Conference Highlights

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.


Thank you to our 2020 World Conference lead sponsors:


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

This session is included with a Sunday day pass and offered as an additional-fee event for others.

Date: Sunday, 14 June
Time: 9 a.m.–12 p.m. (includes breakfast and lunch)
Advance sign-up: Add to your registration (space is limited)
Cost: US$350 members, US$450 non-members

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, 9-11:15 a.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.

Video interview with #IABC20 keynote Max Luthy, innovation and trend expert

Do you want insights on the latest trends and insights for communicators? #IABC20‘s opening keynote session will explore the disruptive changes affecting businesses and how to stay ahead of it and thrive. Max Luthy, director of trends and insights at TrendWatching (@maxluthy), joins the @IABC International Podcast to speak about his upcoming #IABC20 keynote session.

Celebrate IABC’s 50th anniversary — 70’s style!

This year’s Welcome Reception is particularly special, as we’ll be celebrating IABC’s 50th anniversary! We’re thrilled to be holding the event at the marvelous Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), with spectacular indoor exhibits and a beautiful outdoor space.

Image result for mca chicagoThe MCA is an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where visitors can experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social and cultural context of the art of our time.

The MCA engages diverse audiences and creates a sense of community by providing a place to contemplate and discuss contemporary art, culture and issues of our day.

Celebrate, ’70s style

Image result for mca chicago 50thAnd here’s the fun part. Since IABC was founded in the 1970s, we’re inviting you to come in your favorite ’70s garb. Go all-out funky, or take a classic route with a slight nod to the fashion of the decade, or anywhere in between. You decide! And for the food, expect gourmet ’70s style, if you can imagine that. The chefs at the MCA know how to create delicious magic with visually stunning culinary presentations, so you’re in for a treat. Retro music will match our celebratory mood. Let’s smile at the past and set our sights on the future!

MCA is a 16-minute walk (or six-minute drive) from the World Conference venue, the Hyatt Regency Chicago. We’ll plan to walk and enjoy the city, but for anyone with mobility challenges, we’ll have buses available as well.

Join us at the Welcome Reception and Register today!

#IABC20 keynote Carmen Simon: Use neuroscience to create memorable messages

Carmen Simon, Ph.D., is changing how the world communicates. A cognitive neuroscientist, she has helped some of the world’s most visible brands craft memorable messages by focusing on how the brain works. In this interview for the IABC International podcast, she talks with host Dan Gold about making sure your audience remembers the messages that are most important to your brand.

Simon will join the 2020 IABC World Conference as a keynote speaker. Join us for an enlightening session that will offer new approaches to engaging your audiences.

Register today!

Video interview with #IABC20 Program Advisory Committee Chair, Nic Pearce

Trying to stay up-to-date in the continuously evolving communication industry? Join us at #IABC20 where we will explore the latest trends and key issues business communication professionals face each day. Nic Pearce, the chair for the IABC Program Advisory Committee met with Dan Gold to discuss how he thinks #IABC20 will tackle these topics in Chicago.

More sessions added to #IABC20 World Conference line-up

We’ve added more IABC World Conference breakout sessions! Experts were drawn from around the world to shape a slate of session offerings that will give you the ideas you need to create communication results that will elevate your company and your career. Sessions will focus on innovation, best practices and an understanding of how to leverage the unique power of communication. See the full conference schedule.

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, Shift: #AreYouReady. With an eye toward the latest trends, solutions and ideas, the 2020 IABC World Conference will explore the newest challenges and opportunities facing the communication profession. Read More

Video interview with #IABC20 keynote Abigail Posner, brand strategist at Google

Do you really understand the human needs of your audiences? How does anthropology impact effective communication? Abigail Posner, brand strategist with Google (@aposner), joins the @IABC International Podcast to speak about her upcoming #IABC20 keynote session.

Innovation and trend expert Max Luthy to be opening keynote at #IABC20

IABC is thrilled to have innovation and trend expert Maxwell Luthy as the opening keynote at the 2020 IABC World Conference. This year’s IABC World Conference is about exploring the unexpected, disruptive and startling changes affecting businesses today. And it’s more than just about understanding what’s ahead, it’s about the leadership role we as business communication professionals can play to make our businesses thrive in a newly discovered future. Max Luthy will share discoveries, ideas and insights on innovations, trends and changes affecting businesses now and into the future. You’ll find out what you need to be watching for and when you need to act.

Max is the Director of Trends & Insights at TrendWatching and head of their North America office. He speaks at conferences around the world and delivers consumer insights to clients such as Google, the Walt Disney Imagineers, Spotify and the Dubai government. Max has been quoted by the Financial Times, strategy+business and The Next Web. He previously ran the company’s 3,000 member spotter network and wrote the book Trend-Driven Innovation.

Learn more about Max Luthy.

Register today!