|| The Pre-SIGGRAPH Experience
24 July 2002
the night before SIGGRAPH and all through the house, not a creature
was stirring, save only my mouse. The banners were up, the SVs were
prepped, and all the equipment was rigged and well kept. In less
than twelve hours the influx would start of CG, it's people from
far and apart. The energy was rising, graphics talk could be heard
and all this inspired by an eight-letter word. SIGGRAPH had arrived
in San Antonio.
afternoon, upon arrival at the airport, I remember thinking that
soon the chaos, the fun and the excitement would start. However,
San Antonio was fairly quiet those first days before the conference.
A tourist city, we the outsiders seemed to be a majority - a multitude
of lost and wide-eyed strangers. However, as the remaining time
passed, the strangers became more familiar. Industry shirts, the
veteran SIGGRAPH logos and the techie talk could soon be seen, heard
the streets, particularly when strolling down the Riverwalk that
Friday, it was no longer a question of guessing who was here to
attend SIGGRAPH, but rather attempting to determine who was not.
Familiar faces from the previous year graced the crowd. People who
would later amaze me in courses and panels, sat there, casually
dining under the soft light and warm breeze. Curiously enough, after
months of anticipation, planning and heightened excitement, it was
only that last night that the realization finally dawned on me -
SIGGRAPH in all its glory was here for another year. If I blinked,
I felt I might just miss it.
through the convention center, maintenance and work crews the only
signs of life, you could almost hear the voices of the thousands
of attendees who would soon be walking these same halls. Soon the
company representatives would arrive, promising faster, better,
more efficient toys, hype, information and advancements. The empty
rooms would be full, the converted ballrooms would hold the eager
eyed, and the wall outlets would welcome the many laptop users of
just a few hours so many shared interests would meet and cross-inspire.
It would be like gaining access to an exclusive and rather eccentric
subculture: a community that only congregates in such large numbers,
one week a year. The incredible event would begin the following
day and just as suddenly as it arrived, it would be gone. However,
the impact would always remain. The message was clear: go back,
fine-tune, encourage and take the field to a new level never thought