Survive Your Day At SIGGRAPH 2002

Background
The annual SIGGRAPH conference exhausts most people by the middle of the week (a few attendees are exhausted on their first day!). The sights, sounds, people, and energy can mesmerize and overwhelm, especially if you are unaccustomed to large events like this conference. Forget jetlag. The conference saps both your physical and mental stamina.

PLAN AHEAD! Try to organize and to set priorities. This is the secret to enjoying your conference experience for all it is worth.

Essentials

Plan your day/week.
Give yourself a chance to succeed. Plan a framework for your visit, even if it is a loose one. When you are in the middle of the experience, there will always be 10 different opportunities crying for your attention.

Plan for "down time"
Plan some time every day to get off your feet before dinner. Let both your mind and body relax. Find pockets of time in your daily schedule to unwind when you can feel like you aren’t missing something important. Some people go to the Computer Animation Festival screening rooms to enjoy animation and rest in some peaceful darkness. Others plan time to meet and talk with friends.

Be comfortable
SIGGRAPH is a casual conference. Wear clothing that is comfortable for you. If you are particularly susceptible to cold, pack a long-sleeved shirt or pullover. Even though you are going to a hot summer climate, air conditioning in the convention center can be chilly. Also, you need a good pair of comfortable walking shoes or sandals and fresh socks, if you wear them. You will walk, literally, many miles on carpeted cement floors that can fatigue even the healthiest of feet.

Eat something and drink water every day. Eat breakfast, if you can, because you will probably eat a light and quick lunch. It is always a good idea to carry snacks with you for energy on the run. If you need to save money, you may wish to plan for this before you arrive. Also, you should drink plenty of fluids, as the dry air of the convention center can quickly dehydrate you.

Pack the pack
A backpack or waistpack can easily help you comfortably carry those many things you will need with you during the day. It is best to pack as much as you can comfortably accommodate because trips back to hotels can sometimes take up large chunks of your day if your hotel is not close by.

Sleep
SIGGRAPH is a conference that never sleeps (or at least never admits to sleeping). It is easy to make sleep your last priority when you have people to meet, places to go, things to see. Don't forget to get some sleep, or you can become a basket case before the week is over. Pace yourself to last the whole week.

First Aid
It is best to be prepared with some basic personal-care items for your week: aspirin (or other pain reliever), bandaids, moleskin (if you are susceptible to blisters from walking), energy snacks, bottled water, eyedrops, and tissues for your nose.

Conference guides
The Conference Locator and the conference message boards are vital navigation and communication aids. The locator, which is included with your registration materials, is a compact synopsis of the conference at your fingertips. The message center allows you to check in with friends all over the conference. Use this service and then check at least once a day. It's amazing who you can meet there.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kinds of services are available if I need help?
A: The SIGGRAPH conference provides a number of visitor services that vary in type and scope each year. Check conference documentation for current offerings. You can usually find references to automated teller machines, luggage check rooms, child care, first-aid offices, food services, information desks, lost-and-found offices, message centers, restaurant information counters, shipping desks, and hotel shuttle service (to name a few).

Q: Is there a way to find people at the conference?
A: There is no easy mechanism to locate people at the conference. Your best bet is to pre-arrange meetings with people at set locations and times. The conference message center can also be used for non-urgent types of communications, but this assumes that your party
knows to check here periodically.

Checklist

  • Daily/weekly schedule.
  • Comfortable clothing and walking shoes.
  • Long-sleeved shirt or sweater.
  • Backpack and/or waistpack.
  • Energy snacks and bottled water.
  • Aspirin, bandaids, moleskin, eyedrops, tissues.
Feedback
This information was brought to you by SIGGRAPH 2002 Pathfinders, a volunteer group dedicated to mentoring first-time conference visitors. Please take a moment to help us help you. Let us know how this information improved (or could have improved) your conference experience. You can find us at SIGGRAPH 2002 at the Pathfinder booth in the main lobby or via email: pathfinders@siggraph.org. Thank you.






> Getting Around at SIGGRAPH 2002
> How to Bring SIGGRAPH 2002 Home
> SIGGRAPH 2002 on a Budget
> Survive Your Day at SIGGRAPH 2002
> Networking With People at SIGGRAPH 2002
> SIGGRAPH 2002 Publications Overview
> Educational Opportunities at SIGGRAPH 2002
> An Insider's Guide to SIGGRAPH 2002 Courses
> SIGGRAPH 2002: State of the Art

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