Insights and Highlights

Introducing Unconference

At the World Conference this year, we are stepping it up a notch, bringing some of the best experiences of modern conferences to Montréal. We are turning over our afternoon on Tuesday, 5 June, to something we’re calling “unconference,” where delegates will choose between one of four options.

Options for Unconference

  1. Open space conversations (unstructured content, based around common interests)
  2. Game Changer talks (non-communication topics with insights from other disciplines)
  3. Shift: Group mentoring with IABC Fellows
  4. Off-site experiences (company visits, artistic adventures or some downright fun)

Here’s a quick overview of the Unconference program:

Game Changer sessions

As part of helping communication professionals to thrive in their role at the intersection of a variety of functions, and serve as powerful unifiers and innovators in their organizations, the World Conference will feature thought leaders from related fields in Game Changer sessions to offer diverse perspective and share revolutionary ideas that inspire action. Speakers will be announced prior to the event.

Open Space

Open Space is where we turn the conference content over to our delegates. It’s a self-organizing activity where participants choose topics and lead their own discussions. Topics for discussion are decided collectively before the session by harvesting ideas and running with the most popular issues that surface. We don’t know exactly which topics will surface, but anticipate that industry or discipline topics will emerge and bring people together.

Shift: Group mentoring and insights

Group mentoring is aimed at communication professionals who are new to the field, or who are experiencing, or want to be prepared for, a career transition. Facilitated by IABC Fellows, small groups of attendees participate in collective learning about a particular communication function and discipline. They also identify obstacles and discuss how to address challenges in the course of their career. The groups benefit simultaneously from the experience and expertise of the mentor and interaction with other mentees.

Off-site experiences (in support of the IABC Foundation)

In an effort to give  attendees the opportunity to  experience local Montréal business and culture and to raise funds for the IABC Foundation, we have organized off-site experiences to give a taste of our host city.

Participating organizations include:

  • Ubisoft
  • PR Without Borders and National PR
  • A/Maze (escape room experience)

Learn more about off-site experiences. The sign-up process opens soon!

Space is limited for off-site experiences and we are asking for a US$75 donation to the IABC FoundationAll other unconference events are included with full, standard or Tuesday registrations and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Register today!

Join us for event full of creative ways to learn, innovate and walk away with a set of fresh ideas and experiences.

Strategic Adviser Forum: Take your career to the next level

Facilitated by industry leaders Stephen Welch and Casilda Malagon, this special, new pre-conference session, the Strategic Adviser Forum: Corporate Snakes and Ladders, offers an immersive experience that will show you what it takes to be at the top of your field as a strategic adviser. You’ll gain innovative ideas to build on your current skills and discover how to elevate your career to the next level. You’ll learn about the four types of strategic adviser, the five ways of influencing, and how to articulate your value in a clear and cogent way (with the help of Bob Dylan or Love Actually, depending on your age group)—all through the mechanism of a business simulation and the game of snakes and ladders.

5 things that will make #IABC18 an unforgettable World Conference

More than ever, the World Conference team has been working hard to evolve IABC’s annual meeting of minds to give everyone who attends a superb experience. Our theme this year—“The Communication Crossroads”—has given us a platform to explore the major (and relevant) issues facing communication professionals around the world. Over the coming weeks, we’ll look at these in more detail, but to kick off the series, here are five things we are doing this year to make your experience unforgettable.

  1. Big general sessions. We have listened to the feedback and worked hard to secure some big names who will speak on inspirational topics. Seth Godin will get us off to a great start, helping us look at communication in the age of disruption. Anab Jain will follow as she imagines and builds future worlds we can experience in the present moment. We will soon be announcing the rest of the line-up, so stay tuned!
  2. Unconference. At last year’s conference we explored a participatory World Café session. This year, we’re stepping it up a notch, turning over our Tuesday afternoon to something we’re calling the “unconference.” Delegates will choose between one of four options: open space conversations (unstructured content, based around common interests); Game Changer talks (non-communication topics with insights from other disciplines); Shift: Group Mentoring with IABC Fellows; and offsite experiences (company visits, artistic adventures or some downright fun!).
  3. Award-winning examples. We are integrating examples from our Gold Quill Award winners to share the best in communication skills and management from around the world. You’ll be able to learn from the winners and pick their brains live on site.
  4. Our location. For the first time, the conference will be held in a convention centre. No doubt it will be just as maze-like as the hotels we have been hosted at previously, but there should at least be a little more daylight than we are used to! The Palais des Congrès is a stunning venue, located between the beautiful Old Port, the cosmopolitan downtown and the bustling financial district.
  5. You! It goes without saying that the conference would not be what it is without the amazing professionals who make the journey to conference each year. The connections that are made during the sessions—in the vendor/sponsor Hub or simply in the hallways—can last a lifetime. We very much hope that you will make your mark and join us at the Communication Crossroads.

This piece is from Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR, 2018 IABC World Conference Chair.

Anab Jain: Imagine a different future

We’re pleased to announce our second 2018 IABC World Conference keynote speaker. In case you missed it, Seth Godin will be the opening keynote for the conference, and we’re excited to have futurist Anab Jain join us as well. As communicators, we always need to keep an eye on what’s next and Jain is just the person to help us look ahead.

Jain imagines and builds future worlds we can experience in the present moment. By creating new ways of seeing, being and acting, she inspires and challenges us to look critically at the decisions and choices we make today. She creates tangible, provocative experiences that transport people directly into possible future worlds.

Co-founder of the vanguard laboratory, design, and film studio Superflux, Jain is professor of design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She is a TED Fellow and her work has won awards from UNESCO, Apple Inc., Geneva Human Rights Film Festival, and Innovate UK, and has been exhibited at MoMA New York, V&A London, National Museum of China, Vitra Design Museum and Tate Modern.

Check out Jain’s Ted Talk from 2017 for a sample of her work and then click the blue button below to register for the 2018 IABC World Conference today. Rates go up by more than US$200 after 1 March, so finalize your plans quickly and join us for great keynotes, dozens of breakout sessions and connection with communicators from around the globe. You can even earn professional certification credits or sit for a certification exam while you’re there.

We look forward to seeing you in Montréal less than four months from now, 3-6 June.

Register today!

Did you know World Conference attendance counts toward professional certification?

professional business conference

Yes, that’s right. Both the main IABC World Conference sessions and the Strategic Adviser Forum, which is the event’s pre-conference workshop, will help you meet the eligibility requirements for certification programs offered by the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC).

As a business communicator, professional certification can elevate your career and help keep your skills fresh and applicable. It provides a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. And it could help you land your next big opportunity or perform at a higher level in your current role. Read More

Check out the breakout sessions!

Most of the IABC World Conference breakout sessions have now been posted online. Experts were drawn from around the world to shape a slate of session offerings that will inform, inspire and enlighten. You’ll see many new faces, as well as some popular favorites. Sessions will focus on innovation, best practices, and an understanding of how to leverage the unique power of communication.

To provide you with the highest quality experience, presenters were selected by the IABC Program Advisory Committee through a standardized evaluation system to ensure that each session aligns with IABC’s Global Standard and fits this year’s theme, The Communication Crossroads, emphasizing that the communication profession is uniquely positioned at the crossroads of business, culture, functions and audience. That’s a powerful place to be.

Tracks support a wide breadth of communication disciplines

Sessions are separated into these tracks:

  • Communication skills: Skill-based knowledge, such as technical and social media skills, measurement techniques, planning, writing, photography/visuals, design and presenting
  • Leadership and strategy: Dialogue and techniques that position communication as a high-value function, enable communicators to facilitate and foster relationships, build leadership skills and empower communicators to better support business goals
  • Marketing and brand: Insights and expertise on marketing to support sales and branding as an expression of the value of an organization, product or service
  • Reputation: Guidance on interpreting perceptions, values and connections that stakeholders have toward an organization, incorporating social responsibility and employing strategies for preparing for, and dealing with, a crisis
  • Employee engagement: Case studies, analysis and best practices that help to ensure employee behaviors that support organizational goals and demonstrate above-and-beyond commitment

Choose your learning style

To suit your individual learning style, we’re offering sessions in a variety of formats, including workshop intensives, panels on in-depth topics, traditional hour-long sessions and rapid-fire speed presentations.

You’ll be able to tailor your experience by mixing and matching topics and formats. This is your chance to join your peers and learn from the top experts in the communication profession.

See all of the break-out sessions here.

Register today!

Seth Godin on communication in the age of distraction

Photo courtesy of Cuidad de Ideas

We are pleased to announce Seth Godin as the opening keynote of the 2018 IABC World Conference in Montréal.

A giant in the marketing world

Seth is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow and have watched his TED Talks, which have been viewed millions of times. In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth founded both Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog at is one of the most popular in the world.

Communication in the age of distraction

Seth Godin will speak about communication in the age of distraction. Will we ever be heard again? The internet has enabled anyone with a keyboard to speak up, and suddenly, everyone is, creating a maelstrom of spam, noise and hype. Godin will challenge us to see things a little differently as we work to build effective communications that work. We’re living in a revolution, and Godin is the perfect guide to help us figure out what’s next.

Join 1,000 communication peers from around the world as we explore how to leverage that power in new and innovative ways.

Register early and save!

Montréal. Cosmopolitan, charming and stylish.

Is it any wonder that a city as creative and stylish as Montréal was designated UNESCO City of Design? Places such as the Quartier international, a showcase of modern design, art and architecture at the heart of downtown, testify to Montréal’s avant-garde character. Hundreds more examples of the Montréal’s innovation and free-spiritedness flourish in fashion boutiques and interior and industrial design spaces all over the city.

The World Conference goes to Montréal in 2018!

We just wrapped up a World Conference that explored the critical issues of our profession, offered new solutions to your most pressing challenges and gave you a chance to connect with your peers in a meaningful and lasting way. Now is the time to save the date for the 2018 World Conference, to be held in the lovely and cosmopolitan city of Montréal, Canada. 

2018 IABC World Conference
Palais des congrès de Montréal
3–6 June, Montréal

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IABC World Conference Tuesday recap: Going deep in the conversation

by Kristen Delphos

Credit: Choice Photography

Tuesday at the IABC World Conference is a “sweet spot” day for many attendees. In the sea of hundreds of people, we start to recognize and create our own little tribe of conference friends. By this time, a day and a half into the program, we’ve networked, tweeted, retweeted, followed, and smiled when the notifications appeared on our devices to let us know that we’ve been followed back.

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