Submissions are closed.
IAC is a leading information architecture conference where information architects, UX designers, content strategists, taxonomists and other design practitioners meet at a crossroads to talk about understanding, organizing, and communicating information. Submit a proposal to share your ideas with the community.
We’re looking for new voices and new ideas, and especially those related this year’s theme: Gateways: Legacy with Purpose. While we welcome all submissions, we’re most interested in those presentations that are unique for the IAC community. That doesn’t mean you have to be an information architect to present. We want to hear diverse voices from all over the industry and we’re looking for a mix of hands-on, practical, “you can bring it back to work next week” sessions together with more thought-provoking, theory-driven talks.
The first step to becoming a speaker at IAC19 is to write a proposal. This is a short description of what you are planning on speaking about. Don’t worry, we have several session lengths to choose from. Our committee will then choose the most compelling proposals and invite those people to be speakers. We encourage all to submit a proposal and we want to hear from diverse members of the community.
Information architecture has evolved, in practice, throughout the ages. Some of those changes have been flashpoints in our profession. What is the right job title for what we do? Is UX really IA? Is IA really UX? And now, more than ever, we stand on another threshold. The age of digital design is evolving so rapidly that our collective skills are vital to the success of emerging technologies.
Below is a list of topics that we seek to stimulate insight and discussion for IAC19:
- Approaches for modeling large-scale information environments
- Connecting information architecture with strategy and design
- Ethics and social responsibility in the practice of information architecture, experience strategy, and design
- Bridging academia research and real-world practice
- IA in the enterprise
- IA and content management systems
- Improving data modeling with information architecture
- Improving marketing communications with structured content
- Improving product design with information architecture
- Practicing IA in a culture of agility
- IA frameworks, process, and practice
- IA theory and science
- Information architecture in 2100
- Methods for building consensus
- Methods for framing strategic objectives
- Modeling human behavior for immersive digital experiences
- Organizational dynamics of IA and UX teams in large public- or private-sector organizations
- Research in information architecture and user information interaction behavior
- Selling information architecture in the enterprise
- The future promise and challenges of structuring physical-digital space: augmented and virtual reality
- The value proposition of information architecture in a culture of design and software engineering
- What information architecture can learn from other disciplines
According to our theme, we want gateways to be at the heart of every conversation. What does gateways mean to you? How do you incorporate that into your thinking and your work?
These are topics we anticipate, but we’re also looking for the unexpected. We’re looking for new voices and new ideas. We’re looking for a mix of hands-on, practical, “you can bring it back to work next week” sessions together with thought-provoking theory-driven talks.
Send us the best proposal you have, even if it doesn’t fall into our theme of Gateways. We are very interested in what you have to say!
Every submission will be peer-reviewed by members of the IA community. Whether you’re ultimately selected for the program or not, you’ll get feedback on what was great about your submission and some pointers for next time.
- For each main conference session, we will provide one complimentary registration to the main 2019 IA Conference program. Pre-conference workshop hosts will receive a 50% share of profit generated by the ticket sales for their session, after running costs have been factored in (catering, AV, copies and stationery, etc.)
- Once the final program is announced, we’ll open the speaker-mentoring program. We recommend that all speakers consider this program: you will have the chance to collaborate with a seasoned speaker. You’ll structure and polish your session to be as awesome as possible.
- During the main program, the Speaker Studio is open to all speakers. This private practice space is perfect for running through your material before showtime, without the audience and with personal advice and support.
- Sessions may be video recorded.
- All the participants who are part of the final program will receive our undying gratitude and love, and the opportunity to spread their ideas to an audience of professionals all over the world.
Our selection process has evolved over the years as the conference has grown, and it’s something we’re continuing to improve. Here’s how it will work for 2019:
Option One: Open submission
Members of the IA community are invited to propose a talk, lecture, or interactive session on their own.
Option Two: Scouting
The 2019 IA Conference co-chairs will select and invite keynote speakers who best exemplify the vision of the event. The co-chairs may also reach out to speakers from other conferences, meetups, or events like World IA Day and ask them to submit their talks to participate in the program. All talks except keynotes will go through the same blind-review selection process.
Every main conference submission is assigned randomly to peer review. These are volunteers from the IA community who have agreed to give their time to offer feedback on your proposal. What does it do well and where it could be improved? Peers are there to review only. They don’t determine who gets accepted or rejected. To aid their objectivity, we will remove your name, identifying details, and other potentially biasing language from your submission.
Curation teams made up of pairs of volunteer experts work together to identify the emerging themes amongst the submissions, and rank the submissions based on guidelines from the chairs. Using the first round feedback as a guide, they complete their task from all available submissions, making their assessments through a structured rubric:
- Quality (is the talk thorough, accurate, valid, rigorous, well-sourced, etc.?)
- Clear and concise presentation of material
- Topic or angle feels new to the IAC
- Connection to the field of information architecture is clear
- Likely to engage audience by being challenging or entertaining
- Provides actionable takeaways for attendees with varying levels of experience
If a curator is unsure about a session, they’re able to reach out to the submitter for clarification before making a final recommendation.
The final program is compiled from curators’ selections by the co-chairs. We take several factors into account – promoting new voices, ensuring topics are aligned with our theme – when creating a schedule that will be compelling for the community.
Please remember, everyone involved in putting the program together is volunteering their time, and we’re so grateful for their help. Most of all, we’re grateful to the IA community members who volunteer their time and expertise to prepare, submit, and deliver the sessions that make the IAC such an informative, educational, and inspiring event. If you would like to sign up to review proposals, we will be eternally grateful.
Our session types are all about giving you more ways to participate, more springboards for ideas and dialogues. Our final program will be assembled from a blend of the best available material.
Main Conference Submission Formats
While we presume that many of you have great “traditional” talk ideas (and we want to hear about those!), we encourage you to also submit ideas for new and different types of sessions that fit the given time slots. A rapid-fire game show in 20 minutes? Sounds good to us!
20-minute session. A 20-minute session works well for a big idea in its most compact form.
45-minute session. A 45-minute session works well for complex idea that needs the extra examples or detail to be understood, or for duo and trio sessions.
Poster. Poster Night has become a favorite fixture of IAC. Prepare a poster to structure your story, model, or advice, then chat with attendees about it during our evening reception on the conference’s first night. Posters are great for getting to know the community, especially for first-time presenters. Assume that you’ll be giving repeated short introductions and also engaging in natural conversations about your topic. We are not yet accepting submissions from potential poster presenters. There will be a separate call-for-submissions for poster presenters later this year; please ensure you’re on our email list to be notified when we begin accepting these submissions.
For two days ahead of the main program, the IA Conference is given over to half-day and full-day workshops. Run by experienced practitioners or educators, workshops allow in-depth and hands-on group learning in the company of a subject expert.
Attendees pay an additional registration fee for pre-conference workshop participation. The fees first pay for the material and facility costs for hosting your workshop, and the remaining profit is split between the workshop leader(s) and IAC.
If you are pitching a workshop, remember to plan for breaks and assume that participants should spend more time doing than they spend listening.
Half-day pre-conference workshop
Most workshop topics do well in a 4-hour slot. It’s enough time for a few short lectures and several activities for participants.
Full-day pre-conference workshop
To pull off a full-day workshop, you’ll need to tune carefully into the energy of your participants. Note that there will be a 1-hour lunch break between the two 4-hour halves.
Suggested Workshop Topics
We welcome any workshop topics related to Information Architecture and our theme of Gateways. Past attendees have asked for workshops on the following topics. If you have a passion for one of these topics, we’d love to see your workshop proposal.
- Introduction to IA
- Content Strategy
- User Research
- Documenting IA
- Communications/Soft Skills
- Service Design
- Understanding Context
- Semantic Relationships
- Algorithm / Machine Learning
Resources for Writing a Great Proposal
- It’s All About the Details: What the IA Summit Taught Me About Submitting to a Conference (IA Summit 2015)
- Giles on Crafting a Proposal (IA Summit 2013)
- Conference Proposals that Don’t Suck
- How to write a kick-ass conference proposal
- What Your Conference Proposal is Missing
- How to Write a Conference Speaking or Session Proposal that Gets Chosen Every Time
- Sample proposals for O’Reilly Conferences
- How to write a compelling proposal