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From the first time I heard about the IA Summits in the USA, I wanted to go to something like that. I also knew it would be very expensive trip, so I relegated this aspiration to the back-burners. Each year I’d read about the IA Summit, and each year I’d scramble to find the time and resources to get there, and each time I’d fall short or events would conspire to keep me away. I suspected I wasn’t alone in this though.
I started looking around for a local IA community to participate in. Someplace I could meet with like minded colleagues, share our knowledge and experiences, and swap juicy trade gossip. What I found was that while there was great interest in Information Architecture here in Australia, we did not yet have a community.
What to do?
A few local IAs responded to an invitation to gather for an IA Cocktail Hour. That first meeting there were four of us. Next month there was just two. We’d gather each month, drink beers, eat Indian food, and talk shop, and slowly the group would grow. Years passed. In February of 2006 someone suggested we needed an Australian IA Conference. We were sure we could, probably, get 60 people to come along.
Eight months later, we had the inaugural Oz-IA Conference with 100 attendees. I never realised it would be so much hard work. I also had the barest realisation of just how fantastic it would turn out. By the end of the first day I was sure of two things: (1) I was totally whacked, and (2) I’m definitely doing this again in 2007!
This year’s conference is again a momentous undertaking, and I’m especially grateful to the assistance, advice, encouragement, and not-so-gentle prodding from so many people. I especially want to thank Donna Maurer, Greg Dwyer, and James Robertson for their support and advice. Also, kind words are due to Jodie Duggan, the Oz-IA/2007 coordinator and assistant extraordinaire.
Finally, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to our sponsors, and not just for their financial or in-kind contributions. Their commitment in supporting this event is a huge vote of confidence.
So … it’s on again this year … will you be there?