As the first real signs of serious Melbourne winter began to settle in, it was an absolute treat to relocate myself to New Orleans for a crazy week of 30+ degrees and 100% humidity. It’s an interesting city with some intriguing history and more fabulous stories tellers per square kilometre than anywhere else I have ever been.
Add to this already sightly crazy town around 1,200 communications professionals from around the world and the result is #IABC16. This is the second time I have been lucky enough to experience an IABC World Conference and it didn’t disappoint. I’ll admit, I was slightly nervous about how many people I would (or wouldn’t) know and who I would hang out with; but I shouldn’t have worried for a second.
World Conference is the living, breathing manifestation of our global community and network. I had been in town for less than an hour and was already siting in a wine bar with IABC friends from Malaysia, India, New Zealand, the US and Australia. For the next five days I spent all my time getting to know people I had only met via email and twitter handles, and it was fabulous.
While I spent more time on twitter during the conference than I have in the last two years – it was the best way to stay up to date with the best sessions and speakers – it was also an excellent reminder about the power of face-to-face communications, and a prompt that we need to put our phones away and spend a little more time chatting over a cup of coffee to really connect.
I was blown away by the high regard in which our chapter is held across the world, and that is due to all of the individuals who have gone before us. It’s thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone who has contributed over many years that we can enjoy our strong chapter status. It was so great having the opportunity to share some of our experiences and ideas, and provide some advice to other chapters. I hope I was able to help them out in some small way. I am confident we have strengthened our links, particularly with our APAC friends, even further.
But without doubt the biggest highlight was the Gold Quills Gala. The night belonged the APAC region with winners from Victoria featuring heavily, including Christine Elmer from Cabrini Health, and Paul Edwards and Amanda Gome taking out global awards. Monika Lancucki did an outstanding job as the Chair of the Gold Quills and I am pretty sure I took home the award for “most proud President”. I would encourage you to take a look at nice wrap up of the night here.
The winter solstice this week marks the turning point in our year, the chance to reflect on where we are at and look towards what we want to achieve in the coming months. I would highly recommend you begin this process in the excellent company of your IABC friends and colleagues.
And if you want to know more about the conference, IABC globally, or have ideas about how we can make our great chapter even stronger, hit me up for a coffee!