President’s Blog: The World Comes to San Francisco

StaceyGordon

By Stacey King-Gordon

One of the amazing things about IABC is the “I” in our name — the international reach of our association. The International Association of Business Communicators represents professional communicators in 80 countries around the world. Many of us joined SF IABC to have a local group where we can network with other communication professionals and get a broader view into our local community. But with our membership also come connections to communicators around the world.

I’ve learned during my seven years as a member that the international component of IABC membership is not a superficial one. IABC membership is a key that opens a lot of doors globally. I discovered early on that there’s a uniquely authentic nature to our SF IABC membership — that people join our chapter because they genuinely want to share, learn and connect on a deeper level than you see with most networking groups or membership organizations. And I’ve learned that authenticity extends globally, to IABC chapters around the world.

A lot of our members use the online membership directory to reach out to IABC members in other countries before traveling overseas for business trips — and have found that those members are not only open to meeting with them, but typically welcome them with open arms. I personally have bonded with IABC members across the United States and in Vancouver, Toronto and Paris. In cities across the U.S. and around the world, especially where chapters and communication communities are smaller, IABC members are passionate about their membership and about sharing their perspectives with fellow communicators.

There’s something even more magical about getting a global congregation of IABC members into a room together. When you have people from Africa and the Caribbean, South Korea and the U.K., Brazil and Canada, and all over the U.S. sitting in a room together, thrilled to be representing their countries and to be bringing their point of view into the mix — that is when the real value of being part of a global association comes to life. I got to experience this for the first time at an IABC Leadership Institute meeting a few years ago.

That’s why we are all particularly excited about welcoming IABC World Conference to San Francisco this year, June 14 to 18 at the Marriott Marquis. World Conference is truly the world’s leading gathering of communicators, with speakers from six continents and attendees from all over the world. You’ll meet some of the brightest thinkers and communication leaders taking their organizations into the future. And as with any gathering of IABC members, you’re sure to make some deep connections and friends for life.

Interested in attending? IABC has put together a business case letter to use with your manager to make the case for funding your registration. IABC also offers a lot of flexible options for attending if you’re self-funding and on a budget.

There are also a lot of ways to get involved as a volunteer, from hosting Dine-Arounds to favorite local restaurants with out-of-town visitors, to working registration tables, helping with sessions, or guiding attendees at information desks. This year we’re even looking for Scavenger Hunt Guides. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact volunteer coordinator Kamna Narain at kamnanarain@yahoo.com.

This will personally be my first time at World Conference, and I feel lucky to have this incredible gathering of the world’s smartest communicators coming to our backyard. Let’s show them a great time in our fabulous city — while reaping the benefit of the “I” part of our IABC membership!

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