Crystal on the Review Process

Every year we open the call for submissions in the fall and many people in the community wonder… What happens to my submission? Who’s involved in decisions and how are they made? Well, I’m here to answer these questions.

First thing’s first… the program at the IA Summit is a community effort. Anyone can participate by submitting a talk, reviewing submissions, or curating tracks.

Call for Submissions

The call for submissions is posted in the Fall and stays open for a few weeks. Anyone in the community can submit a talk or panel–experienced speakers, brand new speakers, and everyone in between. You can even submit more than one, but more submissions doesn’t necessarily give you a leg up.

We try not to ask for too much information, but you should be prepared to include:

  • a rough summary and outline of what your talk or panel will cover
  • information around how your talk or panel will benefit the IA community
  • name and email of all speakers

We hope you’ll consider submitting something. If you’re new to speaking, don’t sweat, we’re bringing back our “new speaker support program” for the third year!

Review Process

Anywhere from 15-30 folks from the community (sometimes more) volunteer to review submissions each year. Every submission is reviewed by more than one person to minimize potential bias. And each reviewer gets a dozen or so submissions. We ask reviewers to read submissions carefully and rate each on a few important qualities that will help curators decide to include it in the program. Some of those qualities may include how well the submission:

  • connects to the theme for the summit
  • covers a new idea or offers a new perspective on an old idea that can be applied in a real-world situation
  • demonstrates value to the IA community

If you’re interested, sign up as a volunteer to review submissions by emailing me. If you’ve already signed up to volunteer in general, don’t worry, I’ll be reaching out to you to ask if you’d like to review submissions.

Curation & Selection

Once reviews are complete submissions are categorized and placed into 3 tracks. Each track is curated by two volunteers from the community. They are responsible for reviewing all of the submissions in their track along with comments and ratings from other reviewers to build an amazing program.

Curating a track is a big responsibility, but you’re not alone. Each curator has a partner and Kevin, Giles and I will help out as needed to make final decisions and balance tracks alongside each other. If you’d like to curate a track, reach out to me by email and we can discuss it in more detail.

Announcing the Program

The program is announced as soon as we have heard back from all accepted speakers. This is usually announced at the beginning of the year, when holidays are over and new company budgets are available. The schedule may still take a week or so to finalize.

That’s pretty much it! It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s also rewarding to know you’ve had a hand in bringing together some of the best ideas for everyone at the IA Summit to enjoy. We hope you take the opportunity to submit something this year and participate in the program development. Any questions about the process? Submit them in comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!