Internal Tech Conferences - Training from Conflux

How to accelerate multi-team learning across technology departments

Benefits: Turn your organisation into a cohesive, learning network of engaged teams by running internal tech conferences. Hire the best people and raise employee engagement and retention through regular, structured internal tech conferences within your organisation.

Output: Structured plan for planning, executing, and evolving a series of internal tech conferences within a single organisation.

Audience: C-level, heads of department, team leaders, managers, other decision-makers

Formats: 90-min tutorial / 1-day workshop (see Costs)

Course code: T12

The workshop is written by Matthew Skelton, co-author with Victoria Morgan-Smith of the book Internal Tech Conferences.

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TOpics Covered

Part 1 - The business case

We cover the business case for internal tech conferences: how to identify the value, how to build a realistic budget, how to persuade management and others to approve the expenditure.

We place the internal tech conferences within the context of organisational learning, employee engagement, and the need to respond to rapid technological change.

Part 2 - Speakers and Talks

Next, we focus on finding and mentoring great speakers: how to write and promote a good Call for Papers, how to select talks, how to help speakers write and rehearse compelling material. 

Part 3 - On The Day

The operational aspects of an internal tech conference should not be underestimated, so we provide detailed guidance on what to expect, how to deal with problems that may arise, and how to ensure that the needs of different people are met. 

Part 4 - LEARNING & Sharing

Finally, we address ways to extract further value from an internal tech conference through ongoing learning, building inter-team networks, public blogging, cultural transformation, and psychological safety. 

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Exercises

The course includes a set of exercises for attendees to help provide a framework for developing skills outside of the workshop.

We cover:

  • Making the business case for internal tech conferences

  • Creating a realistic budget and timeline

  • Reviewing and selecting talk proposals

  • Mentoring speakers

  • Marketing and promotional activities

  • Planning for on-the-day operational tasks

  • Follow-ups after the day

The exercises are reusable so attendees can apply the same techniques inside their organisation after the workshop.

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Outcomes

Attendees gain practical awareness of how and why to run internal tech conferences to help build a dynamic, learning organisation.

We use a set of structured, practical techniques to plan, shape, execute, and follow up on an internal tech conference, increasing engagement within teams.

Attendees leave the workshop with an outline draft of plans for an internal tech conference that can help to kick-start activities after the workshop.

The outcomes for the organisation itself from running internal tech conferences can be profound: increased organisational effectiveness, moving at speed safely, and increased staff engagement and trust.

Internal tech conferences can transform organisational culture through an honest sharing of practices and learning.
— Matthew Skelton, Conflux