By Ronan Leonard

Intercom are holding their Inside Intercom event in the Olympia Theatre Dublin on May 31st and I  chatted with Megan Sheridan, Intercom’s head of events about Inside Intercom and what attendees can expect.

Last years event was held in Dublin’s Mansion House why has Intercom moved to the Olympia which is a bigger venue?

We’ve always made big leaps with our events – at times, braver leaps than some of our own team were comfortable with. Events are partially about ambition and with ambition, as much as you’ve got to be calculated, you’ve got to be brave and committed.

Before The Mansion House, our only ‘tried and tested’ event was in our own offices in Stephen’s Green with 100 guests and a shoestring budget. So the Mansion House was a big leap at the time- and it sold out quickly and had a big waitlist. As a company we’re growing fast, so our leaps are big but natural. The Olympia is another big but natural leap for us.

What can attendees expect at the event?

The truth is, there’s a gap in tech conferences, events – whatever you like to call them – for focused product content. Attendees can expect us to fill that.

Often tech events are populated by a very, very broad stroke of folks that have in some way, a connection to software – lots of salespeople and investors and the like. This event is different. It’s for people that build and lead great products – designers, researchers, engineers, product managers, founders, future founders.

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We’re very thoughtful about our creative direction and production of our events; we work hard to make them feel very personal, and different from the typical tech event. As much as you design a great experience for people in general, you can also design a show for the right crowd- and that’s what we’re doing. This night will be tailored to people committed to building great products, and hungry for knowledge on how to do that.

Attendees can expect a fun and imaginative night of storytelling, big ideas and conversations with like-minded product folks. It’ll be full of lessons on building great product from designers, engineers, product managers and researchers. They’ll hear ruthlessly honest experiences, and hopefully leave with actionable ideas and inspiration for their next steps.

I know that over 3 months Intercom is hosting 12 events around the world. Will they be similar to the Irish event?

Each event will have different content, but there are things that connect each stop on the tour, Dublin included. The theme is: what’s behind the curtain of any scaling software company? What’s ‘Under the hood’? That means- the good, the bad, and importantly the ugly stuff. At the beginning of this year, Intercom Co-founder and CEO, Eoghan McCabe said to us ‘underneath every great, great company is a mess’. That inspired this entire concept for us. The mess is what’s exciting, what makes things happen and what moulds a company. That’s what’s worth talking about.

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Product conferences and tech events as we know them are not designed to do that. They’re designed to share blind success – they only show the ‘good stuff’ for public ‘high fives’ and high brow marketing schemes. That’s a veil that content does not need. It’s just as important to talk about the mistakes, and the challenges we all face. Giving people free pizza to get them in a room to pitch them is an elementary, broken tradition; telling people what you’ve learned is far more valuable. That’s what ties all these events together.

What separates this Dublin event from the others on the tour is that it’s more than 3x bigger than any of our other stops, and will have a much bigger range of content.

Does Intercom plan to expand the amount of events next year and do they plan to run another Irish event outside of Dublin?

As long as there’s demand, we’ll continue to create fantastic experiences and fantastic content for people, yes. We’re working on nailing our current tour lineup and approach before we scale any further. A natural thing for us to do will be to run an event in San Francisco that’s similar to the production quality of Inside Intercom Dublin. There are certainly many other cities we want to visit, and lots of product people we’d love to meet; it’s all ahead of us once we get this right.

Intercom have become one of the big recent Irish Tech success stories have events like this one helped?

Events are a very public, direct, and (if you get it right) impactful way to engage with an audience of your choosing. But I guess the ethos here is “only say something, when you have something to say”. Once you have something to share, events are a great way to do that.

For a number of reasons events have positively impacted Intercom as a company, for sure. Events, along with marketing or sales, will always be secondary to the product that we build. It’s our product that’s at the heart of Intercom’s success. Events like this are the icing on the cake.

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