A recap of the 2015 IABC World Conference

2015 WC_100X664At this year’s World Conference, keynote and breakout speakers from around the world helped attendees embrace the theme “Changing the Landscape: Informing the Future.” With over 1,200 in attendance, the conference offered a powerful vehicle for learning, discovering and connecting.

Sessions packed with content

Covering five communication tracks (Reputation, Leadership and Strategy, Marketing and Brand, Employee Engagement, and Communication Skills), over 100 speakers from all over the world delivered sessions in a variety of formats packed with great ideas and concrete solutions. Some of the most popular topics included engaging with gamification, staying relevant in the age of social media, communicating globally and authentic leadership.

Stirring and enlightening keynotes

From keynotes, attendees learned everything from how to showcase your fascinating qualities and the importance of leaders becoming multipliers to why we need to bring communication back to basics and the art of social media.

Sally Hogshead revealed that we’re all fascinating

Sally Hogshead kicked off the conference with her opening session based on her Fascination Advantage assessment—the first science-based assessment to measure how an individual is most likely to add value. Said Hogshead: “You don’t have to change who you are; you have to be more of who you are at your best.” The test had attendees buzzing about their personality archetypes long after Sunday’s session. (The test is still open to World Conference attendees. Take it before 28 June using the code “IABC.”)

Aaron Dignan

Aaron Dignan

Aaron Dignan showed how new ideas take shape

Change is happening at a rapid pace. To succeed in this environment, digital strategist Aaron Dignan urged communicators to stop “planning to plan” and instead create networks that allow for the emergence of new ideas. Break down silos, and focus on internal networking, or “internal knittedness,” Dignan advised.

Liz Wiseman demonstrated the power of the curious mind

Leadership expert Liz Wiseman powerfully opened her keynote by sharing that only 15 percent of the knowledge we have today is likely to be relevant in five years. “What you know is less important than how fast you can learn,” Wiseman shared. Because of this, she urged attendees to adopt a “rookie mindset” and always ask questions, rather than allow “what you know to get in the way of what you don’t know.”

Bill McDermott captivated us with the power of authentic storytelling

SAP CEO Bill McDermott kept his session lively by being interviewed by SAP’s SVP of global corporate affairs, Nick Tzitzon. McDermott emphasized the importance of simple, authentic communication, including one-on-one interaction, ditching scripts, and creating messages that “fit on the back of a napkin, not a 100-page slide deck.”

The Boston Panel taught us how to handle the unimaginable

Wednesday’s panel on the Boston Marathon bombing, which included moderator Larry C. Kerpelman, Ph.D., and panelists Manya Chylinski, Brooke Tyson Hynes, and Neva Coakley-Grice, provided attendees with an on-the-ground look at how the city responded to the crisis. Audience members walked away with very real crisis management lessons, from the importance of social media as a primary news channel to the crowd-favorite tip, always wear pockets.

Guy Kawasaki told us how to manage ourselves on social media

The conference ended on a high note with Guy Kawasaki, who expertly balanced humor with tactical social media tips in his presentation. A memorable analogy was his comparison of social media to dating sites: “Think of social media as Tinder, not eHarmony. People aren’t going to investigate whether to engage.”

2015 Fellows_1000X677

2015 IABC Fellows

Special events engaged and inspired

The Foundation Luncheon featured the inspiring story of communicator, climber and humanitarian Peter Penny. We walked away with the compelling message, “If not now, then when”? The Excellence Gala was coined the “Oscars of the communication profession,” honoring awards of the profession, including the coveted Fellows designations and shining the light on 148 Gold Quill Awardees who displayed their hand at excellence in communication.

The Hub rocked the conference

Dubbed “The Hub,” solution providers at the exhibit hall rocked the conference with ongoing presentations in the mini-theatre, offering answers to some of the most challenging questions facing communicators today.

Sponsors embodied outstanding communication

This year’s sponsors didn’t just support the World Conference, they demonstrated their value of outstanding communication. Their connection to the World Conference came through as a desire to lift the profession to new heights. Thank you to this year’s sponsors, most especially our Premium Sponsor, Alliance Enterprises.

Attendees shared their thoughts

Check out what your fellow communicators had to say about this year’s World Conference. A collection of conference tweets can be found on our Storify page.

See you in New Orleans 2016

Join us in New Orleans, 5-8 June 2016. Keep an eye on wc.iabc.com for more information.