Day one of the IABC world conference kicked off with a presentation by digital expert, Shel Holtz. He addressed two key themes: real-time marketing and social visual communication.

Oreo is a prime example of getting real-time marketing right. Here’s what they did during a recent Super Bowl blackout (loadshedding is not a familiar term in the USA, South African readers, so this was a big deal): http://socialtimes.com/technology-oreo-super-bowl-tweet_b118151

Social visualisation is a topic we’re passionate about at icandi CQ – it’s a showcase of Creative Intelligence, and we’ll dedicate an entire article to this, post the conference.  It’s more than an infographics or data visualisation, it’s about compelling communication which is visually led – think Vine, think Instagram (including their new video), think Pinterest, but also think beyond social channels. We’re picture people. In the social age, it’s key to connecting with your audience.

Another key trend which raised its head is social local mobile communication. By 2014, this will change targeted real-time marketing. An example – you’re on your smart phone and click on your banking app to find your closest branch, an InApp advert appears, featuring a video clip of the branch manager from the closest bank to your location. An incredible opportunity for marketers – and my imagination is running wild about what this could mean for internal communication, especially in a decentralized organisation.

I focused on creativity in my previous post and this is a subject I’ll be doing a lot of talking about over the coming weeks. Hyperthinking, a discussion by Phillip Weiss in the new communication toolkit in the age of disruptive communication and it’s all about creativity. It’s about thinking differently, self-learning, making new connections and leveraging existing networks, making more mistakes and being brave enough to destroy and rebuild – when the old way / the way we always did things is no longer an option.

The highlight for the first day of the conference was a keynote discussion by Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman Worldwide (the largest PR firm in the world). The discussion centred around earning trust and the new role of communication.

Communicators now need to influence behaviour not just craft the message, they need to move from having a licence to operate, to using their licence to lead. Complying alone is not enough.

His top three tips? Sharpen your storytelling abilities – it’s about being great at showing, not just telling; rely on research based insight; and embrace a future which is not just about analytics but ideas too. His closing word – run to the future, it’s time to lead. Let’s run now. Are you ready to be a part of it?

Till tomorrow…

Reporting from the city that never sleeps.

Coming up: still absorbing the insights from day 2, but a high-level summary will follow. Topics include digital assassination, the art of leadership communication, communicating with millennials  engaging employees as brand ambassadors and how to unleash your creativity. Watch this space for more.