2016 year in review at IABC NSW Communications / Membership

IABC NSW had a big year in 2016. Board member Kieran McCann provides a recap of the year that was and a bunch of reasons why you should consider IABC membership and join ‘our party’ for 2017.

A snapshot of 2016:

  • 110 members
  • 11 unique events
  • Over 320 attendees
  • 1 Global conference where two of our board members represented Australia
  • 17 Gold Quill awards for Australia
  • 4,050 website users with over 9,000 page views
  • 1 loud shirt day celebration
  • 1 International Women’s Day 2016: Pledge for Parity
  • 20 new article posts
  • A new IABC APAC webinar series
  • A dedicated comms and buddy system
  • A bundle of LinkedIn posts, tweets, emails and newsletters

2016: Year in review

2016 was an incredibly exciting and dynamic year for IABC NSW, here’s what you might have missed.

We started the year with our annual meet and great with networking drinks hosted at the Opera Bar, this was a chance for new and existing members plus our community to come together to meet make connections and help direct us on what sort of events the community would like to see throughout the year.

Our first event was hosted at Westpac. Three experts discussed a communicator’s role in agile working and what role they’d play in the future work environment. The panel discussed the meaning of agile working and coworking spaces, emphasising that it means shifting the mentality of work towards being something you do and achieve not about being a place you go.

In March we hosted a select group of top communicators who were ready to answer questions on strategy, leadership, employee engagement, crisis and change communications. It was a highly interactive event with a unique set up; each attendee could choose 3 out of the 5 speakers/topics and rotated tables every 15 minutes as part of the Q and A session. Our member Amy Gibbs, attending her first IABC event, shared her insights from the session.

In April and May members and guests had the opportunity to network and share practical insights over drinks at the Opera Bar and after the Corporate Affairs Summit, many members took up the opportunity of discounted tickets via their IABC NSW membership for the summit.

June was hosted at PwC. The event was about Utilising Behavioural Insights; Communication that delivers results. 3 speakers had chat room discussions with each group and showcased that by adding the ideas behind nudging or behavioural insights into communication armouries we have principles that help drive change, that make budgets work harder and that help cut through the noise. The three expert panelists presented how they have been applying Behavioural insights to develop communications that have delivered significant results for them, their organisations and the clients they work for.

Two of our board members, our President Mark Woodrow and Andrew Cooper, had their presentations successfully accepted for the IABC world conference. They flew to New Orleans and in July were gracious enough to return home and share their presentation and experience of the conference. They shared their experiences in the theory and practical elements of achieving a successful social enterprise. Their presentation focused on using a number of large organisations as case studies to explore different enterprise social network journeys as a way to better communicate, collaborate and innovate.

In August the chapter headed South to Caringbah to hear two unique case studies, shared by leading heads of communication, the speakers unpacked how they have helped navigate their organisations through business critical challenges and crises.

For more than 40 years, IABC’s Gold Quill Awards have recognized and awarded excellence in strategic communication worldwide. Gold Quill honours the dedication, innovation and passion of communicators on a global scale. Our board member Ben Wyld reflected on what winning a gold quill meant for him and why as communicators, we should all go for gold.

So in September IABC NSW presented the communication teams from Foxtel and QBE who rose to the challenge and have been recognised and rewarded with a Gold Quill award in 2016. The teams took guests through their award winning projects to give you a flavour of their ideas, challenges and what it takes to win a Gold Quill. An overview of the event was captured in our post, All that glitters is gold.

For our marquee event of the year we were honoured to host ‘an evening with David Morrison’ at the beautiful army barracks in Paddington. This was an exclusive experience to hear an influential Australian speak about leading in a crisis, how communicators can support their leaders to be great, what it means for communicators to have a seat at the executive table and how do communicators support the increased focus on gender equity and diversity. Our member Ben Findlay shared his views and wrote this post about what a solider teach us about communicating.

And in December, we finished the year at an event we were hosted by Commtract at Tank Stream Labs. Members, guests and lots of board alumni came together to celebrate the year and hear from Commtract’s Luke Achterstraat about how the demand for fast and flexible talent, emergence of the gig economy and demand for professional development inspired their beginnings.

This is just a flavour of the events for the year which also included: webinars, a loud shirt day to raise funds for the Shepherd centre and a celebration of International Women’s Day – pledge for parity where 3 prominent members from IABC NSW and ACT community shared their views on the theme:

International Women’s Day 2016: Pledge for Parity


A huge thank you to all our members and guests for all your support and making 2016 a very special year. A special thanks goes to all our speakers, supporters, corporates, hosts and IABC national, international and regional chapter colleagues. A massive thank you to Jonathan Champ for his expert facilitation on a number of sessions.

We’re looking forward to making 2017 another dynamic year for the IABC NSW chapter, with plenty of remaining board members and an injection of new board members volunteering their time committed to bringing you value for your membership, and supporting communication professionals with innovative thinking, shared best practices, in-depth learning and career guidance.

Not a member? Make 2017 the year of communication membership. Join our party and improve your organisational effectiveness through strategic communication.