Get Inspiration and Ideas for 2014 by Attending an ABC Conference

Greetings in the new year, bcomm teachers! May it be a good one for all of us and our students.

As you plan to face the challenge of teaching bcomm effectively this year, don’t forget to include a trip to one of the Association for Business Communication’s conferences. It will be well worth the effort (ask anybody who’s ever attended one)—and compared to other organizations, ABC has very reasonable conference registration fees.

But first, a note about registering: Non-ABC members are enthusiastically encouraged to attend any of these meetings, but for the domestic ones, all registrants need to have created an account on the ABC website. (Just choose “non-member” from the list of dropdown options in the “Create an account” area; no fee is required.) But consider joining! Members not only get a break on conference registration fees but also have free access to the International Journal of Business Communication, Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, and other benefits. Best of all, they belong to a stimulating community of professionals who understand and support each other’s work

So here’s what coming up in the U.S. in 2014:

Combined ABC-Southwest/FBD Conference, March 12-14, Sheraton Downtown, Dallas. This annual regional ABC conference is a “twofer”: It’s held in conjunction with the annual meeting of Federated Business Disciplines. In addition to offering presentations on all facets of business communication, the conference has sessions and workshops in nine other business areas, as well as on topics related to “health care administration, strategic management, environmental management, public administration, legal studies, human resource management, information systems, administration and management, political science, and public and private management” (FBD website).

Technology Trends in Teaching & Communication Conference, March 27-29, Embassy Suites, Orlando-Lake Buena Vista South. Hosted by ABC-Southeast, this conference will enable you to share “ideas and best practices related to technology trends, such as (but not limited to) instructional technology, digital communication, social media, global communication technologies, legal and ethical issues related to technology, and technology’s impact on crisis communication” (registration will open soon on the ABC website).

ABC-Midwest Conference, April 3-4, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis (attendees receive a price break at nearby hotels).With the theme “Into the Wilds of Business: Understanding Organizational Voices and Practices,” this conference will offer presentations on all facets of business communication but have a special emphasis on “niches that are not formally part of the organization’s communication, the adoption of social media for corporate intranets, media to speak with internal and external audiences, and cultures that evolve around formal and informal channels of communication” (registration will open soon on the ABC website).

The 79th Annual  International Conference, October 22-25, Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, PhiladelphiaThe major meeting of the Association, this conference will feature seven concurrent sessions, poster sessions, workshops, and roundtables on all topics related to bcomm. It also includes extensive publisher exhibits, complimentary breakfasts and receptions, plenary addresses, and such yearly favorites as the “My Favorite Assignment” session. The annual conference is also the most international of ABC’s meetings; over 20 countries were represented at the 2013 conference. Registration will open soon.

And internationally, . . .

ABC International Symposium on the Ins and Outs of Professional Discourse Research, March 6 – 7, Modena, Italy. This conference, hosted by ABC Europe, is a two-day symposium focusing on business discourse research. Day 1 will focus on the “ins”: gaining access to research sites and collecting data; day 2 will focus on “outs”: turning data into publications and other media for sharing results. Registration is open on the conference’s website.

The 13th ABC Asia-Pacific Conference, March 27 – 29, Shanghai, China. Hosted by the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, this conference will bring together bcomm teachers and scholars from all over Asia and beyond. Topics include the art of business communication and Daoism, changing concepts of business communication in the 21st Century, intercultural issues in multinational companies, and many more relating to international business communication (registration will open soon).

Do You Deserve to Go?

Absolutely. Business communication is at least as complex and dynamic as any other field in business—or English or communication, for that matter.  It requires ongoing professional development. Make a good argument to your chair or dean, get some travel money, and get yourself to an ABC meeting this year!

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