2023 World Conference Recap from Canada West

September 4, 2023

This year, IABC’s World Conference was held in Toronto. While as Canadians we may be biased that any World Conference in Canada is fantastic, we have heard from many attendees that it was a smashing success. For those that couldn’t attend this year, some of our conference attendees that represent the Canada West region share their highlights and takeaways from the conference this year.

Scott Parker – President, IABC BC

World Conference in Toronto was simply incredible. I loved the diverse range of interesting and thought-provoking sessions, led by industry experts and thought leaders, which delved into cutting-edge communication strategies, emerging trends, and innovative approaches to storytelling, leaving me inspired and equipped with new ideas to push the boundaries of my work. I also thoroughly enjoyed connecting with fellow members and chapter leaders from around the world, giving me great takeaways for future chapter collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The conference not only provided valuable insights and connections but also offered a memorable experience filled with camaraderie, excitement, and a sense of belonging within the global professional communication community. Looking forward to next year in Chicago!

Richard Kies – President, IABC Canada West

AI was a hot topic at many sessions. The question, will AI replace communicators? Was answered by one speaker as no, but communicators that don’t learn how to use AI as a tool will be replaced by those who do. The dangers of disinformation was also a key takeway -communicators have the power, and responsibility, to combat disinformation. Lastly, digital communication, social media and multi-channel communication are vital, but all still require the basics of good comms, especially good storytelling.

Elizabeth Bunney – Past President, IABC Edmonton

For me, IABC’s World Conference has been my favourite go-to Professional Development event
each year. I have attended 6 in total – 4 in person and 2 virtual- and each time, I am reminded of
the power of communications and meaningful connection. This year, attending as a Chapter President was a completely different experience for me. I have usually been the junior world conference attendee in the group and have looked to others for guidance on where to go and what to attend.

Andrea Lauder – Past President, IABC Saskatoon

Communications Can Deepen. Not only the theme for #IABC23 but the tone for this past week itself. This was my first in-person IABC World Conference after attending two virtual conferences (2020 & 2021) and I can attest to the power of communications that gathered in Toronto. From thought-provoking sessions on inclusivity, diversity and equity (like you mean it!), the power and responsibility of being a communicator in the age of disinformation, the role AI will continue to play in communications, and the role we play to ensure that bias doesn’t enter into the ChatGPT realm, there was plenty of information to dig into, and to bring home.

I dove into this experience and made so many wonderful new friends and connected with a lot of communicators that I had only met on Zoom (looking at you Wendy L. Snyder, NASM CPT, CNC)! Thank you to my fellow Canada Party planning colleagues Kristin McVeighSharmin OanaliKaleigh Maclaren, CMP, and Jennifer Wah for steering us all. Big special thank you to Staffbase for sponsoring the event and IABC Canada East Region and IABC Canada West Region for co-hosting.

I have left Toronto feeling invigorated for communications again. Seeing and hearing from so many professionals doing amazing work in their fields, around the world makes me feel humbled and proud to be a part of such a wonderful profession. I can’t wait for next year’s conference!

If you missed out or are wanting to get in on another great conference coming up, check out Canada West’s Conference taking place in Kelowna on October 22-24, 2023!