Virtual World Conference FAQs

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, public safety and the health of our community, government and corporate travel bans, and the World Health Organization (WHO) pandemic ruling, IABC has made the decision to make the 2020 IABC World Conference a fully virtual event. See “IABC World Conference goes virtual” for more details on the virtual conference.

Register for the virtual IABC World Conference!

We know that you have many questions and our conference leadership is working through many issues as we formulate an event that will deliver an outstanding virtual conference experience. 

Please use this page to find answers to your immediate questions. We’ll continue updating this page as we know more.

Why did you decide to have a virtual conference?

Since we’re not able to move ahead with an in-person event in June and because it’s more important than ever for communication professionals to connect and prepare for the future, we decided to transition to a fully virtual format in order to protect the health, safety and well-being of our attendees.

Will the dates of the conference stay the same?

Yes, we’re looking to deliver the virtual conference during the same timeframe as the in-person event, which is 14-17 June. However, you can expect to see some changes to the schedule to ensure that the format of our conference works with a virtual experience.

Can you describe what you mean by a virtual 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!

What is the cost of the virtual event?

The cost of the virtual event is $675 for members and $875 for non-members. This is less than 50% off the final registration price of the in-person event. Also, you will have 12-month access to all of the sessions for year-round professional development value.

What are my options if I’m currently registered to attend the conference?

Below are details on how your current registration will be applied. You’ll find your in-person registration details in your original confirmation e-mail.

    • Full registration — You will receive the virtual event AND a full conference registration credit for the 2021 World Conference in New York, which includes a ticket for the Excellence Gala.
    • Standard registration — You will receive the virtual event AND a standard registration for the 2021 World Conference in New York.
    • Strategic Adviser Forum — The current Strategic Adviser Forum is included in the cost of the virtual event, AND you will receive a credit to the Strategic Adviser Forum at the 2021 World Conference in New York.
    • Day-pass — We will connect with you individually on your options.
    • Individually purchased Excellence and Welcome Reception tickets — We will provide you with a refund.

And if you prefer not to take advantage of these offerings, we can provide you with a refund based on this cancellation/refund policy. Please note that complimentary registrations are not refundable.

If I booked my hotel through the official housing block with the Hyatt Regency Chicago, how do I cancel my reservation?

Please call the hotel directly at +1 312.565.1234 (U.S. and Canada) to cancel your reservation. There should not be any penalty if you booked your room through the official housing block. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Will IABC be reimbursing flight cancellation fees?

IABC is not able to offer reimbursements for costs related to travel to and from Chicago. Please contact your specific airline carrier to ask about their change/cancellation policy.

I  am a speaker for the World Conference. How will this affect me?

We are in touch with speakers with a variety of options and details on participation in the virtual event. Our aim is to have a smooth and seamless transition for our speakers.

I am a sponsor or exhibitor for the World Conference. What changes can I expect?

The great news is that the World Conference will have the ability to virtually feature and include sponsors and exhibitors in the event. We will work in partnership with each sponsor and exhibitor to shape an experience that delivers the same or greater value as you would have at the live event. Please contact Pamela Strother, CAE, Sponsorships & Advertising Manager, at for more information.

I am a Gold Quill Award winner. How will I get my award if there isn’t an Excellence Gala?  

Award trophies will be shipped directly to winners using the address provided in your original entry in the coming weeks. Additional information will be sent to award winners soon.

If there isn’t an Excellence Gala, how will Gold Quill Award winners be recognized?  

Gold Quill winners will still be recognized. We are working on plans for award-winner recognition that will work in a virtual format. More information will be shared as soon as plans are confirmed.

Will there be an in-person World Conference in 2021?

Yes, we are still planning to hold an in-person event in 2021. We’ll share more details on that soon.

For registration questions, contact by e-mail or +1 312.673.4841 by phone. For other questions, contact