Conference Highlights

Here’s who you can expect to meet at the #IABC19 World Conference

Unparalleled networking with peers from around the world. Inspiring speakers who will change the way you think about your work, and the world at large. A chance to hone your skills and learn about how to meet the challenges of the future from the best in the business. These are just a few of the reasons for communication professionals to attend IABC’s annual World Conference happening 9–12 June 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, with the theme “Think Forward.”


IABC World Conference attendees work in a variety of industries, in corporations, nonprofits, consulting firms, government and as independent practitioners. They practice in diverse disciplines of communication, including public relations, employee communication, marketing, reputation and brand management, media relations, community relations, public affairs, investor relations, and government relations.

2018 World Conference attendee facts and figures

To give you an idea of what’s in store at this year’s event in Vancouver, here’s a look back at some statistics about attendees from the 2018 event in Montréal.

  • More than 1,300 communication professionals attended.
  • 36 countries were represented among attendees, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the Philippines.
  • Most attendees reported working for organizations with 1,000 or more employees.
  • The majority of attendees reported working for corporations.
  • About half of the attendees reported having responsibility for a budget of US$100,000 or more.
  • Corporate communication was cited as the primary function for most attendees, followed by employee communication and marketing communication.
  • Gaining knowledge about trends and practical tools from speakers and networking with peers were considered the most valuable aspects of the event.
  • The majority of attendees reported having 10 or more years of experience.
  • No. 1 reason cited for attending: The content of the sessions.

If you attended the 2018 conference in Montréal, then you know that you’re in store for an incredible experience. You’ll get the latest trends, solutions and answers to critical questions facing the communication profession. Along the way, you’ll make valuable connections that will support you and your career for years to come.


Register today!


Strategic Adviser Forum: Build alignment and increase business value

Did you know that building alignment is a chance for your organizations to boost its competitive advantage? And for you as a communicator, it’s a chance to take the lead on alignment and significantly increase the demonstrable business value you provide. To learn how, join the pre-conference Strategic Adviser Forum session, “Alignment: how communicators can change the face of leadership.” The session takes place on Sunday, 9 June from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Lunch is included.)

Defining alignment

According to the Cambridge Dictionary:

  • “Organization” means a “group of people who work together in an organized way for a shared purpose.”
  • “Team” means “people working together as a group in order to achieve something.”

When you consider these definitions, one thing becomes obvious. Alignment—the ability to unite people behind a shared vision, strategy, values and purpose—is absolutely core to what leadership is all about.

Are most organizations aligned?

Did you to know that some of the world’s organizations are routinely poor at aligning themselves and have been for decades? What if we told you that only 26 percent of communicators believe their colleagues value their corporate strategy, according to a recent study? And, for corporate purpose, it’s only 35 percent. That’s a third. So much for organizations being united by shared purpose.

Lead on alignment across your organization

This interactive workshop will focus on how to take the lead on alignment across your organization. It will be particularly relevant to any communicator who is keen to increase the business value of their function or their role within the organization. The workshop will begin by looking briefly at the findings of the 2018 Global Alignment Study conducted by Zora Artis, SCMP and Wayne Aspland, with the support of the IABC Foundation.

It will then focus on the practical issues related to driving organizational alignment. In particular:

  • Alignment, brand and engagement: How do they work together?
  • How to determine the level of alignment in your organization and create the business case for change. This is critical because real alignment is virtually impossible without total leadership support.
  • Uniting and empowering your leaders—both the executive and the senior leadership teams. Why is this important and how can you approach it?
  • How to create and communicate a simple, credible and inspiring strategic narrative, which is vital to the alignment process.
  • How to move from “communicate” to “unite” and the critical partnerships you will need to forge along the way.
  • How to move beyond tactical actions to tangible outcomes.

Workshop facilitators

Zora Artis, GAICD, SCMP, FAMI, CPM, is the CEO and lead strategist of 3AC in Melbourne, Australia. 3AC is a strategic communication and creative agency focused on helping clients succeed whether its solving a business problem or leveraging opportunities. Artis has almost three decades of experience in business, marketing, communication, advertising and branding. She is a director on the IABC International Executive Board, a member of the IABC Audit & Risk Committee, a member of the Global Communication Certification Council, IABC APAC region board vice-chair, IABC Victoria Past President, IABC Gold Quill winner, a recipient of the IABC 2015 Chairman’s Award and a Gold Quill Awards Blue Ribbon Panel evaluator.

Wayne Aspland is a writer and communication consultant with more than 15 years’ experience in corporate communication (including head of function). He researches extensively and creates strategic narratives, thought leadership and communication strategies that help organizations think about, talk about and realize their future. This includes supporting a growing number of strategy execution, digital transformation, strategic alignment and employee and stakeholder engagement projects. Aspland has lectured in communication at Deakin University and is also an award-winning former member of the IABC Victoria Board. In 2017, he authored a comprehensive discussion paper, “The Robots are Coming,” which covered the impact of AI on corporate communication.

The fee for this workshop is US$250 members and US$300 for non-members. It is included with Sunday-only day-pass registration.

This is your chance to take your organization, and your career, to the next level.

Add this event to your registration today!

#IABC19 keynote Peter Sheahan to focus on accelerated growth, innovation and courageous leadership

Are you ready for four days of inspiring speakers, global insights and connecting with communication professionals from around the world? It’ll be here before you know it.

Over 50 breakout sessions for the 2019 IABC World Conference (#IABC19) have been announced, Soledad O’Brien will give the opening talk on the state of the media, Corporate Rebels will inspire us with their mission to make work fun, and Celeste Headlee will speak on the lost art of conversation. Plus, we’ll soon post additional breakout sessions.

We’re excited to tell you that we’ve added CEO and author Peter Sheahan as our closing keynote. On Wednesday, 12 June 2019, Peter will present the session “Accelerated growth: Building organizations and teams capable of sustaining growth through a culture of innovation, courageous leadership and aligned individuals.”

With staff in 24 cities, across nine countries, Peter knows firsthand the challenges of growing a business in the rapidly changing marketplace. He’s delivered more than 2,500 presentations to over 500,000 people in 20 different countries. Peter was named one of the 25 Most Influential Speakers in the World by the National Speakers Association and is the youngest person ever to be inducted into their industry Hall of Fame. He’s a great fit for the international audience that will attend #IABC19 as we focus on the conference theme of “Think Forward.”

Make an investment in your career that will pay dividends for years and join us for the can’t-miss conference for business communicators. Register now if you haven’t already, and we’ll see you 9–12 June at the 2019 IABC World Conference in Vancouver.

Learn more about Peter Sheahan.

Register today!

Discover the “lost art of conversation” with keynote Celeste Headlee at #IABC19

Celeste Headlee’s TEDx Talk, “10 ways to have a better conversation” has been viewed by millions. This June, you can hear her speak in person at the 2019 IABC World Conference in Vancouver as she puts the focus on a critical topic.

In a time when conversations are often minimized to a few words in a text message and lack of meaningful communication and dialogue abounds, Celeste sheds a much-needed light on the lost and essential art of conversation. Don’t miss her talk and everything else this year’s event has to offer.

Nearly 50 breakout sessions for the conference have been announced, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will give the opening talk on the state of the media and Corporate Rebels will inspire us with their mission to make work fun. Plus, we’ll soon announce one more keynote speaker and additional breakout sessions.

It’s the can’t-miss conference for business communicators and prices go up after 6 March! Make an investment in your career that will pay dividends for years. Register now if you haven’t already, and we’ll see you 9–12 June at the 2019 IABC World Conference in Vancouver.

Learn more about Celeste Headlee

This session is sponsored by: 


Join Celeste Headlee on a journey that explores human nature and understanding.


Register today!

Sparrow Modern Workplace – Marquee Level Sponsor

Revolutionize the way you engage employees and measure communication effectiveness with Sparrow Modern Workplace. A powerful three-part ecosystem, Sparrow is an award-winning intranet, mobile app, and rich analytics dashboard.

Created by DevFacto Technologies and headquartered in Alberta, Canada, Sparrow is empowering communication leaders across Canada and around the world to deliver excellence in strategic communications.

Learn more at, or contact us at 1-877-323-3832.

See these new sessions and plan your IABC World Conference schedule

Just announced! Nearly 50 breakout sessions for the 2019 IABC World Conference are now online. You can browse the list, search by keyword, sort by track, click on any session for details and start planning your personal conference schedule in advance.

Don’t forget to book your room early too, as the conference hotels tend to fill up quickly. There are discounted room blocks available at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Hyatt Regency Vancouver while supplies last. Breakout sessions and most meals will happen at the Hyatt and we’ll have special events and general sessions at the Fairmont. The hotels are directly across the street from each other, so it will be easy to go back and forth.

If you missed our previous keynote announcements, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will give the opening talk on the state of the media, Corporate Rebels continue their mission to make work fun and, in the coming weeks, we’ll announce two more keynote speakers and additional breakout sessions.

It’s the can’t-miss conference for business communicators and it’s less than five months away! Register now if you haven’t already and we’ll see you 9–12 June in Vancouver for the 2019 IABC World Conference.

Register today!

Book your discounted hotel room while supplies last.

#IABC19 Corporate Rebels: They’ll change what you think you know

The Corporate Rebels are on a mission to make work more fun. They quit their frustrating, corporate jobs and set out to visit the world’s most inspiring organizations, from well-known examples such as Spotify, Google and Patagonia to lesser-known companies that organize work in radically different ways.

Based in The Netherlands, the Corporate Rebels’ blog is read in more than 100 countries and they’ve been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and the BBC. They join a 2019 IABC World Conference keynote lineup that already features award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, with even more speaker and breakout session announcements on the way. Keep an eye on your inbox, the World Conference website and the #IABC19 hashtag.

Register now and join us for the can’t-miss conference of the year for business communicators. We’ll see you 9–12 June in Vancouver for the 2019 IABC World Conference!

Learn more about the Corporate Rebels

This session sponsored by:


Opening IABC World Conference keynote Soledad O’Brien to speak on the state of the media

When IABC signed with other organizations to support the freedom of the press, we showed our deep commitment for this global value. With award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien as our opening keynote speaker, we’ll carry that commitment forward at the 2019 IABC World Conference.

Fitting with this year’s theme, “Think Forward,” we’ll look at major changes affecting the communication landscape, including the freedom of the press and its relation to the global business community. We’ll consider how changes to technology and the media are affecting our ability to stay true to the ideals of ethics, truth and transparency.

Soledad O’Brien will draw from her experiences to discuss the challenges and transformations to the global media. Even as the media is under assault (e.g., disappearance of journalists, government distrust), the world is relying on it more than ever for the voices, facts and revelations it brings forward.

Make your career a priority and join us for the can’t-miss conference of the year for business communicators. Register now and take four days to learn, grow and discover at the 2019 IABC World Conference, happening 9–12 June in Vancouver.

Learn more about Soledad O’Brien.

This session is sponsored by: 




Register today!