Pre Con

How To Plan a Meeting From Halfway Around the World

Here's how the Institute of Internal Auditors are pulling it off — in a venue that hadn't been built yet when they started planning.

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Event Details

July 23–26, 2017
International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney
Sydney, Australia

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is expecting anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 internal auditors from more than 110 countries for its 2017 International Conference — everyone “from chief audit executives,” said Kristi Coombs, director of the International Conference, “to internal audit staff.”


ICC Sydney just opened in December. The beautiful, state-of-the-art venue is one of the reasons IIA chose Sydney, but also made the planning process a challenge because for much of it the building only existed on paper. Plus, IIA is headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida — half a world away. “I’ve changed my working hours two days a week to work remote due to the 12- to 14-hour time difference,” Coombs said. “This way I’m working online at night when they are coming into the office in the morning.”


This year IIA is introducing a “conference within a conference,” Coombs said — a one-day program for audit chairs. The organization is also looking into livestreaming keynote sessions and maintaining a more robust Twitter feed. And the gala event, usually a sit-down dinner, is being reimagined as “more of a roving meal” with food stations and passed items, Coombs said, staged throughout the Overseas Passenger Terminal overlooking Sydney Harbour.

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso is executive editor of Convene.