The Big Yak – A Brilliant Event held by the IC Crowd

Last Saturday The IC Crowd @theICcrowd held the much-anticipated unconference: ‘The Big Yak’ in Richmond which was sponsored by Sequel Group. Not only did the event have an amazing turn out of around 130 Internal Comms professionals but the activity on Twitter was enormous, with #thebigyak trending in the UK! The big yak 1

From the early (for a Saturday morning) croissants, to the great opening words by Social Technologist, Benjamin Ellis (@benjaminellis) to the interesting discussions led by various IC professionals (not forgetting the goodie bags given to every attendee) the day was jam-packed, useful and informative.

Not sure what an unconference is?  Basically it means that the topics of the day, and in many ways the day’s success, is in the hands of all of the attendees.  Using the old-fashioned A5 paper flip chart method to make a grid dividing up rooms and time slots, attendees can write their ideas for topics on post-it notes and then go on to run those sessions.

The big yak 2Topics ranged from social media KPIs, Intranets, evaluating and using feedback, becoming trusted advisors to the Senior teams, video, gamification plus many, many more – for a full list of sessions see




Some of the ‘learnings’ from the day:

Internal communications is the consciousness and conscience of an organisation #thebigyak

  • Wise words from Jon Weedon @J0N1

An ex boss once said to me, “the client (the business) does 95% and we add the 5% that makes it better.” An ethos to live by #thebigyak

  • Paul Thomas, @tallpaul75

Employee videos should be shorter-you would never watch a 15 minute advert or new story #thebigyak

  • Helen Deverell, @Helenw7

Speak clearly, speak plainly and remember to keep the messages simple. #thebigyak

  • Ramat Tejani @Ramat_Tejani

“Never underestimate the toilet poster!” Bog media, love it! #thebigyak

  • Kate Shaw @kes1981

Social media blurs the line between work and home life – is it a good thing or a bad thing to be constantly connected? #thebigyak

  • Sequel Group @Sequel_Group

For more Twitter activity check out #thebigyak

A big thanks to the The IC Crowd for such a brilliant and insightful event, the only problem now is somehow topping this event next year!