FRIDAY 13 JUN 2014 10:43 AM


Putting nearly 200 internal communicators into the same room and telling them to discuss whatever they want, in whatever way they want, with who they want sounds like the recipe for a loud, messy, chaotic conference. In effect, last June’s Big Yak unconference was a highlight of the year for many IC professionals.

The day-long event organised and overseen by The IC Crowd – BSI’s Dana Leeson, SSP’s Jenni Wheller and All Things IC’s Rachel Miller – not only trended on Twitter but generated honest, interesting and insightful conversations among the UK and Europe’s internal comms community. The day was loosely organised into blocs of time that were run by attendees and discussed topics of participants’ choosing.

And neither chaotic nor messy was it. This year, The Big Yak is back for a second time and will grace London’s riverside eBay campus on 28 June. Yes, that’s a Saturday. Tickets are free and have already been allocated, however, to join the waitlist, visit this link.

The IC Crowd says, “In our second year the big yak is back and even bigger than ever! We are bringing together close to 200 internal comms and intranet professionals – all under one roof – to discuss the issues that keep us up at night. This is the day that will be shaped by the hot issues and it is down to each person to drive the agenda and get the answers they need either in our breakout sessions or in one-one conversations. We have some little surprises up our sleeves and a lot of activities to get your brain buzzing.”

Last year, some of the issues discussed included gamification, the use of video, how to engage frontline employees, the importance of line managers in internal comms, how to gain traction with business leaders, overall strategy and more. The beauty of the unconference format though, is that topics are selected and discussed based on what attendees want to hear. Thus, this year’s agenda will be up in the air until the morning of 28 June.

TfL's digital communications manager Steven Murgatroyd, an attendee of the 2013 edition who will be attending this year as well, says, "Last year’s Big Yak was one of the most interesting and useful events I’ve ever been to. The mix of people, opinions and topics meant there was something for everyone. The unconference style meant that everyone got a chance to be heard rather than lecture theatre style presentations. Also, having it on a Saturday meant the people there wanted to be, rather than being sent by their companies! This year I’m looking forward to another day of discussion, and a chance to find out what the big topics in communication will be over the next 12 months. As well as a chance to catch up with lots of like minded people."

Check out the recap of last year's Big Yak: