IntranetNow – a delegate’s view

We were proud sponsors of IntranetNow that took place on Tuesday 2 September. This was the perfect way for us to kick off our themelogo-intranet-now of social media in the workplace for the next two months.  As part of our sponsorship we had ten tickets to giveaway to CIPR members. Literally the first ten people to reply, won the tickets.

One of those super fast members to reply is Melisaan Agar-Hutton who is Internal Communications Manager at Countrywide plc., the estate agency and property group.

What’s more is Melisaan, very kindly offered to share her insight from the day with us, and you.


Melisaan blog

Melisaan Agar- Hutton, Internal Communications Manager, Countrywide

So over to Melisaan:

On Tuesday 2nd September, I attended the inaugural Intranet Now; the un/conference for comms and intranet people. Intranet Now is the first independent intranet conference in the UK which has been created and developed by Wedge Black and Brian Lamb.

When I first looked at the agenda, I was surprised to see that Wedge and Brian had set themselves a very strict agenda for the day – which literally ran to the minute! They had drafted in a broad range of speakers who gave presentations and 5 minute ‘lightning talks’. The speakers were fantastic and met the needs of the wide range of delegates, from intranet managers and internal communications people to knowledge managers and those in more digital and technical roles. With representation from a variety of businesses and showcases of all phases of intranet projects from those that were newly launched, to those that had been around a while, there was plenty to learn.


My three key takeaways from the speakers were:

– Jonathan Phillips of CCE’s pointer to consider ‘mobile first’, looking at how you can push communications that are tailored for mobile devices as more and more employees become remote workers, accessing intranets through their smart phones. This became a hot topic for the day and something I think we’re all looking at for our future communications.

– Ayesha Graves of the FSB told us to “go with it”. Everyone at the conference will remember Ayesha’s tale of #Norris, the cockerel that was posted on their buy & exchange forum and caused a flurry of activity and social interaction. Ayesha told us that we should embrace things that get people talking to help develop a sense of community and really bring personalities on to our intranets.

– Kim England of Pearson talked to us about her hugely successful intranet and how they are continuing to develop it, including looking at gamification. Kim had made Pearson’s intranet more engaging, issuing awards, badges and token prizes. Kim’s creative campaigns showed everyone in the room how you can really bring an intranet to life and engage your employees with it.

Of course, our friendly neighbourhood intranet suppliers were there and I must make a special mention of Interact’s Nigel Williams who really brought the topic of intranet ownership to life by relating it to being a parent. From the creation, considering if we can afford these children and where we’d keep it, to the birth, early years and to our troubled teenage intranets, who we want to help improve. Nigel spoke about being an #intranetparent in a way that we all can relate to.

The unconference was a delightful change of pace to the usual post-lunch lull that I typically experience at conferences. It was a great idea to source the topics for discussion from the audience, asking them to pitch their ideas and facilitate the group talks. From time to time, we struggled with the size of the groups and noise in the rooms, but these factors didn’t distract delegates from the interesting conversations and best practice shared.

Plenty of familiar faces attended the event and Martin White of Intranet Focus, a speaker I have seen a number of times, was awarded for his remarkable contribution to intranets. Congratulations Martin, a very well deserved award.
All in all, I had a fantastic day at Intranet Now and I look forward to seeing our UK intranet community continue to grow, share our knowledge and support each other.

A very well done to Wedge and Brian – I’ll certainly see you there next year!

Thank you Melisaan, who can be found on twitter here

If you have an insight on all things social in the workplace that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch on twitter, or email


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