Sunday, June 21, 2009

Get ready for Webdesign International Festival (WIF) 2010!

A couple of months ago, I had mentioned about my first experience regarding the Webdesign International Festival (WIF) 2008, which was held in Limoges, France, and also updated those interested to participate in the 2010 version of the event!

I had a very interesting conversation today (a couple of hours ago, actually) with my good friend, Aude Bourliataux, Chef de Projet, Webdesign International Festival, where I asked her about the next edition's agenda, the new organizing territories, as well as the key messages from WIF 2010.Copyright © Eric Roger, POINT CARRE

First up, it would be interesting to know the agenda for WIF 2010. Those who follow this blog probably know that WIF 2010 is the fourth edition of this global event.

According to Aude, the new version of WIF's website was launched last week. Since then, signing ups for the webjam have be opened. "Just as a reminder, every single competitor has to subscribe on our website to get access to team making and then to attend either physical or online preselection stages," she advised.

Interested competitors (or participants): note that two different kinds of shortlists will be organized to select the 35 finalist teams: physical preselection stages will be held in WIF's partner countries between mid-October 2009 to mid-February 2010, and on February 12-13, 2010, an online preselection stage will be set up. Finalists will be announced on 1 March 2010. The grand finale will be held during WIF 2010 on June 3-5 at Limousin Expansion, Limoges, France -- hopefully, at the the majestic ESTER Technopole, again!

Organizing territories -- Italy, new entrant!
Apparently, there are going to be new organizing territories this time around. Aude said: "As far as international development is concerned, we are planning to have more or less 15 organizing territories. The four partners from WIF 2008 -- Tunisia, India, Brazil and Japan -- are likely to get involved this year. We are working with them to prepare their next event." Preselection dates will be announced later.

She added: "The first new country to be involved this year is Italy [this is an exclusive news, folks! On top of these five countries, we are working on Belgium and Switzerland whose representatives showed tremendous interest last year. We have a lot of work to do to present the WIF abroad.

"Therefore, from now on and till October, we are going to look globally for some new partner countries. I will be visiting Argentina and Brazil this summer and then Canada, Sweden and Norway this fall. USA and China will also get our attention."

Folks in all of the countries mentioned -- get ready to get going! WIF is definitely an experience not be missed!

Coming back to WIF 2010, for competitors whose country of origin do not belong to the partner WIF countries, here's what they would need to do to participate.

Aude said: "We had 40 different nationalities involved in competition for WIF 2008, which is really satisfying. We can animate an international community with more than 150 nationalities visiting our website every single day. However, it is difficult to create a dynamic ecosystem everywhere. It is also difficult to find some reliable partners to organize short-listings in all of these countries.

"As I mentioned, we are going to look for partners till beginning of October. We'll announce each new partner, place and date as one goes along. For competitors -- whose countries are not involved in WIF 2010 with the organization of a short-listing, an online preselection stage will be organized on February 12-13, 2010."

Those taking part in physical or online short-listings have:
* to register individually on;
* to constitute a team of, one, two or three competitors;
* if a shortlisting is organized in their country, they will be sent to the local organizer; else, they will be automatically registered for the online preselection stage.

For the moment, a partnership with India has not been totally finalized. As a matter of fact, dates have not been chosen yet. Competitors have to visit WIF's web site regularly to figure out each new preselection stage, she added.

Webjam registrations
Registrations for the webjam were open last week. As per WIF, anyone can participate: webdesigners, artistic directors, developers, webmasters -- either professional or amateur. There is no minimum equipment required to participate, and competitors can use whatever hardware, software, technologies, etc., they would like to.

Adding further on the online shortlistings, Aude noted that an international jury -- chosen by WIF's staff -- will be set up. The jury will be composed of professionals: artistic directors, specialized journalists, design center directors... For the physical shortlistings, every partner country will need to set up its own jury. WIF will request every partner to constitute its jury with local professionals.

Finalists and the big final!
So, when will the finalists be announced post the shortlisting? Aude said that 10 days after each shortlisting, each partner country will let the WIF know its two selected teams. The names of the selected teams will be kept secret till the end of all the preselection stages. The final list of all finalists will be published on 1 March 2010.

The grand final will be held during WIF 2010 (June 3-5). The webjam will be the heart, of course, but WIF will also organize:
* An international marketplace to create commercial exchanges and industrial partnerships in sectors of new interfaces, new uses and digital innovation;
* An international congress: conferences and workshops, training sessions, round tables, debates on innovative themes (web 3.0, sensorial design, home automation interfaces, web security, accessibility, ergonomics, etc.);
* Job fair speed-meeting sessions;
* Events for general public including exhibitions, discovery workshops and "mini WIF" for school children.

Key messages from WIF
So what are the key messages that WIF wants to give out to the world: WIF is simply about innovation and interaction! Aude said: "We want the WIF to be seen as a FESTIVAL, a festival where people can attend: a renowned and extreme international challenge; an international market for interface design, interactive creation and digital content; an international centre of thought, of emulation, of new competences and new practices; and, a place of project development resulting from meetings with other professional people."

She added: "We want them to get a chance to show off their dynamism in a fast-growing market, to emphasise their skills in their field and establish themselves as innovative participants, and finally, to integrate in an international network of over 2,500 key contacts. We want to develop research potential of innovative enterprises and develop education and culture linked to interface design and to further exchanges between universities, professional sectors and researchers.

That's what's WIF 2010 is all about, friends! Let's meet in June 2010!!

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