Connect Conference: Internal communication has never been such a celebration

Workforce shortages and economic crises, as well as digital transformation, have made internal communications and organisational development more valuable, making it particularly important for HR and communications to see each other as strategic partners. For the second time this year, Blue Colibri App has launched the Connect conference as a celebration of internal communication, a dedicated meeting platform for the disciplines that are of key importance in the life of companies and businesses - this year, 712 professionals were able to listen to the ideas of around 120 speakers. 

The evolution of corporate culture and the challenges and opportunities of digital transformation were the focus of the Connect 2023 conference, as they all have an incredible impact on internal communication. In addition to the endless content of presentations and panel discussions, there were around 240 minutes of networking and exchange of experiences for communication and HR professionals.

Crisis and staff shortages

Labour shortages and economic crises have increased the importance of internal communication and organisational development. We have already succeeded in launching Hungary's first professional platform for internal communication, which is in great demand in the business sector. In response to this demand, we managed to organize high-quality presentations and panel discussions for more than 700 participants," said Tamás Barathi, co-founder and CEO of the Blue Colibri App, which launched Connet.

Connect's leading topics - digital transformation, internal communication and corporate culture - were forward-looking discussions for the SME sector, as organisational development and internal communication are also of paramount importance in the lives of these businesses. Particularly as these businesses are often competing for the same employees as large companies. According to Tamás Barathi, brand building, recruitment, organisational development, feedback, motivation and mentoring have become just as important a business task for SMEs as internal communication, HR administration, digital onboarding or community building.

HR and communication go hand in hand

As a new element of Connect, the 2023 conference will feature a significant increase in the number of communication presentations, in addition to the more traditional SME and HR topics. "We want to bring together HR, marketing and communication staff and managers who are involved in building corporate culture and internal corporate communication, and Connect is intended to be a meeting platform", said Tamás Barathi, who, based on the feedback, believes that it has been possible to share good practices, inspiring cases and experiences of cooperation between these two areas.

"Internal communication is now more valuable, that is a fact. Today, it is no longer too much to expect internal editorial offices to carry out these tasks, where resources are available,"

said Dr Márta Holló, Director of Corporate Communications at Magyar Telekom, among others, in one of the panel discussions. Companies are advised to carry out a preliminary network and opinion research, as it makes sense to produce different forms and styles of content for different generations of employees in order to get as many messages across as possible, said the panel discussion on internal communication channels. And experts from the Content session argued that internal communication is in competition for employees' attention, with social platforms and traditional media competing in many situations. 

"Internal communication content should not be limited to HR topics, but a broader mix of content should be used, and thus the value-creating cooperation of communication and marketing areas is essential" - said Ádám Szinai, Marketing Director of CIB Bank, in the session "Meaningful cooperation. "Communication and HR, a partnership in communication", a panel discussion entitled "Communication and collaboration, a partnership in communication". Zsuzsa Szvetelszky, a social psychologist, spoke about the strategic role of internal corporate gossip and how internal corporate events are shaped by the new hybrid working environment.

Start-ups were also given the opportunity to present themselves

Blue Colibri App launched its People Platform in January this year, inviting startups that focus on developing employee and workplace communities to collaborate. Its aim to help the startup community at the conference was further pursued in partnership with HSUP on the innovation stage.

Strausz Kamilla (Kommunikációs szakértő - Startup DivízióExpress Innovation Agency Zrt.) és Bege Áron (Alapító - Quantum Digitális Diákszövetkezet)

- "We are committed to developing the startup ecosystem in Hungary, which is why we provided a showcase for 12 innovative startups," said Tamás Barathi, founder of Blue Colibri.

According to the organisers, this year's Connect Conference exceeded all expectations, as 120 speakers and experts spoke to the 712 participants present. In the BlueColibri App you can also watch the Connect presentations afterwards.

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