Comms Forum · Internal Comms · Corp Comms ·  Digital Workplace · Employee Experience · Conference

20TH JUNE 2023 · VIENNA · CONFERENCE Internal & Corp COmms

Comms Forum

Internal Communications, Digital Workplace, Employee Experience, Corporate Comms, AI, Conference

Join us for inspiring discussions, talks and side events on future of work, employee experience, hybrid work, digital equality, internal communications, corporate communications, leadership and how AI changes our comms roles. The conference will be held in the Haus der Ingenieure, a traditional city palace, in the center of Vienna.

Internal Comms Forum · 20th June 2023


Ainsleigh Walker, EcoVadis
Ainsleigh Walker
EcoVadis (France)

Internal Communication Senior Manager

Ainsleigh found her passion in internal communications, recognizing the transformative power corporate storytelling can have on business objectives and bringing employees closer to their companies and leadership.

Alan McKenzie, QBE Europe
Alan McKenzie
QBE Europe (UK)

SharePoint Intranet Manager

Passionate about developing websites that conform to highest industry standards to deliver the optimum user experience.

Conor Lynch, TIP Group
Conor Lynch
TIP Group (Netherlands)

Head of Internal Communications

Conor showcases resourcefulness and enthusiasm, armed with a wealth of knowledge in engaging people through impactful communications. His ability to connect people serves as the foundation for building a global communications function at TIP Group.

Gwendolyn Kaiser, Vivantes – Netzwerk für Gesundheit
Gwendolyn Kaiser
Vivantes – Netzwerk für Gesundheit (Germany)


Words, sentences, texts - language is a very powerful that can trigger so many emotions and change entire world views. That's why language is so fascinating. It is the most important and species-specific means of communication. How else are we supposed to express our desires, hopes, intentions and thoughts? Gwendolyn wants to move other people with language and communication, dissolve borders and do her part to make the world a better place. "People follow people. Have trust and let your employees have a voice."

Klaus Kraigher, UNIQA Insurance Group AG
Klaus Kraigher
UNIQA Insurance Group AG (Austria)


He believes that good communication needs innovative approaches. However, just because something is new doesn't make it better. Innovation must contribute to the strategic communication goals. Or make everyday work easier. He will share his experience about the use of AI in press releases.

Marie Gonzalez, Advatera
Marie Gonzalez
Advatera (Austria)


From the organisation to the speaker inputs and get together times, the conference is a very rich learning space. The following quote catches her attention: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Marina Perez, Suntory Beverage & Food Benelux
Marina Perez
Suntory Beverage & Food Benelux (Belgium)

Internal Communications Manager

Marina believes that “A successful communications project is a way to celebrate the relationship to the company, to the brand, but most importantly to the real world. For this, we can count on a powerful ally: the Digital. But it is not only virtual. It is also about sharing an emotion. And exceptional emotions in life, there is not that much. These are the ones that leave a lasting trace.”

Martina Büchele,
Martina Büchele

Tour guide with a Head of Comms background

Martina seamlessly combines her background as a head of comms with her passion for guiding, creating captivating journeys that inform and inspire at every turn.

Sanjay Mistry, Wellcome Trust
Sanjay Mistry
Wellcome Trust (UK)

Internal Communications Lead

Strategic comms leader, advising global brands, turning around functions, resolving crisis & promoting diversity & inclusion.

Sara Lupi, Sanofi
Sara Lupi
Sanofi (France)

Global Head of Employee Experience, Consumer Healthcare

Sara is passionate by the potential of individuals and organizations to evolve and grow. Her team at Sanofi aims at fostering an inclusive environment that enables every employee to have meaningful and engaging experiences while making an impact on the growth of the organization.

Susanne Schuijt, Aon
Susanne Schuijt
Aon (Netherlands)

Head of Internal Communications, EMEA

Susanne Schuijt is an accomplished communication professional with extensive experience in activating employees, building relationships, and developing effective corporate communication strategies. With a background in internal and strategic communications, Schuijt is a trusted expert in helping organizations effectively connect with their employees and stakeholders.

Thomas Lidy, Utopia Music
Thomas Lidy
Utopia Music (Austria)

Senior Director of AI & Data Science

Active in the field of music tech & AI since 2004, creating emotion-aware AI systems that capture the moods & emotions both in music & from music listeners, he has been organising regularly events in the field and wrote multiple publications. He can relates to the following quote “Personalization is key to every product in the age of social connectivity. With state-of-the-art AI technology, we understand people better than ever before.“

Tristan Miller, Research Studio Austria & Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Tristan Miller
Research Studio Austria & Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Austria)

Senior Research Scientist

Researcher from research in natural language processing to the legal, ethical, and regulatory aspects surrounding the use of AI in industry.

Viktorija Pirstele, Girteka
Viktorija Pirstele
Girteka (Lithuania)

Head of Internal Communication

Viktorija's passion is employees’ relations, engagement, communication and learning. She loves helping people to succeed in the organization and discover the best version of themselves. She is experienced bringing people and business needs together.

One of her favorite quote is “It’s hard not to feel happy when you make someone smile”. Roy T. Bennett

Wolfgang Schöffel, Konica Minolta
Wolfgang Schöffel
Konica Minolta ()

Corporate & Internal Communications Manager Germany & Austria

He will share his experience and views on AI in communication. For him "The integration of AI marks the beginning of a new journey in an uncharted direction.".


Throughout the day you will have also a chance to take a look into digital workplaces/social intranets of some of the participating organizations.

Monday, Jun 19
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm CEST

City tour of Vienna: Alleys, squares and courtyards

If you arrived already in Vienna, you are invited to join us for a city tour. Our city guide Martina Büchele is a highly experienced and professional tour guide based in Vienna. One of her specialities is the "Alleys, squares and courtyards" tour, which takes visitors on a journey through the hidden gems and lesser-known areas of Vienna. Before becoming a guide, Martina held key leadership positions in international companies, where she honed her skills in communication and marketing. With a background as Head of Communications, she will bring a unique perspective and expertise to this city tour. Martina is known for providing an engaging and informative experience for her tour participants.

Martina Büchele
Monday, Jun 19
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm CEST

Get-together: Dinner in Vienna

Did you arrive already in Vienna? You are warmly welcome to join us for a get-together with Internal Comms Managers from all over Europe. Besides of enjoying a delicious Austrian cuisine experience at Resturant Hofmeister, you will have the chance to win books and further great prizes!

Tuesday, Jun 20
8:30 am – 9:00 am CEST

Good morning & Check-In

Marie Gonzalez, Advatera
Tuesday, Jun 20
9:00 am – 9:25 am CEST

Moderated roundtable discussions

Instead of a classic conference opening, we jump right into the discussion. Select your preferred topic and join one of the roundtables: First experiences with AI content generation in internal comms; Challenges in international internal communications & importance of an effective intranet; Corporate influencers as link between internal and external communications; Employee apps; Mental Health and Digital Wellbeing; Internal comms measures and analytics;  

Klaus Kraigher, UNIQA Insurance Group AG
Dana Zhmudska, RHI Magnesita
Wolfgang Schöffel, Konica Minolta
Marija Vasiliauskaite, Girteka Logistics
Tuesday, Jun 20
9:25 am – 9:30 am CEST

The power of internal communications - conference opening thoughts

Volker Grünauer, Advatera
Marie Gonzalez, Advatera
Tuesday, Jun 20
9:30 am – 10:00 am CEST

Keynote: Future of work and AI

In this keynote, we'll explore the impact of AI on the future of work, and how organizations can prepare for this new reality by investing in upskilling and reskilling. We'll also examine how leveraging AI can give businesses a competitive advantage in the global economy, and the ethical challenges that arise when using AI in the workplace. To navigate these challenges, we'll discuss the importance of transparency, accountability, and ethical decision-making. Ultimately, this keynote will provide insights into how organizations can thrive in the age of AI, by balancing innovation with education and ethics.

Tuesday, Jun 20
10:00 am – 10:20 am CEST

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace: how can you think you are doing the right thing when you are going against the grain?

Marina will talk about #diversity, #inclusion, #digital and #employerbranding and will give the tips related to DE&I that she used in her organisation, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, to avoid being in contradiction between what you show and who you really are as a company. "Let’s discuss Employer Branding and DE&I together!"

Marina Perez, Suntory Beverage & Food Benelux
Tuesday, Jun 20
10:20 am – 10:40 am CEST

Crisis communications: the right decisions at the right time

The crisis usually comes unexpectedly and brings a tone of rumors. I will share my experience with you about the crisis and how it affected our employees and how internal communication helped to overcome it. I truly believe, learnings from this case study can help you to make the right decisions at the right time.

Viktorija Pirstele, Girteka
Tuesday, Jun 20
10:40 am – 11:00 am CEST

Break & networking

Tuesday, Jun 20
11:00 am – 11:30 am CEST

Giving our employees a voice: How and Why we established the Corporate Influencer Program

To counteract the current challenges in the public health care system, we asked ourselves the question: How can we authentically and genuinely convey the appeal of medical professions and solidarity in our teams? Our answer: with the help of our Corporate Influencers since real people mean real messages. Since the start of the program in May, we inspired 22 active influencers and the number is growing!

Gwendolyn Kaiser, Vivantes – Netzwerk für Gesundheit
Tuesday, Jun 20
11:30 am – 12:00 pm CEST

Building an internal communications function at TIP Group

A step-by-step approach on building a communications function from scratch. Having joined TIP Group in September 2021, Conor will recount his experience on setting up a robust internal communications framework and approach. TIP Group is a global organization with just over 3,000 FTEs of which half are frontline workers. Conor will share lots of best practices on channels, content, and general communications advice.

Conor Lynch, TIP Group
Tuesday, Jun 20
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CEST

Lunch & Learn

Tuesday, Jun 20
1:00 pm – 1:40 pm CEST

Keynote: Manage Performance like an Olympian

The journey to becoming the best, athlete or company, is not an easy one. There are obstacles to overcome and challenges to face. However, anything is possible if we have set clear goals to excel individually on and off the track and as part of a team. Through the narratives of Olympic athletes, we are driving our approach to performance management as one of the main vectors of our cultural change.

Sara Lupi, Sanofi
Tuesday, Jun 20
1:40 pm – 2:10 pm CEST

Panel Discussion: Bringing AI into comms

The power of AI in communications is rising and transform the way we work. What are the opportunities of AI for communication managers? What does this mean for our future job roles?

Thomas Lidy, Utopia Music
Tristan Miller, Research Studio Austria & Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Tuesday, Jun 20
2:10 pm – 2:30 pm CEST

Break & networking

Tuesday, Jun 20
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm CEST

Building Bridges: international internal communications

In an international company, internal communicators face challenges due to cultural differences, language barriers and geographic separation of teams spread around the world. It can be difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page. A major challenge is providing accurate translations that convey the intended meaning. By addressing these challenges and adopting communication strategies that are sensitive to cultural differences, a company can ensure that employees are not only informed, but feel better connected to the organization.

Susanne Schuijt, Aon
Room A
Tuesday, Jun 20
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm CEST

How EcoVadis ensures the adoption of its purpose and core values

Integrating company purpose and core values into internal communications to create meaningful corporate storytelling and align employees with the company mission and objectives. A look into the development and implementation of the purpose and core values of EcoVadis and how internal communications can ensure that they are adopted and lived by the whole team.

Ainsleigh Walker, EcoVadis
Room B
Tuesday, Jun 20
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm CEST

Automation and the Intranet

He will be talking about the automation that he has been building into QBE´s Intranet via Power Platform tools.

Alan McKenzie, QBE Europe
Tuesday, Jun 20
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm CEST

Digital Workplace Demo - Award winning Intranet by Wellcome Trust

The non-profit organization, Wellcome Trust, is one of the award-winning intranets in the 2020 Intranet Design Annual by Nielsen Norman Group.

Sanjay Mistry, Wellcome Trust
Tuesday, Jun 20
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm CEST

Townhall session

Summarizing the learnings of the conference.

Tuesday, Jun 20
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm CEST

Get-together with Viennese wine and food

Enjoy a bite and a sip while sharing your conference experience with the other attendees.

Cat Lewis
Cat Lewis
Read More
The conference has been an incredibly valuable development opportunity for me and contributed lots towards my professional development. Incredibly well organised, superb networking and such a supportive and professional team. Highly recommended!
Jane Piper
Jane Piper
Read More
A very enjoyable conference with a good mix of practical case studies from companies and thought provoking ideas. Small enough (100-200) to meet most of the people and enjoy good conversations.

Images from our editions of the Digital Leadership Forum. Of course, all Covid regulations in place at the time of the event will be met.

Join us...

Register below for the Internal Comms Forum on June 20, 2023. The hybrid conference is held at House of Engineers, a prestigious Viennese city palace, and can also be attended online.

Covid regulations: Since official Corona rules change regularly, they will be communicated to all on-site participants shortly before the event.  Regardless of this, we ask everyone to act responsibly and in case of sickness or a positive test result, not to show up on-site but to participate online. There is a constant exchange of air via the ventilation system with fresh outside air. Hygienic measures are implemented.

Currently there are no specific restrictions on entering Austria from most countries, but please check with your airline and here

Address of conference venue:

Haus der Ingenieure (House of engineers)

Eschenbachgasse 9
1010 Vienna

Hotel suggestion:

Motel One Staatsoper



Advatera stands for the regular exchange of experiences between digital, communication and marketing managers. Challenges you have faced in digital, web or intranet projects have almost certainly been experienced by others. The sharing of experiences can help your organization reduce its costs and sharpen its focus on essential success factors.

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