Words that almost no one likes to hear – may we talk? The associated feeling is one of inadequacy, misstep or fault. Cringe.

But isn’t that what we ultimately crave most? To talk, to connect, to establish community and to ultimately build deeper relationships?

It’s our role as communications, marketing and PR professionals to open doors, build bridges and grease the wheels between people as a way to advance business success.

But how can we do it better? I bet I’m not the only one constantly obsessing about that.

CONVERGENCE Summit 2019 is designed for veterans in our field who are on the leading edge, searching for answers to emerging business challenges.

Our daylong event starts with an improvisation session designed to foster a mindset of discovery. A Twin Cities phenomenon, Brave New Workshop, will stretch our comfort zones and prepare us to better thrive in a rapidly changing business environment.

Our lunch keynote will examine how to build trust within and outside of our organizations, as well as how consumers are increasingly making buying decisions based on a brand’s principles and values. Kevin Cook, COO of Edelman Chicago, will address these evolving issues of trust and earned brand via findings from international research.

A “corporate social responsibility” panel discussion, sponsored by Business Wire, will follow the keynote presentation to expand on the issues of trust and earned brand. We will assess how companies make decisions about their brands. We will also talk about the risks and rewards of a brand living by its values, operating with purpose and making the leap into activism.

Breakout sessions before and after our lunch keynote and panel will delve into topics at the forefront of our industry – combining both academic insights with practical application. Sessions will span: how to influence organizational decision making, how bias impacts diversity and inclusion, visual storytelling, creativity, libel proofing in the #metoo era, ethics, artificial intelligence, and internal crisis communication.

Victoria Dew, Founder of Dewpoint Communications and incoming Chair of IABC, will cap the formal presentations with an inspiring message about how putting people first benefits business.

We will continue the conversation, connect as a community and unwind at our closing networking reception, sponsored by our Neuger Communications Group. We’ll take this opportunity to put corporate social responsibility into action by assembling toiletry kits for Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center, Minnesota’s largest homeless adult outreach facility.

In this day and age where opinions and beliefs stand tall and business is evolving at the speed of light, we know that making meaningful connections and advancing our leadership and communications skills can make all the difference. Won’t you join us?

Register for CONVERGENCE Summit 2019. Early bird pricing extended through March 8!

Ann Krzmarzick, IABC Convergence Summit Chair