Conferences can speak volumes

Despite the importance of internal communications to the development of corporate culture and brand building highlighted in your feature “Close Call”, the standard of internal communications events is often very poor. The principle of “tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand” is all-important. When we first meet companies we frequently find that they are using passive internal communication time and time again that they admit is not effective. I can think of no other activity that leading companies invest heavily in that is so often ineffective, unmeasured and has such little expected of it than the company conference. There is almost an expectation that conferences are dull affairs with a good session in the bar afterwards the only light at the end of the tunnel. Expectations are changing and standards rising, but we frequently hear of cases of dodgy presenters forcing figures down people’s necks for six hours, backed up by various levels of expensive technology – and this supposed to motivate and inspire a company to live the brand. Luckily there are some rare and enlightened companies that have moved on and their results speak for themselves. Measurable objectives, active techniques and involvement help them to get a return on their investment. Internal communications are important, but it’s effectiveness that matters and there’s a long way to go. Jeremy Starling Managing director The Eventworks London SW4

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