Internal Tech Conferences
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Internal Tech Conferences

Accelerate Multi-team Learning

About the Book

Internal tech conferences can make a significant impact on an organization's level of sharing, learning, and communication by accelerating multi-team learning across technology departments. An increasing number of enlightened organizations are using this powerful approach to spread and embed new ideas and practices.

In this book we share practical advice on how to prepare, run, and follow-up on an internal tech conference, together with some case studies from several organizations showing the approaches in common and the adaptations for each situation.


This book is for people involved in technology leadership in some form: people in 'official' positions of leadership (CIO, CTO, Head of Engineering, IT Operations Manager, etc.) and those in more informal technology leadership positions, such as team leaders, senior engineers, and people who simply like to lead by example. Having been in such positions ourselves, we (Victoria and Matthew) want to help other technology leaders to devise and run successful internal tech conferences to act as a key strategic differentiator for organizations building software systems.

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    • Teamwork
    • Innovation Management
    • Agile
    • Computers and Programming
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About the Authors

Victoria Morgan-Smith
Victoria Morgan-Smith

Victoria Morgan-Smith is the Director of Delivery for Internal Products at the Financial Times, where she has been helping teams succeed since 2009. Before leading teams she was a developer for 9 years, a background which fuels her interest in finding fun ways to coach, energise and motivate teams into self-organising units. She is passionate about collaboration beyond the team, adopting agile principles to get under the skin of what will deliver measurable business value around the organisation.


Matthew Skelton
Matthew Skelton

Matthew Skelton is co-author of Team Topologies: organizing business and technology teams for fast flow. Recognised by TechBeacon in 2018, 2019, and 2020 as one of the top 100 people to follow in DevOps, Matthew curates the well-known DevOps team topologies patterns at He is Head of Consulting at Conflux and specialises in Continuous Delivery, operability, and organisation dynamics for modern software systems.

Table of Contents

  • Conflux Books
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
    • How to use this book
    • Why we wrote this book
    • About the authors
  • 1. Benefits - why run an internal tech conference
    • 1.1 What is an internal tech conference?
    • 1.2 The business case
    • 1.3 Measurable benefits
    • 1.4 Empowerment, Learning, Connection
    • 1.5 Define what speakers gain
    • 1.6 Define what attendees gain
    • 1.7 What types of events work?
    • 1.8 Learn from external events
    • 1.9 Chapter Review
  • 2. Preparing for the conference
    • 2.1 Get buy-in from senior management
    • 2.2 Form a strong organising team for the event
    • 2.3 Choose the date and venue
    • 2.4 Choose the right format
    • 2.5 Identify your speakers
    • 2.6 Define the schedule
    • 2.7 Ensure speakers are ready
    • 2.8 Ensure attendees are ready
    • 2.9 Ensure the space is ready
    • 2.10 Chapter Review
  • 3. Running the conference
    • 3.1 Volunteer army
    • 3.2 Communicate any late schedule changes
    • 3.3 Make it easy to attend the right sessions
    • 3.4 Make speakers finish on time
    • 3.5 Make speakers use a microphone
    • 3.6 Cover all operational aspects
    • 3.7 Enhance attendee experience
    • 3.8 Chapter Review
  • 4. Follow-up
    • 4.1 Gather feedback
    • 4.2 Reflect, then follow-through
    • 4.3 Chapter Review
  • 5. Case studies
    • 5.1 Case study: The Financial Times
    • 5.2 Case study: Metaswitch
    • 5.3 Case study: Klarna
  • Toolkit for internal tech conferences
    • Building a schedule
    • Example schedule
    • Example checklists
    • Example budget
    • Example promotion plan
    • Example poster
    • Example website sitemap
    • Code of Conduct
    • How to succeed with tech talks
    • Briefing for panellists
    • Moderator tips
    • Realtime retrospective
    • Digital tools to support the organising team
  • Online conferences
  • References
  • Terminology
  • Index

About the Publisher

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Conflux Books publishes books for the global technology community from experienced practitioners.

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