Unconference for in-house communicators from The IC Crowd
Welcome to The Big Yak’s website. This is the place to discover all you need to know about the unconference for communicators.
It’s being hosted by The IC Crowd on Saturday 6 June 2020. Tickets will be released in 2020.
Do Tweet us @theICcrowd if you’ve got a query we’ve not covered.
What is The Big Yak?
The Big Yak unconference from The IC Crowd connects in-house and independent communicators face-to-face so they can learn and network. To yak is a colloquial way of saying to talk.
It has been designed by and for professional communicators. The venue will be in London. This will be the fifth time The Big Yak has taken place, as we gathered comms pros in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018.
We’re proud to be a different type of event and offer in-house practitioners the chance to shape the agenda on the day (which is what an unconference means) and get help and advice from their peers.
Trust us, you’ll love it!
Feedback from delegates over the years means we know what works and what doesn’t and it’s a format that works.
Who can attend?
In-house internal communicators and independent practitioners are welcome to come to The Big Yak.
This website will be tell you all you need to know and we’ll be updating it between now and the unconference.
This is an event to share learning and experience with other like-minded professionals. Based on feedback, only agencies who are sponsoring are able to attend. As ever, we request a no pitching, selling of services or products to other attendees as this is what makes The Big Yak unique and we’d like to keep it that way.
We will be closely monitoring the attendee list.
Want to know what will be discussed at The Big Yak?
So do we! As it’s an unconference, the content is decided by you, the attendees, on the day.
We’re expecting 150 in-house professional communicators to come together, shape the agenda and enjoy being together.
Here’s the agenda from a previous event – as you can see, it was set on the day:
We want you to feel comfortable, so do come in jeans and trainers or whatever you prefer. It is a Saturday after all.
There will be a place for you to leave coats.
Chill out zone
The Big Yak is an excellent place to network. However, if you need a quiet corner to recharge your batteries, we will have a chill out zone.
If you need a break from networking, we have a quiet space at #TheBigYak. The chill out zone exists for you to charge devices and have a quiet space to think. It looks like this. pic.twitter.com/rsQGCLUuBs
— The IC Crowd (@theICcrowd) May 31, 2018
Make some noise
The venue will plenty of plug points – don’t forget your chargers. See the reviews page of this website to discover what it’s like to attend The Big Yak. We’d love you to join us.
Do Tweet us @theICcrowd if you’ve got a query we’ve not covered on this site.
Full information about the venue for 2020’s #TheBigYak will be available here.
Keep an eye on the TfL website to check the latest travel status.
Plan your journey
By London Cycle Scheme
The nearest “Boris Bike” docking station.
Maps to help you find us
The Big Yak wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic sponsors.
The organisations who support us aren’t just sponsors, they’re our partners.
They understand the benefit of networking and professional development. We can’t say enough about our sponsors, other than without them The Big Yak wouldn’t be possible.
Please look out for them at The Big Yak in 2020 and stop them to say hello as they are supporting the crowd and making the day possible.
Are you interested in sponsoring us this year? We have various packages available and would love to discuss them with you.
We help people and businesses shine through brilliant employee engagement, experience and communication. We believe in providing real, simple, tangible and implementable changes that will help to create the culture you want and need. And we like to have fun along the way!
Want to create a company people love? Join us at the Company Culture conference, hosted at Kew Gardens culturevist.com/conference.
We create award-winning film, animation and design for the UK’s biggest organisations and best known brands. We are storytellers, film makers, animators and designers, with backgrounds in brand marketing, internal communication and learning and development.
CIPR Inside is the specialist group of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations. The group is for internal communication and employee engagement professionals. As part of the only chartered organisation for communications professionals we benefit from the knowledge, support and training that that organisation provides. It connects internal and external communication, in line with the belief that communication should be integrated and joined up.
Raising professional standards and sharing best practice is a core aim of the group and institute. Professionalism and current knowledge are critical to delivering excellent and strategic communications. Our members have access to the knowledge, support and training that being part of a chartered organisation brings.
Comms Rebel is run by Advita Patel. It helps people take the leap to revolutionise the way they communicate in their organisation by helping them use a variety of tools and techniques creatively.
ICology, founded by Chuck Gose is a podcast about interesting people doing interesting things in the world of internal communications. ICology is working to achieve a great understanding and appreciation of the impact internal communications has with employees and companies.
As the only professional body dedicated to internal communication in the UK, we exist to help organisations and people succeed through promoting internal communication of the highest standard.
We’re the employee experience agency that’s connecting and inspiring people to deliver brilliant business performance.
We blend insight, content and technology to help organisations grow as productive places where people really want to work. From shaping strategies to delivering creative communications, campaigns and channels in the modern workplace, our talented team of strategists, digital developers, designers, filmmakers and writers deliver comms with impact.
What can your business achieve by working with us?
Top Banana was established back in 1999 and has grown over the last 20 years to be one of the most reputable creative communications agencies in the industry. With over 50 employees, Top Banana work with some of the world’s most recognised brands and are proud of our long-lasting partnerships with our clients.
Full details about tickets will be available here. They will be released in 2020.
Who can attend?
In-house internal communicators and independent practitioners are welcome to come to The Big Yak.
This is an event to share learning and experience with other like-minded professionals. Based on feedback, only agencies who are sponsoring are able to attend.
As ever, we request a no pitching, selling of services or products to other attendees as this is what makes The Big Yak unique and we’d like to keep it that way.
We will be closely monitoring the attendee list. See the sponsors page to discover our partners for 2020.
The agenda will look something like this…
We came. We saw. We yakked about comms.
Thank you to everyone who attended 2018’s The Big Yak, we had a brilliant day and enjoyed seeing you all having fun, networking and learning about internal communication.
We were joined by 160 internal communication professionals and thanks to our 21 sponsors, were able to enjoy a whole day together. IC pros travelled from near and far to be in London on 9 June, including Cynthia from the Netherlands, Emanuela from Italy and various flights from Dublin and Belfast.
✅ 160 attendees
✅ 21 sponsors
✅ 8 volunteers on the day
✅ Epic swag
✅ “1000 yrs of experience in one room”
Want to know what it’s like to attend The Big Yak?
Here’s a taster of what the crowd has shared from our previous unconferences.
Helen Deverell shared some top networking tips to help comms pros.
The crowd decide the topics they’d like to discuss. In 2018 they were:
|Session 1||Session 2||Session 3||Session 4||Session 5|
|Measurement||Creating a forward-looking culture through open and honest communications||IC role in innovation||How do we show the ROI of IC||Newsletters, do they still hold value?|
|Change Comms||Reviving intranets, O365||Growing comms champion network||Helping Line Managers become better communicators||How do we develop our own capabilities?|
|Crisis Comms||Comms career progression||Working smarter (agile)||Getting executive buy-in||Connecting people to purpose|
|Culture Change||Coaching leaders||Operationalising values and behaviours||Storytelling||CEO comms and corporate reputation
|Remote workers with access to comms channels||Comms strategy||Tackling tech takeover and saturation||Community management and ESN strategy||Internal comms and diversity|
|Engaging people who resist engagement||Remote workers (no access to comms channels)||Remote workers – using line managers||Connecting global organisations||M&A|
Brilliant day at my first #TheBigYak! Can’t believe how many of the topics raised are common to everyone – it’s great to know us IC professionals aren’t alone & all experience similar challenges. Thanks @theICcrowd for organising this – it will stay with me for a long time! pic.twitter.com/i2PIYIHfET
— Becky Handy (@BeccaBoo_88) June 9, 2018
This is to repeat what others have said, but worth saying still. #TheBigYak is a unique event in the #internalcomms calendar. Each one comes with new connections, new learning and new ideas. I value these days immensely – all credit to @theICcrowd for making them happen.
— Oli Howard (@howard_oli) June 9, 2018
What a great experience! So happy I’ve been able to join #TheBigYak with @theICcrowd and a lot of great #internalcomms people. I enjoyed all the discussions and comms chats. Really worth a trip to London 😀 pic.twitter.com/A5qRzbPUvA
— Emanuela Tresoldi (@lella_tresoldi) June 9, 2018
Thank you to everyone that came along today to #TheBigYak – it was a fantastic day and proud to be part of @theICcrowd to be able to bring these events to our industry – I hope you all feel inspired and empowered to take on Monday! #InternalComms pic.twitter.com/0YVlv1qVHo
— Jenni Field (@mrsjennifield) June 9, 2018
— Joanne Howe (@JoanneMHowe) June 9, 2018
Sat on the train back to Wales reflecting on an awesome day at #TheBigYak. Thanks to @theICcrowd for another brilliant event. It’s not every day you get to spend time with people so passionate about #internalcomms that they give up their Saturday to talk shop. pic.twitter.com/mR2MWiRHOT
— Jessica Roberts (@JessRoberts_82) June 9, 2018
Scribbling away in the line manager discussion at #TheBigYak , some great points raised. I’m taking the challenge to protect the time and space managers need to process messages before cascading to teams pic.twitter.com/LwEr5KPcBP
— Vikki Grime (@VikkiG_IC) June 9, 2018
— Russell Cartwright (@hosscartwright7) June 9, 2018
— Katie Marlow (@ktmarlow) June 9, 2018
Ideas for coaching leaders… peer to peer coaching, authenticity, building relationships, safe environment to practice, skill shares, open and honest conversations, find their comfort zones. Be their trusted advisor #TheBigYak #Internalcomms pic.twitter.com/fJfrTtNoYJ
— Cathy Power (@cathypower2003) June 9, 2018
— Victoria Ford (@torfordy) June 9, 2018
Reflecting on today at #TheBigYak – the conversations and advice on IC and meeting loads of lovely comms people. Thanks to Rachel, Jenni and Dana @theICcrowd for organising such a great event xx https://t.co/xkmjgE6nuU
— Trudy Lewis (@lewiscomms) June 9, 2018
Straight back in after lunch at #TheBigYak and here are the topics folks:
– IC role in innovation
– Growing comms champion network
– Working smarter (agile)
– Operationalising values and behaviours
– Tackling tech takeover and saturation
– Remote workers – using line managers pic.twitter.com/LXErGSRK4U
— Leah Bowden (@humanizecomms) June 9, 2018
Similar challenges at this year’s #TheBigYak as last year re #intranets. Who owns it? Collaboration and working with IT, who updates it? Challenges with ownership and content, updating of info, being too far down the Microsoft route. Good session facilitated by @andrewhesselden
— Padraic (@padraic_knox) June 9, 2018