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.

The day began with an intimate session of business leaders following up the conversation from Monday’s World Cafe session on ethics in communication. The Business Leaders Forum was a World Conference first. We went a little deeper into the conversation on what we as communicators (and what IABC as an organization) can do to ensure we keep a high level of integrity in our profession. We talked personal and professional examples on the topic, and I left the forum reminded of the importance of what we do for a living.

Keynote Denise Jacobs

Creativity and collaboration

Keynote Denise Jacobs then roused the crowd with her “Creativity (R)evolution” session. Using data to explain how collaboration and creativity is critical to our success, we learned that: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” It was clear by the reaction in the room that we all needed to hear her message on “banning our inner critic,” and she introduced us to a word I know I will tape on my vision board: “self-ful-ness,” meaning caring for your own welfare so that you are able to care for the welfare of others.

Put people in the center of storytelling

As a Tuesday room host, I didn’t have to make the tough decision on which sessions to attend, and I had the opportunity to get to know three incredible speakers in advance of their talks: Tom Sitati, Marco Greenberg and Bridgette Chambers. What each of their sessions had in common, and what I found reflected in my conversations with attendees throughout the day, was putting people at the center of storytelling. Tom shared the nuances of culture in Africa that marketers need to understand about brand storytelling. (Did you know that in many cultures, there is no word for cousin? All family are brothers and sisters.) Marco enlightened us on achieving eight billion impressions through the incredible heart-tugging story of Ian Burkhart, currently achieving the impossible in the world of being disabled. Bridgette reminded us that we must always identify the real “star” in our brand story, and shared her insights on how millennials are impacting brand storytelling.

Another first for IABC World Conference this year was the Speed Networking lunch, held in between sessions. An enthusiastic group of around 100 attendees joined us for a round robin of eight-minute conversations with the theme of “share, discover and grow.”

Credit: Choice Photography

Honoring the best in communication

When the day’s sessions concluded, we quickly returned to our rooms to prepare for a celebration of the highest achievements in the communication profession, the Excellence Awards Gala, where we honored our Gold Quill Award winners, IABC Fellows, and the winners of the Jake Wittmer Award, Business Issue Award and Sharon Berzok Award. The night was filled with libations, entertainment, and a room full of new and old friends.




About the author

Kristen Delphos is an accomplished global communicator with more than 15 years of progressive experience. She helps guide teams through times of change, transformation and uncertainty. She is a passionate storyteller who believes that, in addition to a paycheck for their life’s work, every individual should aim to make a lasting impact on our future.