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IABC Kickoff Social:
Event Report (2021)

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               On September 24, 2021, I attended the IABC/BC Kick-off Social Event via Zoom.  The event was organized by Jose, the BC Chapter President, and other board members and volunteers.  It ran from 6pm to 7:30pm.

               The event began with an introduction from the Chapter President, Jose Vargas, and the event organizers, Sonia and Nicole.  They briefly summarized the Chapter’s vision and mission statements, as well as to give an overview of the Chapter’s initiatives in the coming year.  The chapter wants to host in-person events, depending on the government’s health advice; and to begin a new three-year plan.  The board needs to take short-term and adaptive approach because of the pandemic.

            The Chapter’s vision is to grow its membership and to strengthen the relationships with current and perspective members, other businesses, and higher-education institutions.  Its mission is to create local and global connections and to develop strategic communications through learning and networking opportunities, and for our members and volunteers to have fulfilling experiences with IABC while expanding their professional networks.  Its goals are to build on the IABC/BC community, and to offer personal development opportunities on topics related to digital and technology, as well as traditional leadership and communication skills.

               We then played an autumn-themed trivia game via an online platform to break the ice.  The questions included fun facts on topics such as Thanksgiving and autumn food origins.  Many members chimed in about their favourite autumn dishes and drinks.  Some even exchanged recipe ideas.

               Afterwards, we divided into three breakout rooms with eight or nine members in each room for s taking networking.  The room I was in included communications or marketing specialists from SFU, TK Oil & Shipping, UBC, and Douglas College.  The latter is also a IABC student member who’s taking the Social Media & Digital Marketing program at BCIT.

               I connected with Sage Testini and Maycko Macapugas.  I contacted Sage via Linkedin before the event to arrange for the profile interview, which we finalized on the week following the social event.  Our profile interview was warm and casual because of the connection made before and during the social event.

               I connected with Maycko to learn more about IABC’s student membership.  It was announced before the event concluded that the memberships fees would be 20% off between Sept. 20 and Nov. 12, and I wanted to take advantage of the discount.  Maycko and I talked virtually about the student membership on Oct. 25.  His goal is to promote IABC to post-secondary institutions in Greater Vancouver and to create events based on student members’ needs.

               Overall, the event was vibrant, and I made useful connections.  It was my first networking event in years, and I took greater advantage than I would have if it happened in-person.  However, I was told that other events, such as the special interest groups or topic-specific workshops, wouldn’t be as casual as the Kick-off Social.  I joined the right event as a non-member who was sampling on an IABC networking event.  I look forward to joining future events and discussion groups, and to possibly become an IABC member.

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