IntraTeam Event Copenhagen 2020 aka The European DEX Conference

by | Mar 5, 2020 | Intranets

Around 220 delegates decided that the benefits of attending IntraTeam Event Copenhagen 2020 outweighed the coronavirus risks and were rewarded with a change in thematic direction and some outstanding presentations. IntraTeam Event 2020 was the 15th conference but also the 20th anniversary of the first conference. This year the conference was positioned as the European DEX (Digital Employee Experience) conference and attracted six delegates called Martin and one called Martyn, so I felt very much at home. Feeling at home is of course one of the attractions of the Event. The hotel is the same, the layout of the rooms is the same, the openness of the networking is the same and the attention to detail by Kurt and his team is the same.

With three streams of presentations I could at best only report on one third of them and that is fairly pointless. So instead I will focus on a few papers that for me at least were quite outstanding. Katrine Schelbli described the process of attracting, assessing, recruiting and training young people interested in joining the McDonald’s Nordic restaurant chain. All of the above tasks were carried out on the personal smart phones of potential employees, starting with them uploading a short video of themselves rather than submitting a CV. I won’t go into further detail but given the theme of the event this was a brilliant example of defining and maintaining a consistent digital experience.

The commonality between Joris Kok (ING Amsterdam) and Nina Sonne Nikolaisen (COWI) was that they were very honest about the journey they had been on, what they were currently able to deliver and how the outcomes of the initial releases were shaping the future. Seeing the timescales involved delivered a very clear picture of the scale of commitment that organisations need to make if a high-quality digital workplace is going to be delivered. A similar message was given by James Robertson (Step Two Designs) in his keynote when he talked about the outcomes of the second Step Two global survey into DEX, giving quantitative assessments of where DEX is making progress — and where it isn’t (yet) — as well looking at what else is being done in organisations (e.g. by HR) that DEX should support or align with. The importance of the user experience was illustrated by the fact that LEGO won the Intranet of the Year award on the basis of user enthusiasm even though Velux had a higher (functionality) benchmark score.

I have lost track of the number of times I have demo’d the Org Org Chart from Autodesk, which very graphically shows the impact of employees coming and going. Too many intranet and search strategies that I have come across assume a steady state situation. Coping with the outcome of a merger was the subject of a short but fascinating presentation by Stephanie Raddatz (Wintershall DEA). So many lessons learned were highlighted that others would benefit from and yet perhaps only 10% of delegates were in the room.

There are some very good intranet conferences in Europe, notably Value Intranet, Intranet Now and Intranet Italia (and yes I do know about the Intranet Reloaded events) but for me IntraTeam Event is an annual immersive experience not just a conference and for that it will always be on my calendar. Kurt and his team delivered an excellent event at a time when travel is starting to be a problem and I for one am very pleased I made the effort to attend. Bringing speakers from Australia, the USA, a number of EU countries and the UK (!) is a substantial commercial risk but once again it certainly paid off.

Martin White