Thinking Forward at IABC World Conference 2019

Right after my first ever DHSI, I flew from Victoria to Vancouver to attend the IABC World Conference 2019 – another set of firsts for me with my first international conference and first time in Vancouver.

Meghan met me in Vancouver and we took a cab to our hotel, checked in, and went to grab some lunch before the opening reception. During lunch, there was a bit of a commotion – two men came out of the restaurant and appeared to be struggling with each other. As it turned out, one of the men had tried to assault a young woman who was entering the washroom. The other man was holding the assailant until the police came. As they made their way out onto the patio, other men who were having lunch came over to help and they all held the man until the police came and arrested him. It was quite the start to the trip, to say the least.

We walked over to Granville Island to see if we could grab some food for the week.

We had a little bit of free time on Sunday, so Meghan and I rented bikes and rode around Stanley Park.

The opening reception featured an incredible keynote by Soledad O’Brien. Her keynote focused on how communicators can create trust and make a difference with storytelling. Takeaways include just two words: trust and video.

Following the opening keynote was the opening reception – complete with a spectacular view!

Day two opened with a keynote by Celeste Headlee, who talked about how we can bridge gaps and rediscover meaningful communication through the lost art of conversation. We attended breakout sessions on The AI Playbook for Communication Professionals, Diversity and Inclusion Deconstructed for Communicators, and Communicating YOU: Create a Social Media Strategy for your Career. With concrete examples, in-session exercises, and a playbook to take home with you, the third session was by far my favourite of the day!

Day three started with a keynote from The Corporate Rebels, who are on a mission to make work fun (by changing the way we work). Meghan and I split up to attend different sessions this day. I joined the sessions on How to get 100,000 employees to share a single, simple message and What can communicators learn from improv to survive and thrive in a divisive world?

The Excellence Awards Gala were that evening. We started the evening by accepting our awards on stage and then heading to the celebratory dinner. It was an evening to remember!

The next day, I attended sessions on Making an impact beyond communication and The ultimate strategy: identifying, connecting and mobilizing internal influencers. The final day ended with a closing keynote by Peter Sheahan on leading transformation.

After Peter’s keynote, we had time to grab some sushi for lunch before heading to the airport to fly back home.

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