IABC CommuniCon a Success!
On October 25, 2018 more than 80 participants congregated at the Radisson Hotel to take in IABC Saskatoon’s first ever full-day communications conference, IABC CommuniCon. With a great lineup of speakers and panelists attendees heard presentations on everything from adopting truth and reconciliation into communications practices in the workplace, to using research methodologies to measure communications initiatives.
“Nearly a year and a half ago our board identified that there may be gaps in professional development opportunities for Saskatoon communicators,” says Andrea Lauder, Director of Operations for IABC Saskatoon, and conference chair for IABC CommuniCon. “We’re constantly thinking of ways we can deliver value to our IABC members and it just seemed like such a natural fit to offer a full-day conference focused completely on communications.”
The morning kicked off with a keynote presentation by Dr. Pat Makokis, a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation of Northern Alberta, and Indigenous Engagement Research Scholar with the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. In her engaging talk, Makokis shared valuable communications tools and insights into how to respect and engage with the Indigenous family members.
Concurrent sessions in the morning served up better ways to design communications campaigns using sound research, featuring Roland Pajares from NRG Research Group in Winnipeg, while Marielle Gauthier delved into conversational intelligence and how to improve conversations personally and professionally.
The afternoon of the conference kicked off with a case study look at the communications approach implemented by the Saskatchewan Health Authority in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
From the case study we went to an Indigenous Relations panel, teasing out some of the thoughts and ideas brought up by Dr. Makokis in the morning, and sharing insights into how business communicators can better engage with Indigenous communities. There was a wealth of wisdom and experience on the panel that featured local experts Betty Ann Adam, Ken Smith, Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, Gilles Dorval and moderator Priscilla Wolf.
Finally, the closing keynote of the day hovered around reputation management and how communicators can advise their leadership on the best ways to implement digital strategies during a crisis. The conference brought John Larsen, GM and Executive VP for Edelman Canada to share his insights and experiences from his years in communications as well as his time spent in the Canadian military.
Many thanks to those who attended, and to the generous sponsors who helped make the conference happen (Pro A/V, Creative Fire, SIGA, UNO Printing Company, and Varial Hosting). We look forward to seeing you all at the next IABC CommuniCon in two years time!
IABC CommuniCon Chair