Program Development Update

Every year the Summit welcomes a 50/50 split of newcomers and returning attendees. The range of people's experience and interests is truly diverse and so are their expectations. Creating a program that meets them and fulfills the needs of such an audience is no small feat, but it is an exciting opportunity to experiment and explore new and better ways to share and learn.

The program format

The Summit format is usually two days of full-day and half-day workshops, followed by three days of sessions of various formats and lengths, many happening simultaneously under separate tracks. Content and format go hand in hand when crafting the experience of attending the IA Summit and every year we make improvements to the process of selecting sessions as well as how to group them, incorporating new ideas and responding to feedback from previous years.

This year we modified the intake process by asking questions differently and offering additional session format options and additional session lengths to choose from (introducing the 10-20 minute length). We've received a great number of proposals (consistent with previous years) and we're excited to consider them for the program.


We are reviewing everything that has come in carefully and we know it will be tough to choose. A quick glance at the sessions proposed shows the following:

Distribution of sessions proposed by format:

  • 73% Presentation (content delivered directly to an audience)
  • 15% Workshop (facilitated hands-on activity)
  • 7% Roundtable (facilitated small group discussion)
  • 3% Panel (moderated discussion in front of an audience)
  • 1% Other

Distribution of sessions proposed by length:

  • 5% 10-20 minutes
  • 54% 30-45 minutes
  • 32% 60-90 minutes
  • 10% Over 90 minutes

In terms of level of experience presenting, 52% of folks ranked themselves as having a track record of successful presentations, 38% have some experience with public speaking, while 10% reported that this would be their first-time speaking. These are really promising numbers and we'll be lending a helping hand to those with little experience to help improve their proposals and bring more fresh voices to the IA Summit.

And if you are wondering what people are interesting in addressing, we have a LOT to explore:

Of course, a tag cloud of all the submissions doesn't express well what people are trying to convey, it's just a simplistic view of the terms used. That is why seeing what categories and groups emerge will help inform the best way to organize and order the sessions.

Important: Everyone who proposed a session was sent a confirmation email. If this is not the case for you, please notify Crystal Kubitsky (ckubitsky at as soon as possible.


The review process is already underway. We have over 30 amazing volunteers who are hard at work reviewing each submission and providing helpful feedback. The review process consists of three rounds:

Round 1: Review proposals against standard criteria
The goal of this first round is to assess the quality and relevancy of proposals against a standard set of criteria to assess clarity of the proposal, relevance to the field and fit with the program, then to compile feedback for the authors. This round will run from 12/6 - 12/20.

Round 2: Offer speaker support and develop tracks
The goal of this round will be to reach out to less experienced speakers and offer coaching and support in refining their proposals. The tracks for the Summit will also emerge through this process. This year we are allowing the categories to emerge from the content, rather than imposing those categories upfront as cut-off criteria. This round will run from 12/20 - 1/16.

Round 3: Finalize program
Finally, the core program committee will make the final program selections and notify everyone whether their proposal was accepted or not. The final program schedule will be available by the end of January.

Comments (1)

  1. Carrie

    Thank you for outlining this process! I was a first time submitter and have been in contact with a volunteer to refine my proposal. Should I/Can I resubmit for the final selection? If so, how?

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