Pre-conference Events

This year, IABC will host a series of pre-conference events at World Conference 2023. See below for all pre-conference activities that require additional registration.

Hands on with GA4 Masterclass

Presented By: Dana DiTomaso, President & Partner, Kick Point Inc.

4 June 2023, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | $249 IABC Members | $349 IABC Non-members

Google Analytics is going through a major change, from Universal Analytics to GA4. The deadline to move your measurement to GA4 is fast approaching, which means that it's time to get familiar with GA4. While GA4's user interface may seem intimidating and a huge change from Universal Analytics, GA4 has features that every communicator and marketer will enjoy.     

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the differences between Universal Analytics and GA4
  • Get familiar with the GA4 interface
  • Learn how to use GA4's standard reports and explorations
  • Know how you should set up GA4 for your own organization

Dana DiTomaso is President & Partner at Kick Point, where she helps people and teams do better marketing. Alongside the team at Kick Point, Dana pushes people and teams to set goals and track data so that they understand what strategies and tactics bring value and what is just a waste of money. In addition to speaking at conferences about reporting and analytics, SEO, and brand building, Dana is the weekly technology columnist on CBC Edmonton AM, and she teaches analytics at the University of Alberta. In her spare time, she enjoys yelling at football players and collecting hobbies.



Thought Leadership and Story-Finding Masterclass: How to generate a constant stream of story ideas to engage your audience and keep your SMEs in conversation with clients

Presented By: Rhea Wessel, American Writer, Educator and Ideas Coach, Institute for Thought Leadership

4 June 2023, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | $249 IABC Members | $349 IABC Non-members

Story-telling and story-finding are two different things. In this session, you will learn how to find stories that position subject-matter experts (SMEs) in your organization as the go-to experts in their niche.

Author Rhea Wessel will introduce you to The Story-Framing System she created and perform a live story-finding demonstration with a member of the audience. In the demonstration, the group will generate a list of quality story ideas on the spot. The Story-Framing System helps you develop story ideas that are not blah blah content but are born from a thought-leadership niche. These are the stories that resonate with clients and can keep your SMEs in conversation with clients.

In addition, you will discover how your comms team can “operationalize” the writing of thought-leadership materials by enabling your SMEs with story smarts: giving them a framework to succeed with the writing they do on their own.

Bonus! You will map your own ideas and understand how to generate a steady stream of story ideas to capture the attention of any audience: employees, clients, customers, suppliers, investors or the media.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the 3 steps to thought-leadership writing and the ingredients of a good piece of writing in the thought-leadership style
  • Create a list of story ideas born of your thought-leadership niche that you can begin writing immediately and/or create a list of story ideas for SMEs or members of your C-Suite
  • Find out how to operationalize the creation of your thought-leadership materials in cooperation with your SMEs

Rhea Wessel is an American writer who helps companies grow their business through her thought-leadership writing incubators. These programs enable subject-matter experts with journalistic writing skills while providing the communications department with a steady stream of high-quality articles about the business. As a journalist, Rhea wrote thousands of stories for magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and BBC. As a writer for companies, she has penned and edited thousands more stories across 30 industries. Rhea is the founder and head of The Institute for Thought Leadership.



Digital Crisis Masterclass: Crisis Management in a Connected World

Presented By: Greg Vanier, Head of Crisis & Reputation Risk, Edelman and Dave Fleet, Managing Director, Head of Global Digital Crisis, Edelman 

4 June 2023, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. | $249 IABC Members | $349 IABC Non-members

The pervasive impact of digital and its ripple effects on society have fundamentally changed the practice of crisis communications. Edelman’s latest Connected Crisis study paints a clear picture of companies grappling with a seemingly endless barrage of increasingly diverse issues – and reveals how they can stay ahead of the curve to meet growing expectations from a variety of stakeholders.
Dave Fleet, Global Head of Digital Crisis for Edelman, and Greg Vanier, Head of Crisis & Reputation Risk for Edelman Canada, will lead participants through a workshop that explores the evolution of crisis communications in a digital-first world. Participants will leave with a better understanding of this new landscape, the opportunities and challenges it presents, and the skillsets required to adapt.

As a respected communications strategist and consultant, Greg Vanier works with some of the world’s most recognizable brands, helping them evolve, promote and protect their reputations. His client roster includes Fortune 500 companies, not-for-profits, and government agencies. 

Greg has worked on some of the most talked about crises in recent years, helping Canadian and global clients navigate issues such as industrial accidents, #MeToo allegations and sexual harassment investigations, white collar crimes, litigations, social media crises, corporate malfeasance and negligence incidents, product recalls and labour relations issues. He has helped government agencies plan for and respond to issues of national importance, including acts of terrorism, natural disasters and public health emergencies, and he has provided critical communications consulting services to municipalities and police services across the country. 

As Lead of Edelman Canada’s Data Security and Privacy Practice, Greg’s team has helped dozens of Canadian companies respond to cyber security incidents, including breaches of security safeguards, losses of personally identifiable information, and ransomware attacks. Greg also helps clients define their privacy narratives and navigate the ever-increasing public and regulatory expectations around the collection and use of personal data. He frequently presents at conferences on the topic of data security and privacy communications.

Dave Fleet has been advising companies on reputation management and digital communications for more than two decades. As Edelman’s Head of Global Digital Crisis, Dave helps companies around the globe to navigate digitally-driven crises, dynamics and channels in order to safeguard their reputations. In his role Dave also leads Edelman’s global Disinformation Shield team – bringing together intelligence, strategy and response capabilities aimed at combatting mis- and disinformation threats – along with Societal Issues Navigator - Edelman’s consulting service helping companies navigate complex and global societal issues. He has worked on a wide range of situations including geopolitical, consumer and employee advocacy, major corporate malfeasance, class action lawsuit, labour relations, misinformation and disinformation issues, among others. Prior to this role Dave worked for ten years in other roles within Edelman, most recently as EVP and National Digital Practice Lead for Canada.




Catalyst for Climate

Presented By: Marco Tedesco, Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and Adjunct Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)

4 June 2023, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. | $249 IABC Members | $349 IABC Non-members

Climate change is among the most complex and challenging problems that we are confronting as a civilization, with both responses and impacts affecting a diverse multitude of people, sectors and infrastructures across space and the globe. This is also and especially true for businesses who have to navigate the nuances of understanding the physical processes that led to the status of today’s things and need to plan and act for a new energy and climate era that will ultimately lead to NetZero. In this regard, educating and informing members of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is crucial for either providing a proper and needed background to the IABC professionals about climate science and actions for them to better include such knowledge in their day to day work as well as to better frame and support their decisions for better interacting with customers and stakeholders and being able to satisfy their requests.

This Masterclass is designed to give IABC professionals a fundamental understanding of the scientific basis of climatic change, by exposing them to multiple facets of a very interdisciplinary and encompassing field. Attendees will be introduced to the physical science of our climate system, the contributing system components, and the basic mechanisms that govern how the climate system responds to drivers of change. We'll explore climate change from multiple perspectives: paleoclimatic change (deep past), recent historical variability and change and future climate projections. We will also, then, discuss the impacts of historical climate change on different business sectors (e.g., such as social, financial, economic issues) and the current and anticipated impacts of NetZero related activities on the same sectors. This will occur through the discussion of multiple test cases from different sectors and with the adoption of an online tool that allows assessing the impact of different socio-economic and CO2 scenarios on global temperatures.

Learning outcomes:
• Understand how the climate system works and the physical basis of climate change.
• Describe and understand how climate change is impacting our society and business community
• Investigate projections about past and possible future climate change on Earth
• Assess global climate change policy and its implementation options for mitigation and adaptation
• Identify how climate change impacts the practice of communication for organizations

Marco Tedesco is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and Adjunct Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). He received his Laurea degree and PhD in Italy, from the University of Naples and the Italian National Research Council. He then spent five years as a postdoc and research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He moved to CCNY in 2008 as an Assistant Professor where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. During his time at CCNY, he founded and directed the Cryosphere Processes Laboratory and was a rotating Program Manage at the National Science Foundation between 2013 and 2015. In January 2016, he joined Columbia University. Dr. Tedesco’s research focuses on the dynamics of seasonal snowpack, ice sheet surface properties, high latitude fieldwork, global climate change and its implications on the economy and real estate.



Gift of Communication

4 June 2023, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. | FREE

Gift of Communication is our pre-conference social responsibility program designed to give back to the community by sharing our professional skills.  Over the afternoon, you'll join colleagues from around the world to help Toronto-area non-profits address their most pressing communication challenges.  Be part of communication as a catalyst for good!  

By participating in Gift of Communication, you will: 

  • Provide 3 hours of communication advice and counsel to help local nonprofit agencies 
  • Get real-life professional development by applying your skills and experience in a unique, real-time setting 
  • Get a new perspective on the challenges of social service agencies
  • Collaborate with colleagues from around the world to share perspectives and ideas
  • Make a difference by helping non-profits that will welcome your professional guidance to help them achieve their goals
  • Support IABC’s advocacy efforts by demonstrating that communication professionals can be a catalyst for change.