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Interactive Sessions

Interactive Sessions submissions are now closed, and final notifications have been sent. If you have not received notification, please contact us by email.

Message from the Committee

In keeping with our theme to Reach Beyond, we challenge the CHI community to envision and propose novel genres of interactive sessions for CHI 2007. We have deliberately dropped the label "Panels" because we want to discourage the "5 or more short papers" style of session. Think back to conferences you've attended and interactive sessions that have worked really well - what made them effective? Can you think of novel alternatives? Do you have a favorite controversial topic? We especially invite sessions that reach beyond individual communities to discover novel perspectives. Feel free to contact the Community Chairs or other members of the Technical Program Committee to try out your ideas.

Make your submission via the 'Trends' sections of the SIGCHI PCS siteexternal link (select "new submissions" in the top menu after logging in)


Interactive sessions are 90-minute sessions that involve significant interaction with audience members. They contrast with Interactivity sessions in that the focus is on interaction with people rather than with novel technologies. An Interactive session can come in many forms, but often these sessions include an invited group of experts who may debate or critique concepts or artifacts, enact some aspect of their expertise, or reflect on and compare their diverse experiences. The the sessions should also include involvement from the audience, often through questions and answers, voting or critique of the experts' presentations, and so on.

Potential examples of Interactive sessions include:

  • Debate among two or more experts who hold radically different views on how to design or evaluate an HCI system, what makes for effective use, who the stakeholders in an HCI project should be, etc.
  • A "goldfish bowl", where experts begin by debating a set of central questions or propositions, but where participants are replaced in a rotating fashion by audience members who volunteer to participate in the debate.
  • A real-time demonstration and/or critique of HCI expertise (e.g., in design, analysis, etc.)
  • A skit, improvisation or contest where competing or complementary ideas are thrown out for reaction and discussion.
  • Experts' responses to a set of questions or issues in round-robin style, where each expert is charged to respond as if they were speaking for one of their (competing) peers.
  • In keeping with the 25th anniversary, a roast of notable CHI conference sessions, presentations, ideas, people, etc. over the years
Regardless of the format, all session proposals should include a plan for engaging audience members in the interaction. Interactive sessions can be submitted to any of the six communities: Design, Education, Engineering, Management, Research, and Usability.

Format of Submissions

Experience Reports

The primary submission material consists of a 4-page extended abstract in the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format.


The extended abstract should include the title; the names and affiliations of the organizer(s), as well as each proposed invited participant. For the extended abstract, include only the invited participants who have been confirmed (others can be described in the session proposal, see below). The submission should also include the standard elements needed for the Conference Extended Abstracts - an abstract of no more than 150 words, keywords for indexing, and classification keywords for inclusion in the ACM digital library. Within the 4-page constraint you should summarize the lessons or experiences you hope to convey in the session. This should include the topic(s) to be covered, as well as contrasting or controversial perspectives on the topic(s), Your extended abstract must stand alone; readers must be able to get something out of the abstract even if they do not attend the interactive session.

Along with your extended abstract, you must develop a session proposal of up to eight pages. This proposal will not appear in the Extended Abstracts but rather will be used by the reviewers to judge the suitability of your concept as an interactive session. Thus it should address a number of issues, including:

  • the main topic(s) to be presented, debated, discussed, enacted, etc.
  • who will participate, how they have been (or will be) recruited, why these people, what qualifications they bring, etc. In this proposal document, you may include participants who you hope to recruit but have not yet confirmed participation.
  • the session format - how you will run it, the invited participants' role, your role, the audience role
  • logistics we need to consider to host the session (e.g., special seating or A/V, audience size limitations, use of student volunteers, expectations about attendee background or interests, etc.)
  • any other considerations that will help reviewers appreciate your concept.
The extended abstract and the proposal should be prepared as separate PDF files.

Review Process and Criteria

Review process

The reviews of Interactive sessions are organized by the appropriate Community Co-Chairs, using a panel selected by them. It is our hope that each submission will be reviewed by at least 3 reviewers - and potentially more if there is disagreement. Unlike submissions to the HCI Archive, there is no mechanism for author response in the review of Interactive sessions. Organizers will be provided with the reviews of their submission after the decision is announced.

Review Criteria

Interactive sessions present ideas that are novel, controversial, or engaging for other reasons to the audience, inspiring the audience to respond and further elaborate the ideas. Submissions will be reviewed independently by reviewers drawn from the relevant community(ies). The review criteria will consider the extent to which the session proposes:

  • one or more topics likely to evoke a lively response from the CHI attendees
  • invited participants who will contribute unique perspectives, content, or other interactive content to the session
  • a well-organized and feasible session plan
  • a clear mechanism for audience engagement and interaction
  • useful and interesting contributions to HCI.

Confidentiality of Submissions

Confidentiality of submissions is maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential in perpetuity. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference, 28 April 2007. The supporting material will be kept confidential, though it is the expectation of the committee that much of it will be communicated in the presentation. The extended abstract should contain no information or materials that are proprietary at publication time.

At the Conference

Interactive Sessions will take place during the main conference, normally in parallel with other sessions. Session organizers are strongly advised to meet with their invited participants prior to their session to ensure a coordinated effort. If any special logistics are involved (e.g., seating, student volunteers, special A/V) organizers should also check in with Scooter Morris, Technology Liaison

Interactive Sessions Submission Checklist

  1. Read all the above material.
  2. Prepare a 4-page extended abstract in the Conference Extended Abstracts Publication Format.
  3. Test that your PDF prints correctly and is four pages or less.
  4. Prepare your session proposal.
  5. Test that your proposal PDF is eight pages or less.
  6. Submit both the extended abstract and the interactive session proposal to the CHI 2007 submission web site under Interactive Sessions. The extended abstract is your primary submission, and the proposal file must be submitted as an auxiliary file. Both pieces of your submission must be received no later than 20 October 2006, 5:00 PM (1700) PST.