Announcing the opening of the Call for Proposals for hosting Interaction 12

7 Apr 2010 - 1:13am
6 years ago
7 replies
4578 reads
Steve Baty

Announcing the opening of the Call for Proposals for hosting Interaction 12

I am pleased to formally open the Call for Proposals for cities interested in hosting the 2012 Interaction conference - the annual conference of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).

Since its inception in 2008 Interaction has grown to be a significant and must-attend event for design professionals interested in the practice and discipline of interaction design. This year's event, held in Savannah, Georgia in conjunction with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) attracted a sell-out crowd of 500 people from around the world.

Interaction 11 will be held in February 2011 in Boulder, Colorado and will be co-hosted by Boulder Digital Works.

In 2012 IxDA will take Interaction to Europe for the first time, and the first time the conference has been held outside of North America. As with previous conferences we are seeking to co-host Interaction with a design school with a strong interaction design program, but this will mark the first occasion on which local interaction design communities have been given the opportunity to make a case for the conference to be held in their city.

The requirements for proposals are outlined below, along with a summary of the submission guidelines, timing, review and selection process.

Should you have any questions about the process, the requirements, or the conference itself, please send an email to or reply to this thread. All questions relating to clarification of information surrounding this Call will be responded to publicly.

I look forward to your submissions, and to seeing all of you at Interaction 12.

Steve Baty
Conference Chair, Interaction 12.

Timing for submissions
    •    All submissions are required no later than midnight GMT July 25 (Sunday).
    •    Review will take place between July 26 and August 5
    •    Shortlist of locations presented to IxDA Board August 7
    •    Final selection of location for Interaction 12 will be made on August 27

Each proposal will be acknowledged via email to confirm receipt within the deadline.

Selection Criteria & Submission Requirements
The Interaction conference is a significant undertaking. The successful proposal will be able to demonstrate:
    •    Partnership with a design school with a strong interaction design program at undergraduate and graduate level;
    •    A location that is convenient for attendees arriving internationally
    •    Venues capable of seating 600 people theatre-style; three smaller rooms capable of seating 200 people each; and 6-8 rooms suitable for small sessions and workshops
    •    A selection of hotels near to the conference venue(s) at various prices and quality to suit the range of needs of conference attendees (i.e from 3-star to 5-star accommodation) - please include standard room rates
    •    A plan for providing Internet access (wi-fi) for attendees at all conference venues and events
    •    Support from the co-host design school in terms of:
    ⁃    Student participation
    ⁃    A/V
    ⁃    Planning & logistics around the conference
    ⁃    Catering
    ⁃    Potential venues for conference events and receptions
    •    A strong and vibrant local design community
    •    A summary of the process by which the submission was created.

Benefits to the Host Community
Hosting the Interaction 12 conference will bring the world's interaction design community to you. It will expose your local designers to the leading thinkers and practitioners in interaction design in personal, face-to-face encounters that you usually have to travel overseas to experience. It also provides you with an opportunity to showcase your local talents to the world, through events like the local design challenge, student competition, exhibition, and other conference events.

Benefits to the Co-Host Design School
Benefits to co-hosting the Interaction conference include:

  • Recruitment of your students. Many of the 600 professionals in attendance are in Director-level positions at leading creative agencies and Fortune 500 companies, and are in a position to hire. This creates an opportune time for a recruitment event for your students. The design consultancies represented at IxDA 2009 included frog design, IDEO, Crispin Porter+Bogusky, Razorfish, Mad*Pow, Cooper, Adaptive Path, and more.
  • Research partnerships. The companies in attendance at the IxDA 2009 conference included Yahoo!, Nokia, Microsoft, Vodafone, Intuit, Google, and Boeing, illustrating the ability for faculty/corporate research cooperatives and other relationship building.
  • Promotion of your graduate programs. A great number of the attendees at the IxDA conference seek higher education in design, business, and other disciplines; this creates an ideal opportunity to promote graduate degrees.

IxDA is willing to work with the successful school to create a strong branded presence of the school’s offerings at our conference; this may take the form of a workshop, a recruiting event, portfolio reviews, or other unique events intended to connect the university with the attendees in a meaningful way.

Submission Format
Submissions should be sent via email to Acceptable formats include:
    •    Powerpoint/Keynote
    •    Word/Pages
    •    PDF
    •    Video
    •    Self-contained (i.e. executable) presentations (e.g. Flash, HTML)

If submitting a multimedia/video presentation, please provide a written summary addressing the key criteria for selection.

Each submission should clearly indicate the contact person for the proposal.

All questions should be sent to


7 Apr 2010 - 1:31am
Steve Baty

The question was asked as to whether locations outside of Europe will be considered. Our firm intention is to hold Interaction 12 somewhere in Europe. This Call is aimed at selecting that location. In the event that we are unable to select a suitable location in Europe we will expand the Call to include non-European cities/schools.

14 Apr 2010 - 7:21am
James Page

Out of interest is this only open to design schools, or is open to Universities that teach one of the flavours of HCI?

Another question how would you handle multiple Universities/Schools in one city? For example some good candidates come to mind like Brighton, which has both the University of Sussex, and Brighton University teach related degrees. London would be even more confusing, as it has several universities and schools teaching HCI related degrees, from art schools like the Royal College of Art, St Martins, to universities like University College London, City University, etc. All of them have there strengths and weaknesses.

All the best

14 Apr 2010 - 9:50am

Yes, it would be open to one of the Universities teaching HCI, etc.

9 May 2010 - 5:52am
Steve Baty


In order to maintain transparency of the selection process we have said we will be posting all questions & answers relating to the submissions publicly. Following are questions asked by various people, and the formal responses to those questions.

Q: How do you usually collaborate with the host School to arrange these events?
A: IxDA's conference committee works closely with the conference & events staff of the co-host to plan and execute the conference. This will typically involve coordination of activities with PR, Audio/Visual technicians, catering, facilities, security, and others as appropriate. Collaboration occurs through a variety of mechanisms, including on-site visits, phone, and email communications.

Q: Which main tasks or activities are usually required to the host School and its team?
A: We're looking to the host School to make recommendations for activities that best suit their capabilities, but options include:

  • Venues
  • Catering (breakfast, lunch, morning & afternoon teas)
  • Conference receptions/parties (evenings)
  • Audio/visual - recording & filming conference sessions
  • Student volunteers
  • Transport


Q: How many people (fte) do you think might be necessary in the organization (a ballpark idea) and how long it takes? Can you provide a ballpark figure about the possible timeline?
A:The conference planning will get into full swing in February 2011, giving a 12-month planning timeframe. However, we expect to begin working with the selected co-host in September 2010 to lay the groundwork for the conference. Without knowing what activities the School will be providing to assist with the conference it is not possible to estimate FTEs. It is reasonable to suggest that during the last month prior to the conference, and during the running of the conference itself in February 2012, the School will need several staff working part-time on the project.

Q: We might partner with other design Schools or design-related organization and companies. Is that possible?
A: Yes, this is possible. We will want a clear understanding of what each school is providing, and how those efforts will be successfully coordinated as part of your proposal.

Q: When it could be planned in the course the year? Do you have any preferences about the period?
A: Our intention is to run the conference over the first week of February 2012.

Q: How the event will be funded?
A: Funding is derived through two streams: attendance fees and commercial sponsorship.

Q: Are any extra expenses or charges expected for the host School related to the organization (beyond its facilities and resources normal running costs)?
A: We do not anticipate the co-host needing to cover any hard costs associated with the running of the conference.

Q: Is there a budget to compensate the use / rent of the host School facilities and resources? Just to explain this point: we have all the required facilities and the infrastructures, but they might be customized or prepared to fit the purpouse (for example a reserved wi-fi access). This might bring extra costs.
A: These should be spelled out in your submission.

Q: Is there a budget for the people who might be actively involved in the organization of the event?
A: These should be spelled out in your submission.

Q:  Is there an official application form to fulfill?
A: No. Please feel free to use a format that suits you.

Q: What do you expect in terms of return on investment?
A: Our aim for each Interaction conference is to make a small profit to help fund the operations of the IxDA for the coming year, and provide start-up funding for the next conference. Exceeding this aim allows us to fund additional initatives for the IxDA that might otherwise have not been possible. An exact figure is not yet possible in terms of desired amounts.

29 May 2010 - 1:37am
Steve Baty


The following questions have been asked by interested groups.

  • Is IxDA happy to host Interaction 12 at a commercial venue on a commercial basis?

We're happy to consider any suitable venue - hotels, conference centres, museums, galleries - that fit with the vibe of the community - you just need to indicate this somewhere in your submission.

  • If partnering with a commercial venue is acceptable, who has liability for the event? For example, in the case of the current Icelandic volcano eruptions affecting air travel, would IxDA assume liability, or is it the commercial/partnership organisation in the host city or a combination?

Any financial investment - in the form of deposits etc - would be borne by IxDA, and so the IxDA would wear the risk of any such disruptive events (and would have insurance to that effect, where relevant). IxDA would not, obviously, accept liability for attendees travel, accommodation etc in such circumstances, but neither would this be borne by the co-hosts.

8 Jul 2010 - 5:51am
Steve Baty


Some additional questions have been asked:

  • Do you have specific dates/days planned?
  • Will the conference be for 3 days?
  • What will be the (very) high-level format of the event? (eg: 2 days of workshops, 1 day of presentations etc)?


The aim is to hold the conference at the same time each year - in the first half of February. The conference structure is to hold a day of workshops on the Wednesday, followed by three days (Thurs - Sat) of presentations, activities & discussion sessions. Specific dates would therefore be Feb 1 - 4; Feb 8 - 11. (Ending on Saturday will hopefully encourage people to stay through until the very end of the conference, knowing they have all of Sunday to get home in time for work on Monday.)

  • What is the venue/university partner for Boulder 2011?

Boulder Digital Works (BDW) at the University of Colorado is the co-host for Interaction 11. You can learn more about them at

Don't forget that submissions close on July 27th!


8 Jul 2010 - 8:11am
Steve Baty

Closing date for submissions.

I've just realised I have confused the dates for when the proposals close. As a result, I'll use the later date - July 27 - so as not to disadvantage anyone.

Apologies for any confusion.



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