Something is new on the IABC event menu this year

IABC Orange County has an event coming up that you’re not going to like. Even if the topic interests you (and it might not), you won’t be able to make it, because it’s scheduled at a time of day when you’re simply not available. And the venue will be … well … different.

But that’s a good thing.

Because the flipside is we have other events planned that will make you say, “Wow. That’s different. I’m going!”

We’re making a conscious effort this year to mix things up. To break a few eggs. We’re experimenting with new topics, new venues, new formats, a range of price tags, and new event times — all to meet the changing needs, desires and schedules of 21st century Orange County communicators.

Not long ago, almost all of our events were in one restaurant, at a similar price, with similar food from the same menu, with a speaker or panel, at lunch time.

Not so this year. In January we went for beauty and affordability (delicious buffet and plenty of wine included!), with an evening panel discussion at the Hilbert Museum. In February we experimented with a “super-event,” joining forces with the American Marketing Association. In March our venue was the futuristic EON Reality, where we played hands-on with Virtual Reality technology.

Next up – on May 14 – is an evening mixer with structured networking to spark your career. This event will feature dinner, wine and free valet parking at one of O.C.’s most exclusive business social venues, the Center Club. So sign up now. This will be an upscale affair, but because networking is particularly urgent for job hunters with no paycheck coming in, we’re offering a discount price for communicators in career transition.

Some of our most egg-breaking events come right after that:

  • June 11 is our first-ever BREAKFAST gathering. The venue: GigaSavvy. The speakers: Orange County cannabis communicators. (Think you’ve got a tough message to convey?)
  • July 9 is our first AFTERNOON event, 4-7 p.m. We’ll ride bikes, picnic and discover “the Magic of the Pedego” (Don’t believe the rumors that William Shatner might drop by.)

And yes, we’ll still have some luncheons.

Keep track of all of our upcoming events on If the website looks a little haggard, you have something else to look forward to: a redesign by our amazing tech sponsor, Taylor Digital. So watch this space.

We’re changing because we’re listening. And we’d love to hear from you — whether or not you’re a member. Email me at Or better yet, take our survey.

Check out any or all of our events. If the lead of this column is correct and one or two events don’t interest you or fall at a bad time, please pass the invitation along to a friend. Or throw caution to the wind and come anyway. Maybe we’ll surprise you.

That’s the plan.

John Fabris
IABC/OC president, 2019