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How to Bring SIGGRAPH 2001 Home
Audience: Conference Attendee (any registration)
 
Background
People who attend this conference know they have attended "BIGgraph" by the end of the week. They are mentally and physically exhausted. With a little pre-planning, you can have a great conference experience and bring something useful back home after it is all over.
 
The secret is data management: having a plan to seek out, capture, and store what you want so that you can use it later.
 
Essentials
  • Take notes. Carry a small pad and a pen to capture ideas you see and hear. Make it something you can carry in your pocket, purse, or waist-pack.
     
  • Prioritize. Know your priorities and how you want to manage your time. If you know these in advance, you can flexibly make instant trade-offs as new opportunities arise and compete for your attention.
     
  • Make contacts. Ask people you meet for business cards or write down their contact information on your pad. Invariably you will want to continue your discussions after the conference and you shouldn't leave it to them to contact you. They'll most likely forget. (Don't forget to bring your own business cards, too, in case you are asked!)
     
  • Know your publications. Have an idea of which conference publications will be important to you after the conference. If they do not come with your level of registration, then buy them in the merchandise store when you have a spare moment. But don't wait until the end of the week. You'll run out of time and be disappointed.
     
  • Seize opportunities. Moments are fleeting at the SIGGRAPH conference. Seize them when you can, because you will most likely not see them again.
     
  • Divide and conquer. If you are going with another person or group, make a plan to split up some of the conference so that you can get maximum coverage for the things that are important to you. Also, let the other person know what is important to you so that they can capture it for you.
     
  • Debrief. Make it a habit to sort out your thoughts, your notes, your business cards, etc., at some time each day, such as before you go to bed. It can take only a few minutes, and your data will make much more sense when you get home.
     
  • Exit plan. You will collect lots of information and stuff at SIGGRAPH 2001. Many of the brochures and publications will be heavy. Plan on having a suitcase that you can check, or use the conference shipping desk to mail your treasures home. Don't wait until the last day to use the shipping desk. Everyone else does this!

Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Can I get conference materials after the conference?
A: Many conference materials like printed and digital proceedings can be purchased after the conference, but they are not all available later. Printed course notes, for example, can only be purchased at the conference. Also, any signature items like shirts, bags, mugs, etc., that bear the conference year's logo can only be bought on a first-come-first-served basis at the conference, so plan ahead.
 
Q: What planning resources are available to me?
A: Before the conference, you can review the conference year's Advance Announcement (tabloid format), Advance Program (brochure), Web site (www.siggraph.org), conference Schedule Builder (on the Web site), and colleagues you know who have previously attended. At the conference, you can use the Program and Buyer's Guide, the Conference Locator (abbreviated reference), and the SIGGRAPH Pathfinder program.
 
Q: How do I find topics or products of interest to me?
A: The conference Web site and Program and Buyer's Guide have sections that you can search by certain topics and keywords. There are also informal, focused group gatherings called Birds of a Feather (BOFs) that meet throughout the week.
 
Q: How do I find people with similar experiences or interests?
A: Don't be afraid to talk to people you meet in lines, at exhibits, during receptions, etc. Some of the best contacts are made by pure happenstance. Check out any conference materials you might have in advance for ideas.
 
Checklist
  • Small pad of paper and pen or pencil.
     
  • Briefcase, backpack, or other convenient bag to carry things gathered in a day.
     
  • Pre-printed business cards.
     
  • Know items of interest for colleagues back home.
     
  • Pocket calendar or handheld computer for appointment keeping.

Feedback
 
This information was brought to you by SIGGRAPH Pathfinders, a volunteer group dedicated to mentoring of first-time conference visitors.
 
Please take a moment to help us help you. Share with us how this information improved (or could have improved) your conference experience. You can reach us at SIGGRAPH 2001 at the Pathfinder booth in main registration or via email: pathfinders@siggraph.org. Thank you.
 


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