My postman has been delivering gorilla hands, chalkboards and some secret surprises over the past few weeks as we are now just days away from the big yak.
Alongside my fellow The IC Crowd co-founders Dana Leeson and Jenni Wheller, we’ve been plotting and planning a free unconference for internal communication professionals. To find out what The IC Crowd is, check out our website.
It’s called the big yak and is taking place this Saturday, 22 June, at eBay’s offices in Richmond, London. We’re pictured at one of our many planning sessions (L-R: Rachel, Jenni, Dana).
We announced our intention in January on SimplyTV, following the feedback we received from IC pros who met up in London in December at our Christmas social. They told us they wanted another opportunity to get together informally, for longer and to spend time talking about internal communication.
If you watched SimplyTV when we announced what we were up to, you’ll know we didn’t have a venue or sponsors then. Fast forward six months and 200 tickets were snapped up extremely quickly and we were approached by eBay who offered their space – thank you!
We have some fantastic sponsors who are literally helping to make the event possible. Thanks to: Theblueballroom, VMA Group, Yammer, ego-creative, scarlettabbott, Words&Pictures, NixonMcInnes, Comment8, ab, Sequel Group and HarknessKennett, plus our media sponsors: Communicate Magazine and simply-communicate.
You set the conversations
Unconference format means the agenda is set by the people who attend, so everyone gets out what they put in. I know some people have expressed dislike about the word unconference, but the essence of the word is the most important thing – it’s an informal style event, so there are no set topics and speakers.
This enables people to choose and shape the flow of the conversations, and we know from hosting #commschat last night that there are lots of recurring themes.
We’re fortunate to have Benjamin Ellis @benjaminellis on hand as our facilitator and he’ll be guiding us through the day to help delegates get the most out of the event and used to the format.
VMA Group will have a special career mentoring booth because people who came to our Christmas drinks said they wanted the opportunity to talk about their careers. Spaces are limited, so please do let us know if you are interested or sign up in the morning when you arrive.
It’s good to talk
Over the past few months, Dana, Jenni and I have been meeting regularly in person. We’ve sometimes dialled each other in to a Google+ hangout or FaceTime if all three of our diaries didn’t enable us to be in the same place at the same time.
We’ve also been using Trello (pictured) to keep track of our many lists and tasks, and it’s been a great way to share content and ideas.
It’s been a pleasure to work alongside them and we’re all looking forward to welcoming everyone on Saturday – and freeing up Jenni’s spare room, which is fit to burst with swag-bag goodies!
We’re going to be joined by some international IC pros too including people flying in from Abu Dhabi, Denmark, Ireland and also travelling down from Stirling and Leeds.
If you’re looking for details about the event, full information can be found on the big yak website including timings, what to expect and how to get to the venue. We heard today that the Tube engineering works planned for the weekend on the District line have been cancelled, hurrah, so journeys should be even easier to Richmond.
Attendees should have received an email on 18 June packed full of information. If you didn’t or have any questions about Saturday, tweet us @theICcrowd or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s great to see people saying they are looking forward to coming along:
— Padraic (@padraic_knox) June 18, 2013
— Katie Marlow (@ktmarlow) June 18, 2013
— Helen Theofanous (@MrsHelenT) June 18, 2013
— Michelle Harris (@MichelleTH) June 4, 2013
— Jessica Roberts (@JBurns82) June 3, 2013
— Diana Railton (@dianarailton) May 23, 2013
— Neville Hobson (@jangles) April 11, 2013
— Steven Murgatroyd (@steve_murg) April 11, 2013
— Matthew Partovi (@matthewpartovi) April 10, 2013
— Stephen Waddington (@wadds) March 15, 2013
— Sarah Hodges (@hodgessarah) March 14, 2013
Thank you to everyone who has been and continues to send us encouraging messages.
Hope to see you on Saturday for a big yak!
Post author: Rachel Miller