By: Angela Ashenden, Principal Analyst, MWD Advisors
Published: 10th November 2010
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Last week I attended the J.Boye Aarhus 2010 conference in Denmark, where I was presenting The social intranet: online communities for enterprise collaboration for the event’s Collaboration track. I have attended a couple of J.Boye events in London previously, so I am somewhat familiar with J.Boye’s unusual approach to their events, but this was my first experience of their flagship conference—and overall I found it extremely interesting, useful, and perhaps most important, enjoyable.
What is different about J.Boye’s approach is that their conference is really an extension of their communities of practice model, and as a result there were far fewer vendors in attendance than I am used to at conferences, plus there was a staggering number of excellent case studies—not just showing the glossy success stories, but also sharing the mistakes and lessons learnt from technology implementations. I attended sessions in the Intranet and Collaboration tracks, and was impressed at—most unusually in my experience of attending conferences—how open and honest the presenters were about their experiences. (I’m hoping to write some case studies about a few of the initiatives I heard about over the next couple of months, so watch this space.)
As seems to so often be the way at the moment, most discussions ended up involving social media and/or Enterprise 2.0 somewhere along the way, and this was true not just in the Intranet and Collaboration areas, but also in various discussions relating to online presence, customer engagement, governance, internal and external communications, etc. etc. What is clear is that most people could see that this was an important trend that they needed to be aware of, but had concerns about how and whether it was relevant to their organisation/role/initiative or not, or whether it was really just hype. There’s evidently a huge appetite to seek advice from other organisations about what to do in this area, and the J.Boye event offered a great opportunity to do this.
A significant percentage of the 300 or so attendees at the event were Danish, probably due in part to the rather difficult-to-get-to location of Aarhus. However, since a major focus of J.Boye’s events is enabling networking, the somewhat remote location was undoubtedly a benefit, since the turnout at the social events was extremely high, with these providing a great opportunity to find those people you didn’t have a chance to catch during the conference sessions.
As I said, overall, it was a very enjoyable experience, and one I’d recommend to organisations embarking on initiatives in the areas of collaboration or content management.
Don’t forget, you can hear more about how organisations are using social software and online communities through our free, on-demand MWD Insights Event, How to get your people talking: the secrets of successful collaboration and Enterprise 2.0. To access the keynote presentation and case study interviews, you just need to register for a Guest Pass id, which you can do here.
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