As trusted advisers we need to understand our business and know what’s on the minds of our stakeholders and employees. But what’s on the minds of your peers? What’s hot and what’s not for internal communicators right now?

I have the answers for you.

On Saturday I had the privilege of hosting The Big Yak unconference in London with my fellow The IC Crowd co-founders Jenni Field and Dana Leeson.

We were joined by 160 internal communicators for our fourth unconference and I found it exhilarating (and exhausting!).

It’s designed to be different from other comms events and conferences. We charged a nominal fee (£9.99) for tickets and thanks to the financial support of our 21 sponsors, were able to create a day focused entirely on helping internal communication practitioners network and learn. Thank you to our sponsors, facilitator Benjamin Ellis and volunteers for helping the day go smoothly.

I love hosting The Big Yak, it’s always a day packed with energy and relationship building. When Jenni walked into the venue early Saturday morning, I bounded up to her and she greeted me with: “Hello Tigger!” as I was brimming with enthusiasm and anticipation at the day ahead.

After months of the three of us plotting via Trello and Skype, it’s always exciting to see our plans turn into action. Advita Patel joined our team this year to oversee the ticket releases and admin, thank you Advita.

Learning from each other
I felt humbled to witness IC practitioners realising just how generous their peers are with their knowledge. I

see it every month in my All Things IC Masterclasses and it’s amplified 1000 times over at The Big Yak. Watching practitioners making copious notes and swapping details with their new comms friends is brilliant.

If you’re a regular reader to my blog or heard me speak about personal branding at the Institute of Internal Communication’s annual conference a few weeks ago, you’ll know how a day like that taps into all of my personal values. That’s why I get such a buzz out of helping to create the event for IC pros.

What’s on our minds?
As it’s an unconference, the in-house IC pros set the agenda and choose the topics they need help with. Once you’ve been to an unconference, it’s hard to revert to attending a conference where you can’t influence the agenda – you’ll see what I mean if you came on Saturday!

The majority of comms pros in the room hadn’t been to The Big Yak before and they took a leap of faith and got stuck in by brainstorming and suggesting the topics they wanted to discuss.

I use the topics as my own temperature gauge on what’s hot and what’s not in internal comms right now. I plan some of my blog’s editorial content based on the topics and connect my clients with people I meet.

If you want to know what’s on the minds of IC professionals, look no further than this list:

Here are some blog posts I’ve written on my blog since 2009 to address some of these issues:

Crowd members have started to share their own blog posts from the day. See The IC Crowd website and @theICcrowd on Twitter to discover who has written about The Big Yak and what they learnt.

Want to know what events are on for IC pros to attend? Keep an eye on my events calendar.

Thank you as ever for stopping by,

Rachel

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on the All Things IC blog 11 June 2018.

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