7. Programme structure and content

7.1 IASA’s approach

7.1.1 IASA solo conferences are generally organized around a theme and selected sub topics. The main theme is determined with the local organizers and the EB. The Vice-President in charge of conference programmes should work with local organizers in arranging the conference programme. He or she may be assisted by other members of the EB. Normally after the responses to the initial Call for Papers have been received the VP will arrange the papers into logical groupings and discuss this with conference organizers.

IASA Conferences normally can be broken down into 4 days, made up of paper sessions, poster sessions, plenary sessions, committee and section meetings, and a GA meeting. 

Please refer to the programmes of recent conferences for guidance on the hour-by-hour elements of IASA conferences.

7.1.2 Joint conferences
A joint conference cannot be planned as simply as a IASA solo conference. No two associations’ internal structure will be the same. The sessions at joint conferences ideally should also be arranged along thematic lines. It may be that there will be a mixture of joint sessions and IASA oriented sessions to which all conference delegates would be invited. Emphasizing joint thematic sessions enables IASA members to see their concerns addressed in a larger context. Joint conferences require extensive planning and understanding of the other organizations conference arrangements.

7.2 Topics

7.2.1 The EB believe the following matters of broad interest to the membership should be addressed by a IASA conference:

  • Acquisition and exchange;
  • Documentation and metadata;
  • Resource discovery and access;
  • Copyright and ethics;
  • Preservation and conservation;
  • Research, dissemination, and publication;
  • Digitization of analogue and carrier-dependent media content;
  • The work of sections and committees;
  • The direction of the Association and the profession;
  • Local scene, showcasing a range of AV archiving institutions, giving archiving a cultural context;
  • Training.

7.2.2 The IASA EB should solicit from the membership through the sections and committees and the open forums the various issues the membership feels should be addressed in future conferences. These can then be forwarded to future conference hosts and be developed as themes. Possible keynote or other speakers may be suggested and approached. The Programme VP, along with the local advisor and others delegated to work on the programme, will be the ultimate arbiter of the final speakers/topic list.

7.2.3 The EB encourages diversity in the manner the content is delivered. A panel discussion is an excellent way to involve the audience and to get a range of experts debating, often, controversial issues. If a panel discussion is mounted it is recommended that there be no more than four panellists, plus a moderator, and that at least half an hour is set aside for audience questions and comments if the panel occupies a full session. A panel can take the place of a 30 minute paper but it must be strictly moderated.

7.2.4 Whilst the delivery of a paper by a third party is not encouraged there are times when this cannot be avoided. In such circumstances, the paper should be represented by someone with a stake in, or opinion on, the matter. In a sense it should be turned into a joint paper and the presenter should be able to enter into a discussion or answer questions from the floor rather than being a passive translator. The EB will also encourage innovative delivery methods. Developing technologies make it possible for a paper to deliver from another country for much less than it would cost to fly them there.

7.3. Structure of a session
A session of one and a half hours would usually comprise 3 speakers delivering a paper of 20 minutes length. In a one & a half hour session this would allow for 10 minutes of questions following each paper.

7.4 Parallel sessions
Parallel sessions are often necessary in order to fit all the content. The programme committee should consider very carefully the impact of creating parallel sessions and the placing of parallel sessions in the programme. They need to analyze whose interests are being served by each session and how any clashes of interest can be minimized.

7.5 Poster sessions
Poster sessions can run in parallel with the plenary sessions and possibly during break times. They will take place in a different venue to the plenary sessions and a number of posters may be delivered in the same room or space.