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Summit 2014 March 26-30 in San Diego

The Path Ahead Lovely San Diego

All you need to know about our submissions and review process

The IA Summit is a volunteer-led conference. Unlike conferences that invite selected speakers, the Summit accepts proposals from anyone , then employs a peer review process to curate the program. We strive to make the process as fair and transparent as possible, so here’s some information on how it works.


You can submit a talk, panel, or interactive session for the main conference program. Sessions are either 20 or 45 min long. This year, we have extended the submission form, to help you structure your submission. Apart from a comprehensive summary, we would like you to tell us what attendees will take away from your session, and why you are the best person to present this topic. Do you have unique hands-on experience or case studies to share? Is your perspective on the topic unique? Tell us what grounds your insights.

Before the deadline, Samantha Starmer and Russ Unger will offer an online seminar with advice on how to come up with a good topic, and how to turn it into a good submission. Put the 21st of September in your diary, and stay tuned for further details on this. (If you have already submitted a session, please note that you can edit proposals up until the deadline. So the seminar can help you to make it even better!).

The call for submissions for the main program will close on October 1, 11:59pm EDT.

Why is the submission form so ugly?

We know, it’s not pretty. We are using a dedicated system, as we need specific functionality to manage the peer review process. Thus, a more flexible tool such as Wufoo or Google Forms was sadly not an option.

What’s a blind review?

Every session will be peer-reviewed. This first step is an anonymous, or ‘blind’ review. Reviewers will focus on the content of your submission, rather than on who you are. This keeps it fair: no rockstar, colleague or friendship bonus. When writing your submission, please make sure you don’t give clues about your identity.

What’s the curation process?

The blind reviewers feed back on and score the proposals, and recommend the best ones to be considered for the program. This list will then be reviewed by the curation team and the conference chairs. We will have three themed tracks at the conference, each curated by two people. The curators will take your identity into account. We are keen to strike a balance on all levels, and e.g. make sure we have a mix of first-time speakers and old-timers, talks from ‘innies’ as well as freelancers or agency folks, speakers from different countries and continents, etc. So, when making the final call on which sessions to put into their track, the curators will take all of these factors into account.


IA Summit workshops are hands-on half-day or full-day sessions, take part before the main conference kicks off, and cost extra. Workshop leaders receive complimentary registration, and revenue is shared.

What are the requirements for submitting a workshop?

Workshops need to be interactive and engage the attendees, who attend to walk away with new skills or insights they can apply to their work. Remember, they pay extra to attend.
We encourage people who haven’t led a workshop at the IA Summit to submit a workshop proposal. However, if you have no public speaking experience, and have never been to an IA Summit, it’s unlikely you will be chosen to run a workshop.
When submitting a workshop, please provide a comprehensive summary, an overview of what attendees will take away from the workshop, and also an indicative structure. This will help us to assess if your session could be a success.

The call for submissions for the pre-conference workshops will close on September 16, 11:59pm EDT.

Who curates the workshops?

Workshops are not peer-reviewed. The workshop program is put together by the curation team and conference chairs, and will include workshops chosen from the submissions as well as invited workshops.

If you have any further questions or concerns about this year’s curation process, please get in touch with Johanna (kollmann dot johanna at gmail dot com).
We look forward to receiving your proposal – let the fun begin!