digital Workplace Group
At the end of the wrap session that Sam Marshall and I chaired I asked delegates how many would be coming back next year, and everyone put their hand up. I then asked how many would recommend the conference to others and again everyone put their hand up. Now that’s a success metric! Was everything perfect? No. The delegate badges kept turning back to front. The challenge Wedge and Brian now face is how to scale the conference whilst maintaining the unconference element. I am certain that they will succeed because the UK intranet community will be totally supportive of this entrepreneurial venture. In my career in the intranet business only the Step Two intranet conferences have been in the same league
Finally Wedge and Brian announced that the conference was instituting an award to someone who had made a remarkable contribution to intranets. To my total surprise I was the recipient. Seldom am I lost for words, but on this occasion that was certainly the case. Thank you so much.