It was fantastic to have over 100 people at our Unplugged '23 customer conference at Te Papa on 3 November 2023. Unplugged is New Zealand’s biggest dedicated legal compliance conference.


There was a great vibe in the room as people in the ComplyWith compliance community came together to connect, share, and learn. We received great feedback and attendees rated Unplugged an average of 8.7 out of 10, with more than a third of respondents rating it 10 out of 10 – awesome!

Who says a legal compliance conference cannot include some fun? Not our awesome MC Nate Lindstrom from our Customer Success team. Nate livened things up between sessions with his Village People YMCA exercise. The destination detective ice-breaker session also contributed some fun-factor.

Another fun aspect of Unplugged was the ‘selfless selfies’ with Sir Ashley Bloomfield in which we raised over $2,600 for the Wellington City Mission.

Here’s an overview of the Unplugged ’23 sessions.

Sir Ashley Bloomfield was our engaging keynote speaker

Sir Ashley talked about lessons in leadership, sharing his insights and anecdotes from his vast experience in the public sector and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He talked about doing over 300 media standups during COVID and feeling “just as nervous at the last one as I was at the first.” Yet despite this almost overwhelming nervousness, Sir Ash worked very hard to convey to the people of New Zealand a sense of calm composure and reassurance when this was what was needed most.

We’ll give you a fuller report on Sir Ash’s presentation in our next newsletter.

Other guest speakers – Ian MacKenzie and Sian Wingate

Ian MacKenzie, Head of Legal at New Zealand Green Investment Finance Limited (NZGIF), shared how NZGIF is using ComplyWith to improve the way it manages its conflicts of interest process. To find out more please read our article Improving conflicts of interest management.

Sian Wingate a seasoned in-house lawyer and past President of the Inhouse Lawyers Associate of New Zealand, shared 3 ways to continue compliance management throughout the year:

  • Training tools and techniques: For example, using a SharePoint intranet as a single source of compliance content, creating short on-demand videos, and hosting training or information sessions.
  • Coaching to comply: ComplyWith customer, Jess Little from Tuatahi First Fibre, and Sian discussed how coaching helped create compliance champions at Tuatahi.
  • Increasing the survey frequency: Another ComplyWith customer, Janet Ashcroft from Otago Regional Council, and Sian encouraged attendees to think of compliance as every day all year round and look at the story that survey results tell.

Learning sessions with the ComplyWith team

Most of the learning sessions during Unplugged were delivered by members of the ComplyWith team. Here’s a quick recap of what they covered.

Practical training workshop in the morning

The morning included practical sessions by our Implementation and Onboarding Team and Customer Success Team about:

  • Keeping users up to date and updating mappings for law changes
  • Reallocating obligations
  • New templated reports

There was also a panel Q&A session and a session introducing new software features and enhancements.

Plain language 101

ComplyWith’s Chief Operating Officer, Jackie Grimes gave a helpful introduction to communicating more clearly by using plain language. Jackie’s top 5 tips included:

  • Write for your reader (not for you)
  • Write more like you’d speak
  • Use informative subject lines for emails
  • Put the main message first
  • Use informative headings, headings, and more headings.

What to expect from your legal compliance content

ComplyWith’s Head of Content Development, Rubeena Parker, gave an informative presentation about what good legal compliance should look like and how the  ComplyWith team works hard to deliver to this standard.

Post-election law change forecast

Our ComplyWatch Lead, Alisha Jackson, summarised the law changes impacting on legal compliance we can expect as a result of the recent change of government. Read more about Alisha’s presentation in the Post-election law change forecast article.

What’s coming up from ComplyWith

The final session of the day from ComplyWith covered:

  • The product roadmap with upcoming goodness including linking legal obligations to controls, policies and other customer resources, a new corrective actions module, enhancements to the Obligations Register and survey screens, and much more

  • Planning for regional User Group Meetings in 2024, and a refresh of the ComplyWith website
  • The launch of ComplyWith’s 5 Operating Principles. We’ll share more about these soon.

Hard act to follow?

More than one Unplugged attendee commented along the lines - given how good this year’s Unplugged was, how could we hope to improve on it next year?

While it will certainly be a challenge, we’ll be working very hard to make next year’s Unplugged even bigger and better for our customer community. We hope to see you there. 




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