Why You and Your Team Should Attend the IA Summit

More than ever, it seems like there are a million and three UX-related conferences. Each of them has something valuable to offer. How do you decide which to attend? If you’re a manager, which will provide the most benefit to you and your team? For most people focused on creating order from digital chaos, it comes down to choosing a conference where you (or the team members you send) will learn, where you can expand the boundaries of your knowledge, and most important, where the smartest, most engaged members of the community will be.

Throughout its 16-year history, the IA Summit has been the event focused on information organization, structure, and understanding. It helps people learn to:

  • Build bridges of understanding across departments
  • See the road ahead for digital delivery and develop big-picture strategy
  • Communicate ideas convincingly to co-workers and decision-makers

The 3-day main program attracts the leading minds in information architecture, user experience, and content strategy. Together they will share relevant case studies, strategic insights, and practical lessons to apply straight away — and no sales pitches.

This year, the co-chairs have looked beyond the boundaries of “UX” to gather speakers and ideas from the wider community: developers, product managers, visual designers, and all who work in the digital world. In today’s environment, when we are moving away from a single, static screen to cross-channel, multi-platform experiences, everyone involved in the creation of information spaces needs to understand the fundamental tenets of information architecture.


This year’s keynote speakers embody the theme of a broader panorama. We’ll hear from Lisa Welchman, a pioneer in the field of digital governance and an expert on creating order from chaos; and from Jesse James Garrett, whose name is practically synonymous with UX design. But our keynotes also include two people not usually associated with the field of information architecture: Cory Doctorow, author of Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, and internet veteran Léonie Watson, who will speak to us about accessibility from the perspective of someone who needs to access technology differently. All four of these speakers will share valuable perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of information spaces in an infinitely connected world.

The Conference Program

This year’s IA Summit presents talks and interactive sessions from respected speakers like Hilary Marsh, Peter Morville, and Christina Wodtke alongside presentations by first-time speakers.

Talks this year are exceptionally wide-ranging, covering topics from familiar and unexpected corners of the information universe. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • the information architecture of physical space
  • designing for our future selves
  • cartography as an information challenge
  • understanding diversity and inclusion in the digital service economy
  • incorporating information architecture into the Agile process
  • the information architecture of personalization
  • and much more.

Professional Development

Our workshops offer a great opportunity for training and professional development: the chance to learn and practice with some of the most creative minds in our field. Spanning two days prior to the main conference, workshops are led by master practitioners, offering personal coaching in a classroom setting.

This year’s workshops cover topics such as information anthropology, future-friendly content strategy, service design, integrating IA and SEO, and more. If there’s some aspect of information architecture, content strategy, or UX design that you want to learn more about, chances are we have a workshop that covers it.

The Amazing IA Summit Community

They say the best conversations happen in the hallways. At the IA Summit, over 500 attendees confer, network, and learn from each other.

Our event has attracted attendees from Disney, Netflix, REI, Marriott, BBC and other public, private, and government sector bodies from blue-chips to startups.

Your business challenges are shared by other organizations, and a problem shared is a problem halved. Industry experts are always in attendance — the same ones who wrote the books your team are working from — and they’re only too happy to chat.

Lasting Lessons

Whether the learning is gleaned from an all-day workshop or an informal conversation during a coffee break, attendees will return to work invigorated and excited to share what they’ve heard. You’ll bring back takeaways that you can apply directly to your work as well as ideas and views that will challenge and inspire you in the long term.

Year after year we hear practitioners tell us that the IA Summit changed their life. Send your team, or even better, come with them. You’ll return more effective, more thoughtful, and ready to take on bigger challenges.

Register for the 2016 IA Summit, May 4 to 8, Atlanta, Georgia

For more on the business value of IA, read The Information Architecture Value Chain by 2014 IA Summit presenter Nathaniel Davis.

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