Conference Agenda


Monday, May 13


8:00 am – 9:00 am
Registration & Coffee
9:00 am – 9:10 am
Opening Address
9:15 am – 10:05 pm

You’ve probably done it without realizing it. You may have even done it at work, or in front of your boss. “Commsplaining” is an epidemic plaguing communicators around the world. Join us for an uncomfortable yet humorous conversation where communicators learn to take ownership and overcome the denial we all have about explaining away our challenges.

About Chuck Gose & Kristin Hancock
10:10 am – 10:40 am

A well designed intranet can go a long way in ensuring initial intranet adoption. But what do you do to keep employees coming back day after day? Join us for an hour long discussion where Healthcare data provider MedData will share how they leveraged their intranet provider’s development team as well as their own internal resources to develop customized content and tools that keep employees coming back to their intranet every single day. They’ll share initiatives including custom cards, gamification elements, newsletters, and employee stories. You will leave this session with enough ideas to guarantee continuous employee intranet engagement!

About Sean Biehle
10:40 am – 10:55 am
10:55 am – 11:30 am

According to current projections, there will be a shortage of more than 200,000 information and communications technology (ICT) workers in Canada by the year 2020. These figures, published in the 2016 ICTC Digital Talent Strategy Report, paint a grim picture of our not-too-distant economic future. Left unaddressed, this looming skills mismatch will have far-reaching consequences. The good news is that Canada is uniquely positioned to rise to the occasion and become a world leader in computer science education. We have the expertise, the infrastructure, the resources, and the political will to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive coding education strategy.

About Melissa Sariffodeen
11:35 am – 12:00 pm

When it comes to Office 365, ThoughtFarmer makes it easy to manage two different scenarios: Those who want to leverage Office 365 and tools like SharePoint, and those who want to migrate away from it. Join us for this informative discussion where Miguel will share their insights on when to combine Office 365 with ThoughtFarmer to maximize employee engagement and productivity, and reduce silos.

About Miguel Tena & Kanwal Khipple
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 1:25 pm

After launching two ThoughtFarmer installs at two different organizations, Rob Lumley knows a thing or two about intranets. He also understands that every organization and subsequently their intranet is unique. In this session Rob will share the strategies that worked in each deployment scenario, as well as actionable tips on how to continuously improve your intranet.

About Rob Lumley
1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Imagine surviving a hurricane with nothing more than a rowboat to shelter you. When Julie and Colin set off on a quest to become the first to row across the Atlantic from mainland Europe to mainland North America this was not what they anticipated. But soon they realized that to succeed they’d not only need to deal with adversity and uncertainty, but embrace it and use it as an opportunity to grow and prosper. Julie and Colin share techniques to deal with changing environments including altering our perception, preparing for the unexpected, assessing risks, and improving communication.

About Julie Angus

PART TWO: Celebration & Appreciation Event

2:15 pm – 7:00 pm

Join us for an adventure around the peak of Vancouver. Experience North America’s largest aerial tramway system, meet grizzly bears, watch a lumberjack show, see majestic birds of prey, and enjoy breath-taking scenery. It will be a unique way to see the city and network with fellow conference attendees.

Tuesday, May 14


8:30 am – 9:00 am
Coffee & Networking
9:00 am – 9:30 am

In this session, find out how to take your relationship with employees to new heights. With examples of intranet initiatives that promote participation, enhance engagement and increase collaboration, you will see how to marry corporate communications, news and events with staff updates and initiatives. Spoiler alert: They have triplets named Community, Conversation and Culture.

About Natasha Langlois
9:35 am – 10:00 am

Customer service representatives (CSRs) on the front line can make or break the experience for customers, which can have a direct impact on the success of a business. Improving their content experience helps them to operate faster, more accurately, and with more confidence.

In this case study, learn how BC Hydro transformed an aging, cluttered information repository into a sleek, modern knowledge center, and how shaving seconds from phone calls saves the business hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

About Blaine Kyllo
10:00 am – 10:30 am
10:30 am – 11:05 am

In the non-profit world, where resources to maintain or build the organization are always in discord, developing efficiencies is key to successfully running their business. The ThoughtFarmer intranet system is helping Coast Mental Health build efficiencies as their business expands across Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Join Susan as she walks you through Coast Mental Health’s intranet and the tools they use to share information quickly, drive productivity, and enhance employee engagement.

About Susan Hancock
11:10 am – 12:00 pm

Looking for some deeper insight into how to get the most out of your intranet? We are hosting interactive round tables sessions with a variety of subject matter experts. These brief sessions enable participants to learn and contribute to trends and challenges that impact the intranet community. Round table topics include content strategy and Information Architecture, customization and development, integrations, governance, and community management & employee engagement.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
1:00 pm – 1:40 pm

As our patience for finding information becomes shorter and shorter, many people are turning to chatbots to quickly convey important and relevant information. While chatbots serve a distinct purpose, they don’t solve the same organizational challenges as an intranet. Join us for a discussion on the subject of chatbots, where Chris McGrath will break down the strengths and weaknesses of chatbots, and how a chatbot can complement or enhance your intranet.

About Chris McGrath
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Intranets have fast evolved from a platform of just reading things, to a platform for actually doing things. One of the best ways to automate your workflow on your intranet is through the creation of forms. Join us for a one-hour session where our brightest user design experts will walk you through all the steps to creating and leveraging forms in your intranet. Using ThoughtFarmer FormFlow as an example, you will learn how to set up a form, how to manage multiple reviews, and how to achieve specific goals.

About Trevor Allen & Jessica Dill
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Most people do not come close to making full use of their strengths. Yet years of unassailable research have shown that individuals and teams that play to their strengths significantly outperform those that don’t. Based on Marcus Buckingham’s ground-breaking work on strengths-based leadership, this session will help you uncover and leverage your strengths while managing around weaknesses for improved workplace performance and engagement. Walk out of this event empowered to vividly describe your strengths, gaining a larger perspective on how they affect your on-the-job performance and establish links between strengths-use and employee engagement, retention, and customer satisfaction.

About Tracy Hutton
3:50 pm – 4:00 pm
Closing Remarks

PART TWO: Reception

5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

We’ll be concluding the conference with a happy hour and reception at The Blackbird Public House. This spot is conveniently located downtown Vancouver and close to the hotel. This cozy, modern pub will be the perfect backdrop to conclude the conference and a great place to unwind, reminisce, and mingle with attendees and ThoughtFarmer staff.