Conference Highlights

Your virtual preview of the attendee experience at #IABC20

The Virtual IABC World Conference is coming up quickly, and we thought a virtual preview of the work that’s currently in progress might help you make the jump and register to join us.

We’re working hard making updates, adding visuals and collaborating on the layout every day, and we can’t wait to show you the full experience this weekend. View this video for an early access preview on the progress we’ve made behind the scenes so far!

After you’re done watching, make sure to check out the Speaker Insights, showcasing the amazing speakers we have in the conference line-up, and Conference Highlights, for an overview of what you can expect at the virtual experience.

The countdown is officially on! After you register, you will receive your login information on Saturday, 13 June with more information.


8 Virtual World Conference sessions to strengthen your leadership skills

Adapt to change. Guide with transparency. Shift your leadership approach.

The Virtual IABC World Conference offers unmatched education opportunities for business communication professionals. Our workforce is dynamic and your leadership style should reflect that. Attend #IABC20 to learn how to adapt your leadership style to be more transparent, approachable and innovative.

Need help justifying the cost of attendance to your company’s decision maker? Use our customizable employer justification letter to make your case.

Develop a new approach to leading

Leaders play a pivotal role in the success of their team—and we know that you have questions on how to navigate this impactful responsibility. Shift your approach to leadership by attending sessions that will instill key leadership techniques designed to enable your team’s transformational visionaries to thrive.

Ready to make the leadership leap? Here are a few sessions to start with:

3 high-level communication hats leaders must wear for effective internal communication
Monday, 15 June
2:30–3:15 p.m. PDT

Transformation is changing how leaders communicate: Are you ready to help?
Monday, 15 June
1:30–2:15 p.m. PDT

Communicating powerful vulnerability: Why, how, when and where
Tuesday, 16 June
1:30–2:15 p.m. PDT

Our organizations are networks: Why don’t we use them for communication and leadership?
Wednesday, 17 June
1–2:15 p.m. PDT

Communicate through a long-game crisis

Working from a playbook is easy, but what happens when there isn’t a playbook? As you continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, you might already be picking up that this crisis doesn’t have a clear beginning and end, leaving most crisis planning templates unusable. We’ll provide actionable, applicable skills and knowledge to help you navigate an ongoing, long-game crisis and the communications associated with it.

Interested in learning more? Check out these sessions:

COVID-19, An Asian perspective: Communication lessons learned and applying them to the future
Monday, 15 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

Are you ready to rethink strategic change communication?
Monday, 15 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

Communicating layoffs: How to show compassion, build credibility and maintain employee engagement
Monday, 15 June
1:30–2:15 p.m. PDT

Turning crisis into an opportunity
Tuesday, 16 June
3–3:45 p.m. PDT

Check out the full conference schedule. 


Ready to make a shift in your company’s brand or culture? Here’s how to do it.

The Virtual IABC World Conference is your destination to reconfigure your thinking and outlook on company culture and branding. If you’re ready to make a shift in your current approach, attend #IABC20 for actionable advice on how to take the next steps.

When breaking down the value of attending, per session you’re paying just US$10 for members and US$13 for non-members, making the value of attending unmatched.

Need help justifying the cost of attendance to your company’s decision maker? Use our customizable employer justification letter to make your case.

Reshape your culture to fit a new reality

You have questions about reinvigorating your company’s culture in the age of an ever-changing and increasingly global workforce. Now is the time to shift—learn how to challenge long-held beliefs and conventions to better engage your employees with meaningful messages that resonate in our evolving business environment.

Here are a few sessions to attend if you’re ready to cultivate a more purposeful and meaningful culture:

The values economy is here
Monday, 15 June
2:30–3:15 p.m. PDT

Keynote: Carmen Simon
Tuesday, 16 June
10:30–11:30 a.m. PDT and replay 5–6 p.m. PDT

Using technology communication to facilitate a culture of change
Tuesday, 16 June
1:30–2:15 p.m. PDT

Continuous disruption as the new normal
Tuesday, 16 June
1:30–2:15 p.m. PDT

How to bring clarity to communication when everything around you is changing
Tuesday, 16 June
3–3:45 p.m. PDT

Communicating in a global world
Wednesday, 17 June
1–2:15 p.m. PDT

Reimagine your brand

You’re wondering how to establish a caring, understanding and forward-thinking brand without depersonalizing your customer base. Shift your thinking to discover how your product or service fills customers’ needs at a heart-level by learning from organizations that are excelling in this right now.

Here are a few sessions to attend if you’re ready to rethink and redefine your brand:

How to be a future-fit marketer
Monday, 15 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

Creating a content marketing system that serves your community and your brand
Monday, 15 June
1:30–2:15 p.m. PDT

Don’t fake it! How to sell them on sustainability without greenwashing
Tuesday, 16 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

How to bring the power of agility to your brand positioning
Tuesday, 16 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

Keynote: Abigail Posner
Monday, 15 June
10–11 a.m. PDT and replay 5–6 p.m. PDT

A unique platform, featuring the insight and connection you’ve come to expect from IABC

Less than three weeks from now, as you gather in the virtual theater for the 2020 Virtual IABC World Conference, you’ll hear keynotes from Abigail Posner, Max Luthy, Carmen Simon and Scott Amyx, on critical topics for today’s communication professional.

You and your peers will attend dozens of online breakout session built around our conference tracks:

  • Employee and Customer Engagement
  • Communication Driving Business
  • Creativity Technology and Design
  • Career and Future Skills
  • Marketing and Brand

Plus, you’ll have access to most of this content for a full year after the conference and, from 14-17 June, you’ll network with colleagues in a virtual lounge, connect with solution provides in an exhibit hall and experience the same great IABC World Conference in a whole new way. Invest in yourself and grab your spot now to prepare for all that’s ahead.

Register now.


Transition and redefinition: Navigating your career in a virtual world

The virtual IABC World Conference will give you the tools to navigate change. Here are a few sessions to look forward to.

Transition to a virtual world

How do I manage the “always on” nature of communications in a virtual environment? Where are the next innovations coming from? How do I manage and scale my workforce remotely?

Here are a few sessions you should check out on these topics:

Is podcasting your next strategic communication channel?
Monday, 15 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

Keynote: Max Luthy, innovation and trend expert
Monday, 15 June
4–5 p.m. PDT

Providing a personalized communication experience for every employee
Tuesday, 16 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

Get video smart
Tuesday, 16 June
3–3:45 p.m. PDT

Keynote: Scott Amyx, technology thought leader
Tuesday, 16 June
4–5 p.m. PDT

Virtual presentation makeover: The essential tools and techniques you and your leaders need
Wednesday, 17 June
1–2:15 p.m. PDT

Redefine yourself and your career

How do I keep my skills in tune with today’s realities? What are my hidden talents and how do I leverage them? How do I differentiate my personal brand in the current business environment?

Here are a few sessions that will discuss these topics:

What ambitious communicators can learn from Winston Churchill’s false teeth
Monday, 15 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

Shift: From communicator to communication professional
Tuesday, 16 June
11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. PDT

7 science-based rules of high-stress communication
Tuesday, 16 June
1:30–2:15 p.m. PDT

Navigating next: How to get clear (so you can get going)
Wednesday, 17 June
10–11:15 a.m. PDT

#Reboot: Are you ready for a new communication world?
Wednesday, 17 June
10–11:15 a.m. PDT

See the full schedule to plan out your agenda and register now.


Registration is now open for the 2020 Virtual IABC World Conference!

Times have changed quickly. But you still need connection, insight and to be ready for what comes next as a communication professional. #IABC20 has all that and more! Register to join us 14-17 June, on a unique, virtual conference platform that gives you the opportunity to:

  • Spend four days connecting and learning with peers from around the world, without having to leave your home or work space.
  • Gain insight and inspiration from more than 60 speakers in keynote and breakout sessions, most of which will be recorded and available to you for a full year.
  • Use your phone or tablet as a second screen for chats or Q&A with speakers.
  • Experience an online exhibit hall for connecting with solution providers.
  • Engage with others in networking lounges to create lasting connections.
  • Celebrate IABC’s 50th anniversary, recognize award winners and much more!

The virtual conference costs hundreds of dollars less than what the in-person event would: US$675 for IABC members and US$875 for nonmembers. And you don’t need to worry about travel or hotel. It’s the ultimate, flexible professional development opportunity for today’s communication professional.

Learn more about what it’s like to attend a virtual conference
Visit our FAQ page for answers to questions about the conference

Register today and get access to recorded conference sessions for a full year!

What will a virtual World Conference look like?

The 2020 IABC World Conference is going virtual and we’re happy so many of you are excited about this necessary transition. The event still takes place 14–17 June, and you can expect another stellar experience, but with a new twist that will allow you to experience it from anywhere in the world.

Many of you are wondering what a virtual conference will be like and, over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing examples and visuals to help paint a picture. This conference will be much more than what you experience on a webinar or in a video conference call.

We’ll be using a virtual platform that will allow you to:

  • Move around the conference hall, clicking from one virtual area to the next.
  • Attend keynote and breakout sessions in a virtual environment designed to make you feel like you’re sitting among peers in a theater.
  • Use your phone or tablet as a second screen for chats or Q&A sessions while watching speakers on your computer.
  • Connect with other attendees for networking and discussion.
  • Visit an exhibit hall, a help desk and a resource library.
  • Go back and watch recorded sessions, available immediately and posted for a year after the event.

Stay tuned for even more details. We’ll have pricing and registration information available soon. In the meantime, we’ve established an FAQ page that will be added to over time, where you’ll find answers to many common questions.

Save the same dates and we’ll see you online!

The IABC World Conference goes virtual

Thank you for your patience these last few weeks as IABC’s international executive board (IEB), program advisory committee (PAC) and others throughout the association monitored the COVID-19 pandemic and made decisions about how it might affect the 2020 IABC World Conference, set to take place this June in Chicago.

As always, our priority is your safety and well-being. Based on information from the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others, it’s clear we cannot hold the conference in person as originally planned.

This conference is needed now more than ever

Communication professionals remain tremendously vital, not only in the way they’re keeping information flowing responsibly during this crisis, but through the work they do every day to deliver business results. Communication professionals will no doubt play a key role in the coming weeks, months and years, as work is done to save lives and keep the global economy moving.

We also know many of you are seeking connection, support and resources more than ever before. You’ve been leveraging our free COVID-19 resource page and helping each other in places like The Hub. It’s inspiring to see the way our international community is coming together online.

With all of this in mind, we feel the 2020 IABC World Conference, with its future-focused theme of “Shift: #AreYouReady,” is needed now more than ever. We hope you and your colleagues around the globe will join us as we take our signature event virtual!

Why the virtual IABC World Conference is a can’t-miss event

This will not be just a fancy webinar. There will be keynotes, breakout sessions and networking in online lounges and other virtual gathering spots. There will be learning, connection and, as you can expect with any IABC event, there will be fun! In these stressful times, laughter and community are essential.

The 2020 IABC World Conference will still take place 14-17 June, though you can expect some schedule shifting. We’ll have more details on that along with pricing and registration information in the coming weeks, as well as specifics for those who’d previously registered for the in-person conference. Our speakers and sponsors will be receiving more information as well.

Look for more details in the coming weeks

Please stay tuned to your email, IABC websites and our social media channels. We’ve established a frequently asked questions page that will be added to over time, as more information becomes available.

More good news: Most sessions at this virtual conference will be recorded. You won’t have to go through the dilemma of which session to attend when there are too many to pick from. You will be able to consume every piece of content on your own schedule. This virtual conference will also cost less to attend than the in-person gathering and there will be special pricing for IABC members.

We’re excited, and we hope you are too. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world today, but we’re doing everything we can to make sure the IABC World Conference will continue to be one of the bright spots you can look forward to.

Stay tuned for more details and we’ll see you this June…online!

In the meantime, see our FAQs page for the most up-to-date information on the virtual conference.


Strategic Adviser Forum: Evaluating new communication technologies

Life was easy for communicators when social media consisted of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Today, new choices emerge every day covering everything from internal collaboration tools like Slack and Teams to influencer-driven channels like Instagram and TikTok (and don’t forget digital tools like Virtual Reality and voice tech like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa infrastructure).

In this interactive forum, longtime IABC technology adviser Shel Holtz will review some of the newest emerging technologies that could change the way we communicate, complete with hands-on experimentation.

Shel will also introduce a framework for evaluating technologies for adoption as communication tools or channels and introduce Message Mission Control as a core communication responsibility. Participants will work through a process for evaluating and introducing communication technologies so (internally) employees embrace them and (externally) they produce measurable outcomes.

About Shel Holtz

Shel Holtz, ABC (Accredited Business Communicator), is director of Internal Communications at Webcor, a commercial general contractor headquartered in San Francisco. Before joining Webcor, Shel spent 21 years as principal of Holtz Communication + Technology. In addition to integrating technology into communications strategies, his expertise includes strategic communications planning, change management, organizational culture, business initiatives and communications research. Full bio

Date: Sunday, 14 June
Time: 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

This workshop is included with your conference registration.

Register today!

Critical conversations: #AreYouReady to explore the latest trends?

Your imagination has been sparked after a high-impact World Conference and you now have an eye on the latest communication trends, solutions and ideas. It’s time to explore the challenges and opportunities facing the communication profession and generate big ideas that will drive our profession forward.

Join IABC’s Big Ideas Task Force and fellow communication professionals as we take some of those trends, unpack them and look at the opportunities it will give our organization and the profession as a whole. In this immersive session you get to play your part in forward-thinking and creating opportunities and in some cases your future role.

You will:

  • Explore some of the trends presented at IABC’s World Conference, with an eye on the communication horizon.
  • Unpack the trends, their impact on our profession, on your organization and most importantly, on you.
  • Create some great ideas to meet the opportunities head-on through an interactive workshop.

The outcomes from this session will give you input into your strategic thinking for your organization and create an agenda of topics that will inform IABC’s work in exploring the big ideas that will shape our profession in the future.

Format: Workshop
Track: Career & Future Skills
Date and time: Wednesday, 17 June, 3-4:15 p.m.

Presenter / Adrian Cropley OAM, FRSA SCMP / Australia is a certified strategic communication management professional and past global chair of IABC. Cropley is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts in strategic communication. He is the founder of the Centre for Strategic Communication Excellence and CEO at Cropley Communication. With a career spanning over 30 years, Cropley has worked with clients all over the world on major change communication initiatives, internal communication reviews and strategies, professional development programs, and executive leadership and coaching. He is currently chairing IABC’s Big Ideas Taskforce.


Presenter / Sia Papageorgiou FRSA, SCMP / Australia is a certified strategic communication management professional, director strategic communication at Cropley Communication, President of the Victorian chapter of IABC, and former director at IABC Asia-Pacific. She’s won multiple awards for her communication work and has consulted to some of the world’s largest organizations, delivering creative communication strategies and employee engagement programs that drive understanding, impact and performance. She also sits on the Global Communication Certification Council.


Presenter / Zora Artis, GAICD, SCMP, FAMI, CPM / Australia is the CEO of Artis Advisory in Melbourne, Australia. Artis has almost three decades of experience in business, communication, marketing, and branding. In the past two years, she has authored and researched white papers on strategic alignment and the business value of internal communication for the C-suite. She is the current chair of IABC Asia-Pacific Region Board and past director on the IABC International Executive Board (2016-2019). She’s a winner of multiple IABC Gold Quill Awards for excellence in communication, and the recipient of the 2015 IABC Chairman’s Award.