In TUG Talks
Summary: Joe Elmendorf writes about kicking off Milwaukee's first World IA Day event in 2016. 

I had the pleasure of bringing World IA Day to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the fifth year of the one-day annual celebration of information architecture.

Milwaukee World IA Day 2016 Photograph of Audience

A full room in Milwaukee for World IA Day 2016!

I grew up in a northern-Milwaukee suburb and moved back a year ago after a 10-year hiatus in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Being in Ann Arbor so long, I was accustomed to a rich and vibrant community of IA practitioners that I just didn’t find in Milwaukee. My goal in bringing World IA Day to Milwaukee was to draw out 15-20 practitioners with whom I could start a community like I had left.

Long story short, by January 1st we had 35 people signed up and I had to ask our sponsor, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Information Studies, for a larger venue. I asked for capacity up to 75, and they provided a room for 100; I never imagined even coming close to making that room look filled. On February 20th, the morning of World IA Day, we had 90 people registered and 60 of those were in attendance—pretty good for a free event.

I am amazed to have found such a robust community in Milwaukee, where I had previously thought there was none. Additionally, the speakers who volunteered to speak were phenomenal. Below you will find their slides from the day.

Thanks to everyone who attended and to those spoke! I’m already looking forward to next year.

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