University of Minnesota

June 7th, 2018 • Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Registration is now closed.

About the 2018 UMCF Annual Conference

June 7, 2018

From campfires to campus, sharing our stories is one of the most important and most lasting parts of the human tradition. In the information age, finding creative, unique, and meaningful ways to tell stories that inspire audiences about the work that we do has never been more important—or more challenging. As professional communicators, we strive to communicate in compelling ways and across many platforms. From presentations and events, to digital and print formats—we use visual elements and graphic design, well-crafted content, and emerging technology and resources—to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire.

This conference will explore ways to enhance our stories through break-out sessions and presentations, include opportunities to network with our colleagues, and provide a day of professional development and learning for communications professionals. Whether sharing the latest research, promoting a new event, or creating designs and content for a webpage, we all have a story to tell.

In addition to our break-out sessions, we will also offer two exciting keynote addresses, lightning talks (new this year), our ever-popular vendor fair, and the Maroon & Gold Awards. We will close the day with a raffle and a networking reception.

We hope you will join us on June 7th, 2018 at the University of Minnesota Communicators Forum Annual Conference, “Illuminate: Storytelling that Inspires,” with keynote address by master storyteller and Minnesota playwright Kevin Kling.

We can’t wait to hear YOUR story! Join us on June 7th.

Learn more at


Keynote Speakers

Kevin Kling

Kevin Kling

Author, Playwright, Teller of Tales

Monologist and playwright Kevin Kling grew up in Osseo, Minnesota and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College. He has performed his plays in Sweden, Sydney and Perth, Australia, Edinburgh, Scotland and in the Czech Republic. His autobiographic piece Home and Away premiered at the Seattle Rep and moved to Second Stage Theater, off Broadway, under the direction of David Esbjornson, where it received a received a Drama Desk Award nomination.

Stephanie Glaros

Stephanie Glaros

Teaching Artist, Author, Speaker

Stephanie Glaros is best known for her blog and book, Humans of Minneapolis. She’s created community engagement projects for the City of Minneapolis, Metro Meals on Wheels, Friends of the Hennepin County Library, and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. Her work has been featured in the Star-Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, City Pages, and on MPR. Glaros also leads talks and workshops that focus on empathy and connection.

Session Speakers

Lightning Talk Speakers



Check-In and Breakfast


Welcome, Introductions, Forum Vote, Maroon & Gold Awards


Keynote Address: Kevin Kling

The Healing Power of Story

Motivation & Engagement

Crafting Your Story

Social Media & Messaging

Digital, Visual & Design


Lunch & Vendor Fair (Joan & Walter Mondale Commons)


Engaging Student Storytellers

Tessa Eagan, Amanda Haugen, Colleen Ware


Lightning Talks


Afternoon Keynote: Stephanie Glaros

Humans of Minneapolis: Empathy Through Storytelling


Maroon and Gold Awards Announcements


Raffle, Reception & Maroon & Gold Awards Display

Venue Information

Humphrey School of Public Affairs

301 19th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN, 55455

Conference Sponsors

The UMCF Vendor Fair is an annual tradition at the Communicators Forum conference. The Vendor Fair is attended by over 200 communications professionals who have the opportunity to meet vendors and sponsors and learn about services and products. Vendors and sponsors are critical to the success of the UMCF conference.

All sponsors and vendors have the opportunity to have a table at the Vendor Fair. Attendees are highly encouraged to visit all tables so they can meet vendors, make connections, and have their vendor card stamped. Stamped cards are then entered in a drawing for prizes held during the conference reception.

Maroon & Gold Awards

The deadline for submitting entries to the Maroon & Gold Awards was March 2nd. Winners will be notified by the Maroon & Gold Awards Committee.

Awards Information