Getting my communications groove on in the Big Easy

Getting my communications groove on in the Big Easy

by Kirha Quick, V.P. of Member Outreach and Engagement

I would have to say that 2016 was a big year for me. I graduated from college with a B.A. in Communication Studies, advanced my career in Corporate Communications, and attended my first IABC World Conference!

The 2016 World Conference in the Big Easy was not just about the amazing jazz music! The Conference exposed me to a variety of opportunities to create and connect, and offered sessions to awaken even the most ambivalent communications professional. And all of this amongst the kaleidoscope of color, culture, and entertainment that is New Orleans, Louisiana.

Helen Marriage, Director of Artichoke, London, U.K.

One speaker’s work I connected with was Helen Marriage of London’s Artichoke.  Ms. Marriage kicked off the conference in high style, presenting Artichoke’s philosophy. Omitting theaters and art galleries, Artichoke creates extraordinary, large-scale events in public spaces and the country side by combining art with ideas from some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, educators, architects and entrepreneurs. Artichoke creates adventures that capture the human spirit and have an impact on viewers at the emotional level, inspiring awareness, peace and joy.

True to form, directly after Ms. Marriage’s key note presentation, a marching band (complete with street performers) nudged Conference attendees onto the streets of the French Quarter, transforming the opening of the 2016 IABC World Conference into a Mardi Gras style parade. Becoming part of a marching band parade in New Orleans was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience! It was also a direct demonstration of how communication professionals can incorporate out-of-the-box techniques that inspire joy, forward progress, and cultivate a sense of togetherness in our business objectives.

Seth Mattison, Trend Spotter, Workforce Strategist, Management Renegade, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.

Internationally renowned expert on emerging trends in business, Seth Mattison, delivered an electrifying presentation on change, innovation and authenticity. Mr. Mattison’s presentation struck a major chord with me on so many levels—particularly on “youth-ification” and authenticity. Today’s youth are indicators of what is to come—how they operate is changing the traditional business structure from a hierarchy into a flat network, solely based on how they use and consume information. By the fundamentals of mutual exchange and unrestricted access to information, they are a physical representation of a network. The business shift from “Command and Control” to “Connect and Collaborate” is almost palpable.

The IABC 2016 World Conference was a game changer for me—the biggest takeaways being:

  • have no fear,
  • break up the routine,
  • make disruptions have an impact,
  • be yourself, and
  • knock ‘em dead.

Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis said, “Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.” The IABC 2016 World Conference did not change my reality, it just helped me better use my eyes to see the possibilities within my reality.

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