IntraTeam Event 2019 Part 1: Conference overview
During the wrap-up session at IntraTeam Event 19 last week I made the point that I think that the success of the Event is because it is both the same every year and yet different every year. Every year the venue is the Radisson Scandinavia (conveniently on the airport side of the city), the room layout is the same, there is a good range of sponsors to talk with and the refreshments are better than at any other event I attend. The welcome is also warm, notably from Kurt Kragh Sorensen who always starts and ends the conference with infectious enthusiasm. As with Wedge Black in London and James Robertson in Sydney you feel the commitment of an individual to aim as high as possible in delegate satisfaction.
This is the IntraTeam Event, not the Intranet Event, and that is important to note because the breadth of the programme this year was exceptionally wide, from digital assistants to the digital workplace of the future. What was especially notable this year was the contribution made by the North American contingent of Christian Buckley (CollabTalk), Stacy L. Wilson (Eloquor Consulting), Richard Harbridge (2toLead), Benjamin Niaulin (Sharegate), and Laura Rogers (IW Mentor). I must also mention Cai Kjaer (SWOOP Analytics) from Australia. All of them brought something special to the event, especially around the use of Office 365. How many US intranet conferences would have gone to the expense of bringing six overseas participants?
As usual there were three parallel sessions each day, with a search-specific track on the second day of the conference which brought in a number of delegates who were attending this specific session. As always it is very difficult to be in three places at the time so I’m not going to try to summarise all the presentations. Among the main themes were the importance of information quality, the need to invest in user research, thinking carefully about how to communicate with stakeholders and employees and keeping a balance between tactical delivery and strategic intent. Office 365 was an inevitable sub-theme, and rightly so given the current impact of the avalanche of updates and features from Microsoft.
For me some of the highlights were
- Neil Barnett (Heathrow Airport) indicating that 50% of the digital workplace project needed to be allocated to user research and using employee discounts as the incentive for employees to use the workplace (Hub+) on a daily basis
- Elizabeth Marsh (Digital Work Research) conducting a 5-minute long mindfulness/meditation session with around 40 delegates in total silence. Exceptionally courageous.
- Frank Giroux (Bayer) giving a very balanced view of the challenges and opportunities for digital assistants
- Richard Harbridge (2toLead) managing to give a sense of what Microsoft might have on the Office 365 Roadmap without breaching his NDA.
I have commented in more detail on the Search Track in Part 2 of this account of the conference.
On the ‘same but different’ theme, the conference dinner moved from the Thai restaurant in the basement of the hotel to the Asador Argentinian restaurant just a 10-minute walk away in Christianshavn. Absolutely superb.
Overall the IntraTeam Event was as good as ever. I learned much of value (especially around Office 365) met old friends and established new friendships. I would like to get the message across to the wider European community that the combination of excellent speakers (both in content and presentation), a wide range of sponsors and the many networking opportunities combine to give delegates all they need to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead of them in 2019 . Next year (3-5 March) why don’t you come and see for yourself instead of reading about it on my blog?