WIAD 2024

Types of events


Depending on the size and format of your celebration, it may be more appropriate to have a focus for the day that does not include a live speaker. Here are some ideas:
  • Tune into live video feeds from other WIAD locations in the same or nearby time zones.
  • Watch online videos from previous World IA Day celebrations or other information architecture related events and presentations. Then have a conversation about the concepts presented.
  • Hold a group discussion about our global theme.


There are many kinds of talks you can offer at your celebration. We have seen celebrations include a few lectures in the morning and then turn the spotlight over for attendees to participate. Below are some styles we know have been successful.


A talk that usually lasts less than an hour and is given by someone knowledgeable in our field. Lectures can include keynote and plenary presentations as well.

Lightning Talks

A lightning talk is a short presentation lasting only a few minutes. There are two common formats for lightning talks:
Ignite Presenter is given only 5 minutes to present 20 slides. Slides automatically advance every 15 seconds.
Pecha Kucha This is a slightly longer format where presenters show 20 slides and have 20 seconds to talk about each. Slides advance automatically and the presenter has 6 minutes and 40 seconds to move through their presentation.


Participatory presentations rely on content to be contributed by World IA Day participants. This format comes from BarCamp which is an international network of user-generated conferences where presentations generally focus on technology and web concepts.

Panel Discussions

Including panel discussions as part of your celebration can be a good way to provide a deeper dive into a particular subject matter. Obviously you want your panel discussion to engage the audience so you can keep their interest. Here are a few steps to consider when planning:
  1. 1.
    Determine the size of the panel and the duration of the discussion. A typical setup for a panel is about 5 participants plus a moderator and the duration is typically 45 minutes to an hour with time built in for questions from the audience near the end. Inviting 5 people to join the panel will set you up well should a participate cancel last minute.
  2. 2.
    Select a good moderator. A good moderator understands they are there to guide the conversation, not to play a dual role of moderator and panelist. Choose a moderator with experience, someone who understands the subject matter and knows a bit about the panelists. The moderator should be able to both engage the speakers in conversation and connect them to the audience.
  3. 3.
    Provide information to prepare the panelists in advance. It is a good idea to contact your panelists a couple of times after they have accepted your invitation.
    1. 1.
      First, you want to be sure to thank them. Send an email expressing your gratitude and excitement that they will join your celebration. Include details such as date, time, location and anything else they may need to provide you before the event (photo, bio, social media handles, accommodation or meal preferences, etc.). Mention that you or the moderator will reach out just before your celebration to give specifics about the theme and topic of the session.
    2. 2.
      Introduce the moderator to the panelists about two weeks prior to your celebration. Your moderator should reply and include the celebration details again, the selected theme and topic, an overview of how the panel will proceed, what they should be prepared to do and a few sample questions that will be asked. It is also a good idea to point them to the program schedule on your location page at the worldiaday.org website. Location pages will be available in October.
    3. 3.
      Good arrangement is essential. It is important that the moderator is seated close to the panelists and not separated by a podium or table. In situations where panelists are joking or debating, it is important to give the audience an opportunity to pick up on subtle body language that can be hidden when a table or podium is blocking their view. Placing a few side tables or a low coffee table can give panelists a place to put their water or notes and helps make the stage more casual and inviting. Keeping the moderator near the panelists and ensuring all participants can easily see each other will make a huge difference for both the panelists and the audience alike.


Workshops are a great way to get people to collaborate. They provide a structure to help participants gain a deeper understanding of a concept or method within a safe learning environment. There are many ways to structure a workshop so rather than going into all of them, we have provided some helpful links below to get you started.