Conference Highlights

10 things you’ll learn at the World Conference—and that’s just a start!


The IABC World Conference program is launching with some of the most innovative thinkers and stellar presenters in the communication profession. Here’s the first in a series of previews on what you can expect to learn.

1. Apply inside knowledge from top companies

Get inside knowledge and best practices from top organizations like Microsoft, Dow Chemical, Walmart, Chevron, Bayer HealthCare, Hilton Worldwide, Lockheed Martin, Expedia, LinkedIn and many more.

2. Prepare for the next disruptive technologies

Get the heads up on the next disruptive technologies coming your way—and how they will impact everything you do.

3. Drive strategic communication across your organization

Find out what’s really strategic about strategic communication—learn to create and coordinate the communication function across your entire organization.

4. Mobilize employee ambassadors

Connect the dots on how to mobilize a successful employee ambassador program—with the right research, buy-in and collaboration you need to make it happen.

5. Build corporate partnerships

Build corporate partnerships and CSR programs that persuade the C-suite decision makers that your strategy has the power for influence and success.

6. Focus employees on global strategies

Create cross-cultural communications that focus employees on overarching global strategies and objectives.

7. Engage employees in the digital age

Engage your employees in the digital age by building an ecosystem around your enterprise social network.

8. Steer your way through a crisis

Play out real-life scenarios that will teach you how to steer your way through and out of a crisis.

9. Overcome barriers to emerge as a thought leader

Discover best practices for building a great content strategy—and how to overcome internal barriers to emerge as a true thought leader.

10. Stretch the way you think

Tap into your inner creativity by learning to stretch the way you think.

Sally Hogshead: How the world sees you—from first impressions to lasting value

Sally Hogshead head shot green dress low res
When you learn how to fascinate, you become more memorable and valued. When organizations learn to fascinate, their products become more desirable, their customers turn into advocates, and their best employees never want to leave. Why are you captivated by some people, but not others? How do certain leaders convince you to change your opinion? What will distinguish your communications from others’ and help you stand out in a massively distracted world?

From the moment she steps onstage, Sally Hogshead captivates you. A member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, Sally has quickly gained a reputation for blending proprietary research with sharp insight and wit. She takes audiences on a journey inside the human brain, exploring communication, performance and the future of personality branding. Sally’s national study on the science of fascination led her to develop The Fascination Advantage assessment and report. This is the first science-based assessment to measure how an individual is most likely to add value. Unlike other tests, such as StrengthsFinder or Myers-Briggs, this assessment doesn’t measure how you see the world. This measures how the world sees you.

By attending this session, you’ll learn how to reverse the usual model of communication, find out how to stop focusing on “how you see the world” and discover how to start applying your advantages based on “how the world sees you.” We live in a distracted world. The average attention span is just 9 seconds. Yet if we only have 9 seconds to communicate value, how do we break through? Audiences will either be immediately engrossed by your message, or lose interest entirely. To stop the distraction, and engage listeners, we must create moments of intense focus. We must use our personality advantages to connect and communicate. When we do, we generate extraordinary results. This session will explore the science of personal branding, based on original research with hundreds of thousands of people.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify your personality’s top advantage.
  • Make stronger first impressions.
  • More quickly earn respect and trust.
  • Increase value among co-workers.

This is a powerful, funny, high-energy presentation, filled with interaction. Participants discover their own unique advantages to be heard and remembered.

Learn about how the world sees you.

Join Sally Hogshead at the IABC World Conference. Register today.

Bill McDermott: Business maverick to global leader

Bill McDermott_SAPIABC World Conference keynote speaker, Bill McDermott, is the CEO of business software market leader SAP and the best-selling author of Winners Dream: a journey from corner store to corner office. Bill’s life and career began in Amityville, New York, a gritty middle-class community on Long Island.

With inspiration from his parents, Bill became a small business owner at age 16, an experience that would shape his dynamic approach to leading people and building successful businesses. Now CEO of SAP, the world’s largest business software company, Bill is a respected global leader, community advocate, mentor and innovator. Bill also serves on the Boards of Directors of two innovative companies, performance apparel pioneer Under Armour and engineering software maker Ansys, Inc. He began his long career in business leadership at Xerox. He spent 17 years at the company and rose to become its youngest corporate officer and division president. Following stints at Gartner Inc. and Siebel Systems, Bill joined SAP in 2002 and began a record run that would see SAP expand its leadership position in business software. Today, with breakthrough innovations like SAP HANA, Bill is leading SAP on a new mission to help the world, “Run Simple.” Bill has received countless awards and recognition throughout his career and is routinely one of the highest-rated CEOs on the website with approval ratings over 90%.

Aaron Dignan: Culture, at the intersection of people and technology

screen-shot-2013-07-13-at-105852-amCulture is changing rapidly at the intersection of people and technology. Author, digital strategist and IABC World Conference keynote speaker, Aaron Dignan, translates disruptive innovations at the fringe of the digital space (and most recently the world of gaming) into meaningful lessons for the mainstream.

Aaron Dignan dressed up like a super hero for 180 straight days of the first grade, which marked the beginning of his life as an iconoclast, observer, theorist, and performer. Now, as a founding partner of the digital strategy firm Undercurrent based in New York, he advises global brands and complex organizations like GE, PepsiCo, Ford, and Disney on their future in an increasingly technophilic world. Dignan solves problems across a wide range of industries using a model of behavior that promotes: habitual, emergent, iterative, collaborative, bespoke, and multifaceted interactions. He believes that by tapping into the ever-present digital layer, complex organizations can improve almost every process including marketing, human resources, decision-making, and future planning. Most recently, he has recognized the immeasurable value of games as engines of motivation capable of influencing behavior. Dignan now believes that a new breed of behavioral games has the power to transform our most basic activities at work, school, and home. Dignan is the author of Game Frame: Using Games as a Strategy for Success.

From the Program Advisory Chair

We know that you have many professional opportunities available to you. Let me tell you why this is the one that will make the biggest difference in your career. This year’s theme, “Changing the Landscape: Informing the future,” is more than a notion to us; it’s a promise. This event will have you taking in the latest ideas from some of the most innovative thinkers and inspiring communication leaders of our time.

You’ll experience sessions that inspire, stimulate and arm you with the knowledge and skills you need to take your organization, and your career, to the next level. Our speakers will offer creative solutions that you can put to work now and solid ideas to support you far into the future. Outstanding case studies and eye-opening best practices will help you understand what it takes to go from good to great.

Giving you only the best

We aim to bring you only the best speakers with the most valuable content. Here’s how we do that. A group of 27 subject matter experts from around the world make up the program advisory committee. These dedicated volunteers review more than 200 presentation proposals, focusing on relevance, content, experience and global perspective. They follow a selection process that adheres to IABC’s Code of Ethics and integrates four career paths and the Global Standard for the communication profession.

Great learning—and a lot more

This conference offers great learning opportunities, but that’s not all. You’ll have many chances to meet colleagues from around the world, share insights and create supportive connections that could last a lifetime. And since the best networking happens when you’re enjoying yourself, events like the Welcome Reception, Foundation Luncheon and the stunning Gold Quill Awards Gala will help to top off your remarkable experience.

What should you expect from #WC2015?

I look forward to meeting you in person at the IABC World Conference!

Preston Lewis
2015 IABC World Conference Program Advisory Chair