Paul Omodt

I vividly remember the very first time I saw a TV commercial for Reese’s peanut butter cups. As I watched and eagerly anticipated what would happen when the two wonderfully awesome things (chocolate and peanut butter) combined, I couldn’t wait to savor the taste of a Reese’s. It’s been my go-to candy fix ever since. 

Fast forward many, many years later, I recall the first time I heard the concept of IABC Minnesota’s Convergence conference – mixing two wonderfully awesome things – the practical power of IABC’s members and the University of Minnesota’s research acumen – and I couldn’t wait to savor a conference with so much promise and possibility. It’s been my go-to local conference ever since. 

Convergence is IABC Minnesota’s signature event – and for good reason. Convergence brings together the best local communication practitioners who to share their insights into how to face today’s toughest communication challenges. In the past few years, I’ve learned from local pros who have shown how to build incredible brands, communicate better with video, and move messages effectively with Instagram memes can effectively move messages. Similarly, I have learned from U of M researchers new ways to understand social media algorithms and the social constructs of advertisements. Through the course of the day-long Convergence, I am alternatively enlightened, enthused, and empowered to become a better communicator. 

This year’s line-up features new research from the U on communicating COVID-19 concepts most effectively, understanding social media patterns at the State Fair, and recognizing and responding to changing political rhetoric is changing. We’ll also learn the latest trends in media coverage patterns, how the Great Resignation is changing our profession and the latest findings from Edelman’s annual survey on trust. There are sessions sure to meet the needs of communicators of all skill levels and backgrounds. 

Bringing the day to a strong finish, the closing keynote features Amelia Reigstad &and Sara Krischer, who will converge to present “‘Amplify Your Communication through Confidence, Empowerment, and Authenticity.” If you don’t know these two communicators, they are among the best local speakers and coaches on presentation skills and empowerment. Seriously, what could be better than the combination of those two incredibly powerful speakers? 

If you want to grow your communication skills and knowledge (not to mention network with other communicators), join me on March 17. I am sure you will find the convergence of the U’s researchers and local communicators is will be time well spent.