Thank you for having a big yak!

US_A huge thank you to everyone who came along to the big yak unconference we hosted yesterday. It far exceeded our expectations and it was excellent to witness 130 internal communication professionals sharing ideas, networking and having fun.

Seeing the crowd enjoying being together and open to the idea of shaping their own agenda was fantastic. Thank you to all of our sponsors for enabling this to be a free event for participants to attend and for the energy, creativity and openness of everyone who came to eBay’s office in London for the day.

People travelled far and near to join in, including flying in from Rome, Isle of Man and Ireland and getting the train from Wales and Scotland.

There are so many stand-out points from yesterday, we’re still digesting them and will write more here once we’ve recovered!

The fact we had exceeded our Twitter limit (who knew there’s a limit?!) and were ‘locked out’ of our account @theICcrowd for a short while gives you an idea of the volume of discussion both offline and in person under the hashtags #thebigyak and #bigyak. You can see the tweets via our event feed.

Thanks to our raffle on the day, £194 was raised for the Railway Children charity. Jenni is supporting them through a four-day 250 mile cycle ride later this year and we were pleased to be able to add to her fundraising.

TBY_22JuneOur facilitator Benjamin Ellis @benjaminellis talked about the importance of creating artefacts to help people understand, remember and provide access to others.

So with that in mind, we are going to collate accounts of the day here as we find them. We’re thrilled that people found it as useful as we hoped it would be, and that they genuinely enjoyed experiencing the big yak.

Do please point us towards any you discover by commenting below or tweeting @theICcrowd with any links.

We’ve created a survey to gather feedback to help us improve. Please take a few moments to have your say:

Take the big yak feedback survey

The topics we discussed were:

Session one

  • Social media key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Intranets
  • Measurement – from hits to habits
  • Creating creative strategy

Session two

  • Sneakily social/social for leaders
  • Blurring the lines between internal and external communication
  • How do we evaluate and use feedback
  • Changing role of internal comms

Session three

  • How do you define employee engagement?
  • How to communicate with hard to reach employees
  • Importance of editorial
  • Virtual collaboration

Session four

  • Hard to reach can do digital too
  • Traditional tactics using social approach
  • Engaging the senior team to be trusted advisors
  • Overcoming cultural differences

Session five

  • Video
  • Internal comms in redundancies/economic downturn
  • Improving morale quickly
  • How IC leaders can improve their comms

Session six

  • How to win more budget
  • Pension Auto-enrolment
  • Gamification
  • Internal social/digital – a weight around our necks?

Thank you again for joining us for a big yak. The conversations aren’t over…

Dana, Rachel and Jenni.

Accounts by the crowd of their the big yak experience:

Storify account of the big yak
by Benjamin Ellis @benjaminellis
Storify by Rachel Miller

Benjamin Ellis’ photo set on Flickr
Rachel’s photo set on Flickr

Gloria Lombardi @lombardi_gloria: #thebigyak – a truly social learning experience
Rachel Miller @AllthingsIC: A proud day to be an internal comms pro
Paul Thomas @tallpaul75: The big yak – unbelievable unconference
Jenni Wheller @jenniwheller: Yakkety Yak!
Benjamin Ellis @benjaminellis: The big yak – unconference for the conferenced
ab @abthinks: Sharing ideas at the big yak
Comment8 @l4comment8Watch out conferences, the unconference is here to stay!
Sequel @sequel_group: The big yak – a brilliant event held by The IC Crowd
Sheila Parry @theblueballroom: Pressing your nose up to the glass
Steven Murgatroyd @steve_murg: Yakking the day away
Words & Pictures @wandp: The big yak– the unconference we’ve all been waiting for
Communicate magazine: Yakking about internal communication
Kate Shaw @kes1981: Yak, yak, yak
Nick at Westra Comms @westrapeople: Power of social: real world style
Paul Thomas @tallpaul75: The changing role of the internal communicator