Insights and Highlights

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!

Check out the #IABC20 World Conference breakout sessions!

Most of the IABC World Conference breakout sessions have now been posted online. 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.

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.

Tracks organized around your needs

Sessions are separated into these five new tracks:

Career and Future Skills
  • Skills and knowledge that a communication professional must have
  • Trends influencing the communication profession
  • Skills for the next five years in a world changing at a rapid pace
  •  Ideas, examples and guidance to advance the career of a communication professional
Employee and Customer Engagement
  • Approaches and techniques to amplify the power of professional communication
  • Culture, engagement, values and ethics
  • Reputation management – building trust in communication
  • Case studies and projects that have made a significant impact /change
  • Latest in communication research
Communication Driving Business 
  • Approaches and techniques for powerful business and communication strategies
  • Using communication to cut through the complexity of global business
  • Case studies / projects of strategy in action
  • Strategic leadership
  • Learning from our failures (and building on successes)
Creativity, Technology & Design
  • The latest in being creative as a communication professional
  • Tools and techniques for creativity in communication
  • Creative new approaches that achieve results
  • Disruptive technology in communication
Marketing and Brand
  • The value of big data, AI and machine learning that supports communication
  • Revitalization of your company’s brand  — understanding global markets
  • Latest marketing strategies —  understanding a changing audience

A variety of ways to learn

To suit your individual learning style, we’re offering sessions in a variety of formats, including workshop intensives with immersive engagement on in-depth topics, multiple presenter discussions and many opportunities to interact with your peers and soak up the learning that will bring you back to your organization ready to take on new challenges with fresh ideas and creative approaches.

Join more than a 1,000 of your peers at the World Conference in Chicago on 14–17 June for an experience like no other.

See all of the break-out sessions here.

Register today!

Sit for the CMP or SCMP certification exam while at World Conference


Professional certification gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, and provide evidence of your outstanding abilities. Becoming certified engages you in a process of life-long learning that elevates your career and provides a structure for keeping your skills fresh and applicable. While you’re in Chicago for the 2020 IABC World Conference, you’ll have more than one opportunity to work on earning certification as a professional communicator.  

On Sunday, 14 June, you can sit for the GCCC’s Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP) or Communication Management Professional (CMP) certification exams. You need to apply to one of these GCCC programs at least two weeks before the conference and register for the exam at least one week prior. 

Attending the conference as well as the pre-conference Strategic Adviser Forum are ways to earn credit toward obtaining or maintaining certification offered by the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC).

Review the GCCC Candidate Handbook for more information about conference attendance pertaining to the training requirement of the application. If you’ve already earned your certification, learn more about maintaining your credentials by reviewing the GCCC Renewal Rubric.

Email the GCCC with any questions about these certification or earning credits.

Did you know World Conference attendance counts toward professional certification?

professional business conference

Yes, that’s right. Both the main IABC World Conference sessions and the Strategic Adviser Forum, which is the event’s pre-conference workshop, will help you meet the eligibility requirements for certification programs offered by the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC).

As a business communicator, professional certification can elevate your career and help keep your skills fresh and applicable. It provides a great opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. And it could help you land your next big opportunity or perform at a higher level in your current role. Read More

Keynote Carmen Simon to explore the neuroscience of engagement at #IABC20 World Conference

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. Simon joins a 2020 IABC World Conference keynote speaker lineup that already includes Google’s Abigail Posner, with more announcements to come. Join us for an enlightening session that will offer new approaches to engaging your audiences.

About Carmen Simon

Carmen Simon is the founder of Memzy, an agency that helps corporations use brain science to create memorable messages that influence customers’ decisions. Carmen has two doctorate degrees, one in instructional technology and another in cognitive psychology, and is a recognized expert in applying neuroscience to leadership, communication design, and customer engagement. Her most recent book, Impossible to Ignore: Creating memorable content to influence decisions, has been selected as one of the top books on persuasion. Her sought-after keynote speeches unveil science-based techniques for getting others to see your way, remember your way, and go your way.

Learn more.

Register today

The Excellence Gala: An evening to remember

Held each year in celebration of the highest achievements in the communication profession, the glamorous Excellence Gala at the IABC World Conference is the communication professional’s night of nights, filled with inspiration, delicious food, entertainment and great company.

At the Excellence Gala, IABC honors Gold Quill Award winners, as well as special awards like the Jake Wittmer Research Award, Business Issue Award and Sharon Berzok Award. The Gold Quill Awards, IABC’s premier awards program, recognizes and fosters excellence in the field of business communication, and recipients from all over the world are recognized for their achievements.

Celebrate the best

The Excellence Gala is a black-tie-optional celebration that has long been one of IABC’s most prestigious events. It’s a perfect opportunity celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of your team or clients.

This year, the Excellence Gala will be held on Tuesday, 16 June 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Learn more about the Excellence Gala….

Be recognized for your amazing work at the Excellence Gala: Submit your entry to the Gold Quill Awards by 23 January 2020.

Register now!

Enter the Gold Quill Awards or become a sponsor.

Need a business case for attending the World Conference?

Professional development support is not just a critical part of advancing your career, it’s an important investment in the organization you serve. That’s why we’ve developed a letter designed to help you make a convincing case for why you should get the time and resources to join your peers at the world’s largest annual global conference for professional communicators.

Read More

Join #IABC20 World Conference keynote Abigail Posner, head of strategy at Google’s Brand Unit

Abigail PosnerThe world is changing rapidly. We need to innovate and get creative if we’re going to continue to capture people’s attention and deliver results. But how do we do it?

This is one of the questions we’ll answer at the 2020 IABC World Conference in Chicago next June, as we connect and learn around our theme of “Shift: #AreYouReady.” And we’ve just lined up the perfect keynote speaker to help drive the discussion and inspire the ideas required to be an effective communication professional going forward.

Abigail Posner is the head of strategy at the Brand Unit, Google’s creative think tank for agencies and brands. She’ll join us on Monday, 15 June, for the keynote session, “Cracking Creativity: Re-Engaging Our Innate Creativity for Greater Productivity and Growth.” She’s just the first of several keynotes we’ll be announcing, along with dozens of breakout sessions that will leave you energized and ready for what’s ahead.

With conference rates going up after 31 December, right now is a great time to registerbook your discounted hotel room and start planning your travel. By January, the best deal on conference registration will be gone and our hotel block sold out last year, so act quickly. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago, 14–17 June, for #IABC20!

Register today!

Apply or recommend a keynote speaker for #IABC20 World Conference, 14-17 June, Chicago

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is considering potential keynotes for its 2020 World Conference, happening 14–17 June 2020 in Chicago. IABC is the largest global association for communication professionals, and our last annual World Conference drew more than 1,300 attendees from nearly 40 countries.

Here are the criteria we consider when selecting a keynote speaker:

  • An authentic, dynamic and effortless speaker with a commanding stage presence who is able to connect with audiences in a meaningful way.
  • Proven ability to present to large (1,000 attendees or more), global audiences at commercial business conferences.
  • Knowledgeable about international business with an understanding of future challenges and an ability to speak to the relevance and critical value of communication for organizations.
  • Prepared to offer breakthrough thinking, innovative ideas and creative solutions that will resonate with an audience of international business communicators.

Our theme is Shift: #AreYouReady? We are looking for keynotes who are in a position to help communication professionals to grow their knowledge, shift their mindset and take on new strategies to support their organizations to thrive and grow.

Past keynotes

The keynote speakers for the 2019 conference were Soledad O’Brien, Celeste Headlee, The Corporate Rebels and Peter Sheahan.

Other past keynote speakers have included Maya Angelou, Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Robert Kennedy Jr., Bill McDermott and Salman Rushdie.

Selection process

Leaders of IABC’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC) will review proposals regularly through the end of this year. Submit soon for early consideration. We typically receive more than 100 recommendations, from which a shortlist of 20 will be developed and 4–5 keynotes selected. The first keynote will be announced in November. We look forward to hearing from you!

To apply or recommend a keynote, please fill out this short form.

Get the latest news in the 2019 World Conference Brief

In the latest issue of the IABC World Conference Brief, you’ll find the latest news and exclusive content related to the event.

If you’re attending the conference, the Brief gives you a sample of some of what you’ll experience. And if you can’t make it this year, you still get the benefit of content that will offer new perspectives on some of the most challenging issues facing the profession.

In this issue, you’ll find:

  • Highlights of the Tuesday keynote with the Corporate Rebels.
  • Options for pre-conference activities, from earning your certification to offsite tours of Vancouver.
  • Articles from conference speakers.
  • Details on the activity feed in the conference app.

You can also catch up on past issues on the archive page.

Interested in advertising in the IABC World Conference Brief? Check out options in the media kit.