Announcing: Open Call for Proposals to host Interaction15

21 Apr 2013 - 9:01am
2 years ago
3 replies
6118 reads
Steve Baty

I am pleased to formally open the Call for Proposals for cities in North America  interested in hosting the 2015 Interaction conference -- the annual conference of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).

Since its inception in 2008, IxDA's Interaction conference has grown to be the premiere "must-attend" event for professionals interested in the practice and discipline of interaction design. This year's event, held in Toronto, Canada in conjunction with OCAD University, attracted a record crowd of over 850 people from 28 countries. Interaction14 will be held in February 2014 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and will be co-hosted by IxDA Nederland, Utrecht School of the Arts and Delft University of Technology.

The Interaction conference is a key revenue stream for the organization. Since its inception, the conference has generated a financial contribution to IxDA's annual operating costs and seeded the next conference's start up requirements.   

Components of the Interaction conference

The conference typically follows the format below. 
There is a preference for the conference days to be Friday-Sunday. 
Proposals including variations on this format are welcome. 

  • Day 1: IxDA Leadership Retreat (10-15 pax)
  • Day 2: IxDA Leadership Retreat (10-15 pax)
  • Day 3: Pre-conference 1/2 day and full day workshops  for professionals (250-300 pax) and IxDA Local Leaders workshop (50-100 pax)
  • Day 4: Conference - Day 1. Opening and closing plenary sessions (750 pax) bracketing 2-3 parallel program streams (250 pax each).
  • Day 5: Conference - Day 2. Opening and closing plenary sessions (750 pax) bracketing 2-3 parallel program streams (250 pax each).
  • Day 6: Conference - Day 3. Opening and closing plenary sessions (750 pax) bracketing 2-3 parallel program streams (250 pax each).
  • Concurrent events include a Student Design Challenge (6-8 pax) and Education Summit (50 pax)
  • Opening and closing evening social events, as well as one evening dedicated to the Interaction Awards Gala, for all attendees (750 pax)


  • 2013: Toronto, Canada - 888 
  • 2012: Dublin, Ireland - 793
  • 2011: Boulder, Colorado - 625
  • 2010: Savannah, Georgia - 525
  • 2009: Vancouver, Canada - 400
  • 2008: Savannah, Georgia - 450

As with previous conferences, we are seeking a design school with a strong interaction design program as a co-host, and we encourage local interaction design communities to take the opportunity to make a case for the conference to be held in your city.

Proposal requirements 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 and responses related to clarification of this Call will be made public on

I look forward to your proposals, and to seeing all of you in Amsterdam at Interaction14.


Steve Baty
President, IxDA


Timing, review and selection process

  • All submissions must be received no later than midnight GMT June 30 (Sunday). 
  • Detailed review will take place during the month of July; interviews may or may not be scheduled
  • Proposed locations which have been shortlisted will be evaluated by the IxDA Board in early August
  • Final selection of location for Interaction15 will be made on August 31
  • All submissions will receive a final response no later than September 15
  • The selected location for Interaction15 will be announced publicly on no later than October 1


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


Selection criteria and submission requirements

The Interaction conference is a significant undertaking. The successful proposal will be able to demonstrate:

  • An overview of the host city including local culture, attractiveness to attendees, and unique attributes as a destination for Interaction attendees.
  • A commitment to host the conference during the first half of February 2015
  • A commitment to host up to three representatives from the selection committee for a site visit
  • A location that has ease of travel access for international delegates.
  • A proposed high-level budget.
  • Demonstrated support from the local Convention Bureau or Tourism Board responsible for international meetings.
  • An indication of sponsorship sources and any committed financial partners. The Interaction conference raises between $150,000 and $200,000 USD in sponsorship, over and above conference registration, to help meet the conference costs.
  • Venues capable of seating 750 people theatre-style; three smaller rooms capable of seating 250 people each; and 6-8 rooms suitable for small sessions and workshops of up to 50 people.
  • A venue suitable for hosting the Interaction Awards ceremony, a gala event for 750 people.
  • Venues for opening and closing parties for all conference attendees.
  • Integrated space for conference sponsors to set up booths (est. 25 10'x10' spaces) within the main conference venue.
  • A selection of 3-star to 5-star hotels, preferably within walking distance of the main conference venue (300 room nights on peak demand). Please provide average room rates.
  • A plan for providing complimentary Internet access (wi-fi) for attendees at all conference venues and events (1200+ concurrent connections during conference sessions).
  • Capacity to serve morning and afternoon refreshment breaks as well as a full lunch for all conference attendees. Previous conferences have offered breakfast at the venue in lieu of including it in the conference hotel rate. 
  • Catering choices to include vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free diets and other specialized diet requests.
  • A plan to transport conference attendees from hotels to conference venues.
  • A design school partner that offers a strong interaction design program at undergraduate and/or graduate level.
  • A description of the support offered by the design school partner. Previous examples include inkind provision of space and technology for all conference facilities requirements; provision of all space, technology and catering requirements for the pre-conference workshops; planning and logistics support via the event and conference office staff
  • A summary of the process by which the submission was created.

The successful bid proposal from Amsterdam for Interaction14 can be viewed at

Benefits to the host city

Based on industry benchmarks*, the Interaction conference will generate in excess of USD $1.2 million economic impact for your city. 

80% of conference attendees will be international. In Toronto, 20% of attendees were Canadian, 40% American and 40% International.

Showcase your city as a creative hub -- exposing local talents to the world, through events like the local design challenge, student competition, exhibition, and other conference events.

Hosting the Interaction15 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 to experience. 

Benefits to the co-host design school

Benefits to co-hosting the Interaction conference include:

  • Recruitment of your students. Many of the 750 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. Firms represented at Interaction13 included frog design, HUGE, Cooper, SapientNitro, Hot Studio, R/GA and more.
  • Research partnerships. The companies in attendance at the Interaction 2013 conference included Amazon, Google, GE, Intel, Microsoft, SAP, and Samsung, providing the opportunity 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:

  • Website
  • 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

Evaluation criteria 

IxDA seeks to create unique experiences with each Interaction conference. In considering submissions, the board will look favorably on proposals that include: 

  • Secured financial or inkind support as part of the proposal 
  • Unique and non-traditional venues beyond conference centres and hotels.
  • Venues that offer maximum flexibility in selecting vendors (ie: no obligations to work with in-house technology, AV and catering suppliers)

* Economic impact is calculated based on USD $400/day x 4 nights stay for 750 pax



17 Jun 2013 - 6:57pm
Brenda Sanderson

Some questions have been asked by groups considering a submission to host Interaction15.

1) In what state is IxDA incorporated?

IxDA is incorporated in Oregon as a 501(c)6 organization.

2) How many hotel rooms are usually blocked for the conference?

2013: Room block: 975 nights / 180 on peak nights
2012: Room block: 700 nights / 140 on peak nights
2011: Room block: 1,100 nights / 250 on peak nights

20 Jun 2013 - 12:12pm
Brenda Sanderson

The official mailing address for IxDA is:

Interaction Design Association, Inc.
9450 SW Gemini Drive #49749
Beaverton, OR 97008-7105

Do not send submissions by postal mail. Only emailed submissions will be accepted.

2 Jul 2013 - 1:36am
Steve Baty

At the close of the submission period we have received two formal proposals to host Interaction 15. The two locations are: Santa Monica and San Francisco.

The selection team, along with the conference Chair, Ben Fullerton, will be reviewing the submissions and making a recommendation to the Board at the upcoming Board meeting in August.

Thank you to Santa Monica and San Francisco for submitting, and to all those cities who considered a proposal and chose not to this time around.

Many thanks

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