When the Dublin leg of the Inside Intercom World Tour came to town, the weather called for anything but spending the evening indoors.
Yet, for 850 people, who had forked out 28.15 each a ticket, the glorious sunshine was not going to stop them. Hearing Intercom tell how they build product, warts and all, is always worthwhile. We sat down with Megan Sheridan, Event Manager at Intercom and doer and maker behind the Tour, to get a glimpse of the why, how and where next of the Inside Intercom World Tour.
How would you describe the Inside Intercom World Tour?
A set of live performance shows where we are honest, personal and vulnerable in front of people from around the world. The curtain is down; the talks are intimate; we’re not hiding anything.
Initially, we thought we would pick six cities, use co-working spaces and invite 100 Intercom customers in each. But I believed we could go bigger. We chose 12 cities and selected artistic and unusual venues that are inspiring and encapsulating to the public. We invited people from throughout tech, increasing attendance to 300 [in the case of Dublin, 850]. We have been capturing all the content from the shows documentary style and have put it out there, largely unedited. All that is scary and has kept me awake many nights.
So why do it?
We deliberately chose scary. We set the bar high to find out where we could get. It would have been easier for us not to push ourselves in that direction, but we did. Uncertainty is our nature. We wanted to tell as many people as possible the things that didn’t work; the things that we’ve messed up; the hard lessons that we have learned building Intercom. Compelling content is not evident, easy, or made up of cheap takeaways. No one just wakes up successful.
A live performance show was going to do justice to what we had in mind. We’re creators and inventors, we’re hustling, and we’re going across the world. In each place, we add a bit of local flavour and give the stage to local heroes. We reflected all the hard work of building this up by calling it a World Tour.
I've gotten to a point in my life where I share event photos like people do family photos but it makes me happy pic.twitter.com/U5oNwi2RCX
— Megan Sheridan (@meganlsheridan) May 6, 2016
What inspired you to come with the World Tour concept?
Music gigs and live television. I find the latter a fascinating art. I love sitting in TV sets and seeing the cameras move. I like seeing 50 odd people running around with different jobs, which all matter equally. Everything that you see at a show is impact, everything. Not just the people on the stage. The lights, the music, the set too. That’s what inspired the whole World Tour, the live performance nature, and the documentary element.
To get to here has been a gradual process. Our first event was in April 2015. It was a cupcake compared to the World Tour: 100 people in the canteen, five speakers, 5 euros the ticket. It sold out. It felt huge. We learned a lot from it. We then did an event at an outside venue. It was mind blowing to us and incredibly scary. The Mansion House here in Dublin with 650 people was not the plan, but the reality demanded it. That was bananas, and it became a startup story. Now we have the World Tour. It doesn’t end necessarily in June or July. We regroup, we think, and we keep moving.
— Catapult (@CatapultEvents) June 10, 2016