Backstage Blog - 2020 -
Update 14 March
We want to express our sympathy and support for everyone who has faced disruption or difficulties due to COVID-19. We can definitely empathise.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been planning for how to respond. Our priority has always been to safeguard the health of our community and act responsibly. But we also wanted to find a way to come together, share ideas and learn from each other.
2020 is a big year for information architecture. As more and more people begin to make sense of working remotely and occupying digital places, we’ve decided to take the conference digital for IAC20.
We know that social interaction is an important element of IAC. While a “remote” conference might not have exactly the same feel as our face-to-face events, we’re working on plans to keep the IAC magic. We already have support from sponsors including Mural.co and we’re exploring tools and technologies to make it a great experience. We’re working with our speakers to make sure the content gets to our attendees, wherever they are. We’re developing plans for how participants can interact and ask questions of speakers. And we’ll also have opportunities for social interaction and those “corridor conversations” in digital environments. We have plans for remote networking and careers center sessions. Plus we’re working on remote karaoke… watch this space.
We’re also evaluating whether any of our workshops could work remotely. There will definitely be workshops that are cancelled. If any do go ahead we anticipate content and pricing will change. We’ll be in touch about that shortly.
Same dates – April 16th-18th Main program
We’re planning on keeping the same dates for the initial streaming and realtime interaction. But the digital conference gives us more flexibility to arrange sessions and interactions – so we’re aiming to make this a truly global conference.
Same great content
We’re still working on the logistics and confirming speakers. But our aim is for the digital conference to give you access to the same content we would have hosted in New Orleans. Plus we’ll be offering video access to all talks for at least a year, audio downloads of talks and transcripts of all talks.
Slightly cheaper pricing
We’ve reduced the price of IAC20 to $850.
If you paid more than $850 then we’ll offer a credit for the difference. You can either take that as a refund, a credit for IAC21 or EuroIA 20 in Berlin or donate to our IAC scholarship program. Look out for another personalised email to administer this.
If you already donated to the conference we’re ensuring that this donation continues to extend access to the conference to students. We’re hoping the new digital format means we can extend the reach of IAC20 even further.
Let the good times roll…
We’re excited about the idea of going digital. It will give our attendees access to more content than ever before – you can now sit through every single session. And you don’t need to take notes – you’ll have access to transcripts, audio and video.
A digital conference wasn’t our first choice. But this decision gives us two opportunities to support the development of information architecture – we share ideas and bring people together safely.
We’re working every day to develop and finalise plans – and we’ll be sharing those plans and updating the website regularly. We’ll be in touch regarding any workshop registrations and updates when plans are a little more developed.
Update 8 March
We’re continuing to make plans for IAC20 in light of the COVID-19 virus. We really want to host a conference that allows people to consume and participate in an event that stays true to what makes IAC great. And we’re looking at alternative ways to deliver an IAC experience in case the risks of a face-to-face conference mean we can’t meet in New Orleans in April.
We’re monitoring the latest advice and will follow all best practices for helping attendees remain safe. We will announce our finalised plans and contingencies on or before 15th March. But in the meantime we’re happy to answer questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Update 3 March
We are aware of concerns about traveling to IAC20 this Spring due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The conference chairs discussed the situation with Vanessa Foss of Kunverj on our chairs call yesterday (1st March). We of course want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable conference.
Local authorities in New Orleans announced no heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus during carnival season and are monitoring the situation. At the time of writing this, there are currently no reported cases in Louisiana. See report and follow local news at: https://www.wdsu.com/article/there-is-no-heightened-danger-new-orleans-officials-give-update-on-coronavirus/31123403
While this news is heartening, we are aware that things can change very quickly. It is good to exercise caution and create contingency plans. We are monitoring the situation, making plans and will announce any changes on March 15.
If anyone has concerns please feel free to reach out to @theiaconf chairs directly or via email@example.com.
In the meantime, practicing common sense, washing your hands frequently, using a tissue, staying home if you feel sick, and avoiding contact with people who have recently traveled to affected areas, etc., goes a long way toward curtailing the spread of any viruses.
Stay healthy and see you in New Orleans!.