Category Archives: Events

Accountability Hack #AccHack15 – lessons learnt

What did we learn from Accountability Hack 2015?

That bad weather and broken trains will not stop determined developers coming to a great event.

That the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee wants much better quality public sector data – watch her introduction to the event.

That data quality is still a massive issue – read my separate Medium post.

That user research is important, APIs can always be improved, great ideas come from sharing and challenging each other; and developers have a great sense of humour – read our Storify.

That teams want to come back next year. Cheers





Do we need webinars and webcasts?

Yep that’s a provocative question. But why? (see poll below)

I was talking to a colleague recently about what kind of events that the NAO could run in the future.

Personally I am quite enthusiastic about physical events particularly as the NAO has such a great venue in its Auditorium. If we get people to register by Eventbrite we can keep all the contact details for follow up and to keep developing the NAO network of contacts. Perhaps more importantly we can encourage those who attend to network amongst each other. This has a tangible benefit for them, helps spread knowledge and gives them a warm glowy feeling about the NAO.

We could also live stream the event and encourage those looking in to send in questions and live tweet the event to encourage contributions. If it is videoed we can repackage this into useful chunks; create a Storify for online content; make any presentations available on Slideshare etc. So all well and good to my mind – this is the reason I think we should run our own equivalent of Civil Service Live and call it NAOlive – but that’s another story….

My colleague then said what about holding webinars and similar? This is when I became a bit more hesitant partly because I have never ran one of these and also because they do seem to have some limitations. Also we might be getting into the realm of using technology for technologies sake? Perhaps this all comes back to asking what are our comms objectives?

I suppose that one benefit is that online events are easy to access remotely but then how often have I registered for one and never taken part. Quite a lot actually. When these are ran what is the real audience size? We took part in an online Graduate recruitment fair last year which is not running this year because it presumably did not succeed by whatever the measures of success were? Do the Google Hangouts that work, work precisely because Barack Obama and NASA have gigantic audiences? How much interaction does take place online by the audiences with each other? What do they really take away from these events?

I have the impression – and it could just be that – that there was a trend say a year or two ago in the public sector to run more online events using tools such as Coveritlive and that perhaps now these are less common?

What to you think, what has worked for you?