IntraTeam Event 2018 – a great success in every way
I’ve been to most of the annual IntraTeam Events over the last decade so I can state with confidence that they just keep getting better. The primary reason for this is that the Event is in effect a Community of Friendship. As Kurt Kragh Sørensen highlighted as the first bullet point in his introduction, for many in the audience this Event is one of their four community of practice meeting during the course of the year. Clearly this message is now travelling well beyond Denmark and Sweden as most of the delegates at IntraTeam 2018 came from outside these two countries, making this much more of an international event.
The Event has always taken place in the Radisson Blu hotel in Copenhagen, which works well as a venue even when a waterpipe breaks on the 17th floor at 5.30am leaving many delegates without water and/or electricity and/or lifts. It was the first time I have had to walk down 21 flights of stairs to get to a conference! There is plenty of networking space, all the conference rooms have large windows and the food is outstanding. Coming back to the same venue each year supports this ‘family’ feeling. The 2018 Event was the largest ever, with the main Denmark room almost completely full.
Size is not everything, as MS Ignite will testify! The papers and workshops have to be good enough to justify the time and expense, and this year the standard was uniformly high. This is largely due to the fact that Kurt can capitalize on the emerging trends and issues tabled at the Community sessions during the year to set an agenda which always seems to be totally aligned to the interests of delegates, and sponsors. This year Wizdom and Beezy were the Platinum Partners. Kurt also makes a point of attending as many other conferences as he can to identify good speakers and workshop leaders. The end result is a degree of mayhem in the course of each break as delegates swop between the three tracks and rooms. Among this year’s themes were adoption and change management, employee experience, SharePoint and Office 365, collaboration, digital workplace, internal communications and knowledge management.
The overall direction of the Event was set by the opening presentation from James Robertson (Step Two) on the Digital Employee Experience (DEX), which takes the ‘Digital Workplace’ and puts a much-needed end-user perspective on the topic. As James pointed out, most organisations pay considerable attention to the customer digital experience but rarely to the employee experience. I noted with interest that the Step Two annual Intranets conference is now DEX 2018.
In addition ‘search’ was a core topic this year. When Agnes Molnar can attract over 30 delegates to a pre-conference workshop on SharePoint and O365 search it is a sure sign that there is a realization that search is not an out-of-the-box feature and needs a substantial amount of planning, implementation and support. The search track presentations in the Event itself invariably had 40 or so attendees. IntraTeam run a very good digital workplace benchmarking service, and the results for search success are quite depressing. It would not surprise me to see even more search-related (and I include digital assistants) presentations next year. As Frank Giroux (Bayer) pointed out, a solid enterprise search platform is an essential component of his company’s digital assistant implementation.
I was due to take part in the closing session of IntraTeam but had to fly out earlier in the day because EasyJet canceled all its Copenhagen flights because of the snow threat. Fortunately Sam Marshall was able to take my place and join James Robertson and Agnes Molnar. As I had spent the previous two days thinking about what I was going to contribute to the session it seems a pity to waste this effort, and my thoughts on what I heard, or did not hear will be posted in a couple of days