IntraTeam Event and Intranet Now – the same but different
Earlier this month I spent Wednesday and Thursday at the IntraTeam Event in Stockholm and then attended the Intranet Now event in London. Both have been written up well which saves me having to work though some rather scrappy notes and half-remembered quotes. Both were inspiring events but had very different formats. The IntraTeam approach is to have fairly long individual presentations, typically 35 minutes long, followed by a Q&A and then a networking break which also enables delegates to change tracks. The networking opportunities are a feature of IntraTeam Events, and work well because participation in the Events is built in to the Community subscription packages. Everyone knows just about everyone else before they come to the Event. Even if you are not a Community member the networking ethos pervades the Event and is almost good enough to persuade me to move to Denmark or Sweden just to be able to attend the periodic on-site networking meetings. I’m certainly looking forward to participating in the Search Community meeting hosted by COWI on 19 November.
Intranet Now is a morning of lightening talks, mostly no longer than eight minutes, so there is no immediate opportunity to ask questions. Then in the afternoon there are a mixture of workshops and round tables, mostly run by sponsors of the conference. With just a single mid-morning break it is important to take a note of people you want to talk to as each new speaker adds more insights into the management of intranets.
A feature of both events is openness of speakers to say “We tried this and it didn’t work out as well as we hoped”. Among the other intranet conferences are the three We-CONECT events in Berlin, Boston and London. I’ve never been invited to present at these conferences but my experience as a workshop leader in Berlin some years ago, and talking to attendees, is that the focus is on success stories, and less on the lessons learned along way. The events are well-organised but lack the ‘community’ feel that is such a strong element of the IntraTeam and Intranet Now events. They are also just one element of the portfolio of the We-CONECT organisation.
Reflecting on the two events I see parallels with the two annual intranet review publications. IntraTeam is rather like the Intranet Design Awards, providing quite a detailed account of the development of an intranet, digital workplace or social media application. Intranet Now is the equivalent of the Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards, with a particular feature being highlighted so that others can take advantage. What is common to both events is the obvious passion of Kurt Kragh Sørensen and Wedge Black and their colleagues for intranets and all that surrounds them. This is most evident in the speakers they select. There is never a presentation at either event that does not provide me with a new approach to intranet design and development. The vendors also play the game by the rules and rarely give a ‘canned’ presentation on their products.
Next up is the 2019 IntraTeam Event in Copenhagen next February. I would strongly recommend that you considering attending. The event is always held in the same hotel (Radisson Blu)) and even as a first-time attendee you will immediately feel you are attending a reunion. I understand that Intranet Now will be returning to the 2018 venue next year, and I think that will have a similar impact. Neither Kurt or Wedge are professional conference organisers but you would never guess this from the very high quality of both events. Each in their own way have no doubt been an important catalyst in the development of intranets that make a significant contribution to the way an organisation achieves its objectives