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IABC World Conference 2012 gets professional communicators thinking and moving toward the future

July 20, 2012


Technology, communications and our ever-growing need for credible content were top of mind with business communicators during the International Association of Business Communicator’s (IABC) 2012 Annual Conference.  Everywhere you looked people were blogging and swapping stories and sound bites via social media, and sharing best practices from the sessions they attended during this week-long conference at the Sheraton Towers in Chicago during the final week of June.


The future of communications was a focal point for presenters and attenders alike, with recent and upcoming trends being at the center of many of the Conference Sessions.   Sessions like “The end of corporate communication (as we know it)” with Mark Schumann (Connecticut, USA) focused  on how the profession is changing and may be heading down an entirely new path. Schumann’s session highlighted recent trends in stakeholder engagement, leadership behavior and reliance on technology as fundamental changes in the reasons our profession exists and questioned what we can contribute, and how we measure and articulate our results.


“Coming soon to a job description near you: Content curation,” Presented by Donna Papacosta (Ontario, Canada)” talked about the 70/30 rule, where only 30% of your content should be branded, and the idea that you should seek out and own communities large and small. It can pay to be seen as an industry leader among niche markets. Suzanne Salvo’s (Italy) “New Age Show and Tell: Take off your word blinders and become a communication brand visionary” provided a glimpse into the realm of visuals in communication and how to harness the brain’s natural instinct for visual learning.


Digital communications were also a theme during Donald Patrick Lim, Ph.D. ‘s (Philippines),  session.  Lim explained that a brand’s reputation can be measured by looking at its digital assets, digital liabilities, digital reputation and digital footprint. Technology and social media expert Shel Holtz (California, USA) spoke on communicating via mobile devices, a rapidly developing phenomenon in the realm of communications. As smart phones gain greater market share, mobile communications is becoming an everyday practice and changing the way we communicate.


Keynote speakers this year included Kevin Carroll, a successful author who inspired the audience to have passion for their work and to think about the way we use the 86,400 seconds that we have each day. Environmentalist Robert F Kennedy Jr. spoke passionately about the environmental issues that the world is facing now and how our actions impact the future. An outstanding speaker, Kennedy engaged the audience with examples from his own work that can change the way business is done today.


Attended by close to 1,400 business communication professionals from around the world, the IABC 2012 World Conference was second only in size to the 2008 Conference held in New York City.  And IABC is excited to be heading to New York again, in 2013.


The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a global network of communication professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication. Established in 1970, IABC serves almost 15,000 members in more than 70 countries.


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