Conference review: Intranatverk 2013, Gothenburg

Intranet conference season is well underway, with the Intranetizen team attending a number of events across Europe and further afield. Last month Intranetizen’s Sharon O’Dea travelled to Gothenburg, Sweden, to attend (and speak at) Intranatverk.

Organised by intranet veteran Kristian Norling, Intranatverk is the newest addition to the conference calendar, and aims to bring intranet specialists in western Sweden together. Given the already vibrant conference scene in Scandanavia, this was a brave move from Norling and Co, but the event was well-attended, proving there’s an appetite for more local knowledge-sharing.


Although targeted squarely at intranet specialists in Sweden, the location, in Gothenburg, was easy to get to for those further afield, with direct flights to cities across Europe several times a day (I left the morning after the conference and was back at my desk in London before 9am – quicker than I would be from some parts of the UK).

The conference venue, Folkets Hus, was centrally-located, with a good choice of hotels nearby. We’ve commented many times before about the value of good wifi coverage in enabling conversation between attendees and engaging those outside the room too – so it was great to see Intranatverk responding to the challenge with internet access that was problem-free all day. Although this was only the first Intranatverk event, organisation was excellent – much credit due to Kristian and his team.


Intranatverk was held over two days. The first focused on Swedish case studies (and as such doesn’t fall within the scope of this review, since none of the Intranetizen team speak Swedish). The second was billed as an international day, with great speakers from further afield delivering their talks in English.

So day two began with my own keynote, Mobility and Connectedness: how intranets are changing working life. In this 40-minute talk I looked at the benefits of enterprise mobility supported by a good digital workplace, and covered some of the key success factors in really driving business benefit. Here’s what some attendees had to say about it.

Next up was Henrik Sunnefeldt from SKF, talking about how search can fit into a global enterprise in order to deliver most return. While this used some good, solid examples, this section of the day was extremely detailed – maybe a little too much so for attendees from the communications side of the intranet profession.

Whilst we’ve had our reservations about the methodology used by Neilsen Norman in their annual ten best intranets, it was fascinating hearing Björn Böller from insurance firm Swiss Mobiliar talk about the heavily user-centred design approach they used when redeveloping their intranet. This session highlighted some great practice in conducting user research and using it as the foundation of your intranet design process.

Everyone seems to be talking about social intranets these days, but it’s still hard to find examples of successful rollouts that deliver business value.  Intranetnatverk managed to find two, from ING and Stora Enso. Louise McGregor‘s session on Buzz, the social network at Dutch bank ING, was a great example of how social intranets are about people far more than they are about technology. By putting the user right at the centre of the design process, Louise and her team have delivered more than simply a tool, but instead fostered and built community within the bank. Louise has pulled together a storify of the reaction to her talk.

Intranet conference talks – and indeed intranet projects – are often guilty of focussing too heavily on the needs of white-collar workers, so it was especially refreshing to hear from Linda Tinnert from Ikea. She began with a fantastic video of colleagues from Ikea explaining what the digital workplace meant to them – not desktop or even mobile intranets, but all manner of devices and systems used in warehouses and shop floors. This was a great case study, and very well-delivered too.

Added to this sessions on strategy and governance, as well as a couple of further sessions on social and mobile intranets, and this was a packed agenda. The day was well-structured and seemed to flow nicely. My only criticism was that networking time was limited as a result, and perhaps would have benefited from some ‘structured networking’ such as roundtables.

For a relatively small event, Intranatverk attracted an impressively high volume of social chatter and post-event blogs. The organisers have also taken the unusual step of putting full-length videoslide decks and even a full set of sketchnotes online.


With a good mix of speakers and topics, Intranaetverk is a great addition to the conference calendar. For non-Swedish speakers Gothenburg may be a long way to go for a single day of talks, but for those who do, and can therefore benefit from two full days plus an evening’s social event, this is an excellent choice.

Should I attend in 2014?

If you speak Swedish and/or are within reasonable travelling distance of Gothenburg, yes.