What I learnt last night at theICcrowding

Yesterday, Tuesday 11 December, was the first gathering of The IC Crowd, a community of internal comms professionals I co-founded with my friends Dana Leeson and Jenni Wheller.

We launched the Twitter account and blog back in September, and three months later decided to bring the crowd together for a social event in London #theiccrowding. I was thrilled to see so many people brave the bracing British weather, transport problems and busy festive season to join us at The Merchant pub in Liverpool Street Station.

What I learnt last night:

  • Reinforced the value of face-to-face communication: I met many internal comms pros I have known ‘virtually’ for years, in real life, which was fantastic
  • The number of people whose Twitter pics look like them is surprisingly high – and very useful to help match up faces to names!
  • Key concerns for internal comms pros right now are: career, networking, qualifications and social media
  • Everyone wants to make smart choices and do their homework before making decisions about themselves and their companies
  • There is a willingness in the IC community for pros to help each other out, particularly when it comes to recommending people, companies and resources to work with and for
  • Having an event which you don’t have to be a member to attend e.g. CIPR, Melcrum, IoIC, means you can have people from all of those organisations come along and enjoy it too, and it was great to see them. Was also good to see agencies attending and networking with in-house comms pros
  • 2013 appears to be the year of self improvement; I had many conversations with IC pros who are looking to gain formal qualifications and were wondering what to choose and where to go (you can see a list of some of the courses around via my Rachel’s Resources page)
  • Internal Comms pros are a friendly and sociable bunch. There was plenty of mingling – and bravery – with people approaching each other
  • Informal style works best – we knew who was due to come, but deliberately didn’t write up name tags, so if people dropped in they would feel welcome. This also meant people could choose what information to include, such as their company or Twitter ID, if they wanted to
  • There is an appetite among the internal comms crowd for similar events in the future
  • I learnt that many of the people in the room read my blog and use the content to equip them in discussions at work with their teams and leaders
  • Last night also reinforced in my mind that internal communication is a brilliant profession to be part of

Thank you to our sponsors, VMA Group and Engage Group and to The Merchant team for helping to make the event a success.

You can see my Storify below including a short video of photos from last night. Thank you to everyone who came along. Do follow @theICcrowd on Twitter to keep in touch with IC pros.

Jenni, Dana and I are due to appear on SimplyTV in January and we may have something to announce about a future event… Do tune in if you can, and thank you again to everyone who came last night. If you attended, what did you learn? You’re welcome to comment below.

Post author: Rachel Miller

On 11 December a huge crowd of internal comms pros gathered for the first ever event from The IC Crowd, sponsored by VMA Group and Engage Group and supported by The Merchant pub in Liverpool St Station. Thanks all for coming. www.theiccrowd.com


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