The agenda

19-20th May 2021
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Day One
Day Two

Your hosts

Marc Wright

Founder, simplycommunicate

Marc Wright is an expert in corporate communications who has been following worldwide trends in enterprise digital and setting the pace of the digital workplace in the UK.  He is founder and publisher ofsimplycommunicate the website used by 7,000 communicators each month to keep up to date with developments in the fast-changing world of corporate communications.​

Jonathan Phillips

Head of Consulting, simplycommunicate

Jonathan Phillips is a digital strategy consultant, focusing on communication, collaboration and digital workplace technologies. With 20 years blue-chip experience, he is a regular keynote speaker, contributor to the digital community and a recognised global expert.

Annique Simpson

Change Communications business partner & Journalist

Annique Simpson is an award-winning internal communications business partner with experience spanning property, telecommunications, banking, and healthcare. She holds a BSc in Psychology, a journalism postgraduate diploma, and a CIPR Internal Communications postgraduate certificate.

Jim Ylisela

Co-owner & Managing Partner, Ragan Consulting Group

Jim Ylisela is a co-founder and senior partner of RCG. He’s an award-winning veteran Chicago journalist and a former publisher of He brings more than 30 years of experience in writing, editing, communications research and consulting. Ylisela has designed and organized newsrooms for many organizations, including Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he served as a faculty member and co-director of Medill News Service from 1988 to 2001.

Day One

13:30 – 13:40

Welcome to simplyIC!

simplyIC has officially started! Marc Wright & Annique Simpson welcome you to the premier festival of internal communications.

Marc Wright, Founder, simplycommunicate
Annique Simpson, Change Comms Expert & Journalist

13:40 – 14:10

Opening keynote: It’s a wired world

The Editor-in-Chief of Wired UK magazine gives us an accelerated view of the future. Explore with Greg the trends and technologies that are shaping communications and new ways of working inside enterprises.

Greg Williams, Editor-in-Chief

14:10 – 14:40

What Microsoft Viva means for IC

The arrival of Microsoft Viva has huge implications for the new World of Digital Engagement. Learn how Viva Connections puts your user at the centre of your new digital workplace intranet.

Marc Wright, Founder
Christopher McNulty, Director of Product Marketing

14:40 – 15:00

EY case study

Launching a new intranet is never an easy task. But imagine rolling out an innovative platform to 350,000 colleagues across over 100 countries. In this striking case study, we hear how one of the world’s biggest organisations did exactly that.

Clare Clark, Associate director
Matt Holder, Global Comms & Engagement Director

15:00 – 15:20

How to develop a Remote-First channel for your frontline workers

Do you need a popular, unified channel for non-desk workers that is integrated with all your other comms channels? We ask Vicki Davies of Highway England and Leigh Barlow of the DVSA how they are reaching their road-based colleagues. And Dave Bowman of Fresh looks at how Microsoft is adjusting their licences to attract users who don’t need the full Office suite. Is it a licence to drive adoption?
Dave Bowman, Product Director
Vicki Davies, Director of Internal Comms
Leigh Barlow, DVSA

15:20 -15:30


We will be back after a short break! Get ready to choose from one of our upcoming virtual roundtables hosted by our panel of experts coming next.

15:30 -16:00

Virtual Roundtables

Join one of virtual roundtables- from diversity to inclusion, wellbeing, meet the author and more.

16:00 – 16:20

Your system has been breached!

What the rising threat of cybersecurity attacks means for IC with Andrew Fitzmaurice from Templar Executives, the communications-friendly geek.

Andrew Fitzmaurice, CEO

16:20 – 16:40

How to plan a successful campaign

Sarah Meurer draws on her experience at Nestlé where she adopted a campaign mindset in her comms planning.  And Dan Penton describes how organisations from NBC Universal to Anglo American are managing the air traffic control of internal communications.

Sarah Meurer, VP Global IC
Daniel Penton, Co-founder

16:40 – 17:10

Closing Keynote: The power of building internal connections

Dhruti Shah, award-winning journalist, author, producer and storyteller, shares her story on the power of thinking differently to drive success. Dhruti will share her experiences building her career at the BBC: how actively building networks; the power of seeking internal sponsorship and how we all can succeed in the face of resistance.

Dhruti Shah, Award-winning Journalist and Author

17:10 – 17:30

Closing Address

And that’s a wrap! the simply hosts recap on the event. Join us again tomorrow for another day of keynotes, sessions and networking.

Marc Wright, Founder, simplycommunicate
Annique Simpson, Change Comms Expert & Journalist

Day Two

13:30 – 13:40

Welcome to simplyIC Day 2!

We look back at the successful first day of the event and what’s coming up for day 2. Cai Kjaer from SWOOP Analytics will also share his latest findings from their annual benchmarking report.

Marc Wright, Founder
Annique Simpson, Change Comms Expert & Journalist
Cai Kjaer, CEO

13:40 – 14:10

Opening keynote: The gadgets that are transforming comms

The presenter of Channel 5’s Gadget Show takes us on a tour of the consumer trends that are reshaping our lives.

Georgie Barrat, Tech Journalist & TV Presenter

14:10 – 14:25

Networking in the time of Covid

“We network – that is who we are!” claims Kimberley of Mars. So what happens when you have to remote work for a year? Stories from a global giant on how they plan to keep collaborating in the hybrid future.

Kimberly Henderson, Digital Workplace Lead

14:25 – 14:40

Engagement in a hybrid world

We explore what engagement might look like in the future: Dev Mistry explores how Virgin Media are returning to work and Karen Kadin gives a glimpse of the kind of face-to-face engagement we will enjoy in the new world of hybrid events.

Dev Mistry, IC Executive
Karen Kadin, Managing Director

14:40 – 15:00

The power of inclusion

We hear the personal stories of two BAME communicators who have had to fight for inclusion in some of the world’s largest and conservative organisations. Christina Fee from Fourtold talks about insights from her own career experience and explains how she brings a D&I perspective into the employee engagement programmes she designs for clients, and Amrit Nijjar talks about the ‘Proud to be Me’ campaign at Tarmac.

Christina Fee, Director
Amrit Nijjar, Inclusion & Belonging Manager

15:00 – 15:20

5 steps to intranet success

Learn how Keysight Technologies chose their intranet provider in just one week, and ended up with an award-winning intranet with Attollo. Brianne and Sam cover the 5 steps to success that turned a fast tender process that resulted in long-term success.
Brianne McClure, Brand Marketing Content Manager
Sam Dolan, Creative Director & Co-founder

15:20 -15:30


We will be back after a short break! Get ready to choose from one of our upcoming virtual roundtables hosted by our panel of experts coming next.

15:30 -15:50

Virtual Roundtables

Join one of our virtual roundtables- from diversity to inclusion, wellbeing, meet the author and more.

15:50 – 16:05

Behind the Scenes: Transforming Employee Communication at BBC Studios

Hear how BBC Studios has transformed communication to elevate their employees’ experience and build a culture of trust and a sense of belonging through Dynamic Signal.

Our speakers will discuss transforming an in-person-focused engagement strategy to digital-led, maintaining a connected culture with an emphasis on putting people first and why the future is social for employee communication at BBC Studios.

Becky Graebe, Senior Director, Comms Strategy
Katherine Spencer, IC Senior Advisor
Jonathan Elliott, Head of IC & Engagement

16:05 – 16:25

The A-List: managers who communicate

Line managers are the most important linchpin in the communication wheel. As communicators, we have a critical role in helping them to build the skills they need and the confidence they want. But where do we start? Geri Rhoades PHD reveals the initial results of a global study into line manager communication competencies. Join us as we explore these findings and discuss how to practically support leaders with Brian Callahan, President of Dow Engineering Company, and his unique perspective on the role of communication in management.

Brian Callihan, Regional Director
Geri Rhoades, President

16:25 – 16:55

Closing keynote: Video didn’t kill the email star- the power of creating stand-out content

Comms expert Kristin Graham will share why she sees internal communicators ditching the microphone for the megaphone, and how a hybrid approach is needed to engage teams through the power of snackable storytelling. Ragan Consulting’s Jim Ylisela will moderate the session.

Kristin Graham, IC Expert
Jim Ylisela, Co-owner

16:55 – 17:00

Closing Address

And that’s a wrap! the simply hosts recap on the event.

Marc Wright, Founder, simplycommunicate
Annique Simpson, Change Comms Expert & Journalist


10/10. I’ve attended a few of these types of events lately and this was BY FAR the best. It was different – the speakers were more REAL, and there was proper discussion. It felt more real, honest, and down-to-earth.  The technology you used, with the speakers beamed in in different ways from different locations was really great, and seemed to work so well – congratulations on being able to pull that off! Most of all, the content was relevant and a bit more edgy that other IC conferences.

Erin Campbell, Premier Farnell


We truly love our relationship with simplycommunicate. We had an internal Yammer thread going about how awesome you’ve made your virtual conferences. Truly top-notch. You’ve created a great experience. I can only imagine the tireless hours you all put in to make it so good.

Steve Nguyen, Microsoft

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