Conference Advisory Group and Annual Conference Report

Scott Owen ACM SIGGRAPH CAG Chair

The SIGGRAPH 2001 Conference, held August 12-17 in Los Angeles, was a great technical, creative, and artistic success. It drew 34,000 people in total attendance with a paid technical attendance of over 7,600.There were 300 exhibitors occupying 124,000 square feet of space. It had a net income of $471,000.

As in most years the CAG has dealt with many operational and strategic issues over the past year. We have had four CAG meetings all with very full agendas. Several new Conference policies were developed, reviewed and posted (after review by the ACM SIGGRAPH EC). Several large contracts were signed after a full RFP/proposal review and recommendation/EC approval process.

A major thrust for the CAG in the past year has been to continue our effort in strategic planning. This strategic planning was guided by the results of the previous ACM SIGGRAPH strategic planning efforts. The CAG gathered information from a variety of sources, including published market projects, surveys, reports in marketing and meeting trends done by Conference contractors, discussions with contractors and volunteers, extensive email discussion, and group meetings and interviews held at the annual Conference. The CAG organized a session at the Game Developers Conference on what the SIGGRAPH Conference could do to attract more game developers. This has enabled us to identify some possible strategies for maintaining/growing the Conference and possible new strategic directions to pursue. We need to remember that our strength is the synergy of our community. Our challenge is to continue and enhance our ability to be the central meeting place where synergistic interaction between the creative and technical can occur without becoming too diffuse.

The CAG used all the information gathered to start several new strategic initiatives. The CAG is emphasizing outreach to other technical communities, such as games, web graphics, and digital video, and at the same time, trying to increase the presence of Interactive Techniques in the Conference. SIGGRAPH 2001 solicited more content from these new communities and did a targeted mailing to game developers. SIGGRAPH 2002 has increased this effort. For SIGGRAPH 2002 we have started a new Conference Program on Web Graphics that will continue for future Conferences. For SIGGRAPH 2003 we have created a new Conference Committee position for Technical Outreach . Also the Conference Special Sessions are used partly as a strategic vehicle. After a program review, the CAG decided to transfer the Online Program to ACM SIGGRAPH after the 2001 Conference.

The CAG has created a website (www.siggraph.org/conferences/cag) that includes information about Conference site selection, attendance demographics, conference finances, strategic directions, and other general information.