Innovation, Meaning, and Communication in


May 31-June 2, 2023 

Hosted by the Department of

Communication Studies

University of North Carolina Wilmington 

The Embassy Suites

Wilmington, North Carolina 

New! Conference Agenda Posted

The Draft Conference Agenda is linked above.

Registration is live!

Your registration link depends on what type of attendee you are.

If you are attending the conference in Wilmington in person, click here.

If you are UNCW faculty or staff, click here.

If you are attending the conference and you are attending virtually, click here.

If you are a current or former UNCW IMC M.A. Student, click here.

Hotel Information


You may also call 1-800-HILTONS and use the group code: IMC

Cut-off date for hotel reservations is May 7, 2023.

Call for Papers

Innovation, Meaning, and Communication are three pillars of the study and practice of Integrated Marketing Communication. At this, our seventh biennial IMC conference, we want to explore these pillars in depth with the hope of finding new theoretical connections that advance understanding and illuminate professional communication practice. Theoretical approaches from the humanities, social scientific expressions of the communication discipline, and innovations in the practice of IMC are welcome. Of special interest are papers, panels, and other session formats that explore IMC and diversity and inclusion, communication ethics, design thinking, crisis/risk communication as it relates to IMC, and IMC pedagogy.

Questions to consider include: 

  • How can various IMC contexts, including social media, public relations, advertising, event planning, marketing communication, and promotions, be more deeply understood through communication and rhetorical theory, historical, cultural studies, and critical approaches?  
  • How can we innovate, energize or critique how we teach IMC from a praxis perspective to prepare our students for employment in IMC fields?  
  • How does the theory and practice of IMC relate to areas such as journalism, politics, healthcare, higher education, non-profits, sports and entertainment, and business? 
  • What theoretical connections arise from branding, as a space for meaning and communication, and IMC? 
  • How might existing theory around innovation and creativity be brought into the understanding and practice of IMC? 
  • What aspects of IMC are generative of meaning (epistemic) and what aspects of IMC are rhetorical expressions of meaning? 
  • What issues emerge as we examine the relationship between innovations of platforms and technology and the innovations of IMC content and creation?  
  • How might IMC practice inform civic debate about social and cultural issues? 
  • How does IMC research and practice intersect with other disciplines, such as psychology, English, business, sociology, and other disciplines? 
  • How does IMC research and practice intersect with Indigenous ways of knowing?  
  • What innovative aspects of IMC are being used in digital media creation?  
  • How could IMC theories and praxis address and even transform the landscape of newer forms of commerce (e.g., live commerce) and vice versa? 

Conference Info

Deadline: All papers, extended abstracts, and panel proposals must be received by 11:59 p.m. on February 15, 2023 to be considered for inclusion in the conference. Participants will be notified by March 1, 2023. 

Upon acceptance, full papers received by May 1, 2023 will be considered for Top Paper and Top Graduate Student Paper awards.  

Opportunities for Publication: Paper submissions may be considered for inclusion in an edited volume or other venues. 

The biennial IMC Conference hosted by the Department of Communication Studies at UNCW offers a vibrant opportunity for IMC scholars to meet and discuss connections between theory and practice.  The panels are designed to maximize participation with numerous formal and informal opportunities for conversation in addition to the conference programming.   

Virtual and In-Person Venues!

Most conference events will be held at the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Wilmington on the Cape Fear River, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and historic sites, and across the river from the Battleship North Carolina. Please see the website for lodging and travel information. There will also be opportunities to attend and participate in the conference virtually.  As noted above, authors will indicate the modality of their submission and conference planners will organize presentations to maximize engagement.   

Important Information on Virtual Participation 

This conference will utilize the Whova app for both in-person and online participation. It is our intention to have the first half of the day in-person and streamed and the second half of the day exclusively online. We will have plenary speakers in both time slots. This is to create an equitable space for all those participating, regardless of modality. The Whova app offers the ability to ask questions of presenters, engage with other conferencegoers, and provides an up to the minute schedule for all events.  

If you are a single presenter looking to submit with a panel, please indicate this on the submission form with your full abstract and contact information.  

Land Acknowledgement Statement 

Every community owes its existence and vitality to generations from around the world who contributed their hopes, dreams, and energy to making the history that led to this moment. Some were brought here against their will, some were drawn to leave their distant homes in hope of a better life, and some have lived on this land for more generations than can be counted. Truth and acknowledgment are critical to building mutual respect and connection across all barriers of heritage and difference. We begin this effort to acknowledge what has been buried by honoring the truth. 

We would like to acknowledge that the University of North Carolina Wilmington is located on the traditional territory of the Catawba People and has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst many Indigenous peoples for over 12,000 years.  We honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this territory that we now occupy, and what is now defined as the state of North Carolina, including the Coharie, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Saponi, Haliwa Saponi, Waccamaw Siouan, Sappony, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee. This land acknowledgment is to pay respect and honor the elders of the Indigenous People and Nations both past and present. Please take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that bring us together here today (USDAC, n.d.). 

U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. (n.d.). Honor Native land guide. 

Land Acknowledgement Statement Author: Symphony Oxendine, Ph.D., Cherokee/Choctaw, Associate Professor, Department of Higher Education, UNCW Watson College of Education