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SIGGRAPH 2003 On A Budget
Audience: Conference Attendee (Full Conference registration)

Background
The SIGGRAPH conference experience is rich, but it doesn't need to be expensive, too. There are some basic expenses you cannot avoid, but here are a few hints about how to minimize your costs. The best secret for conserving your resources is planning early. A little work ahead of time can make a valuable difference later.

Essentials

Registration. Choose the registration category that will meet your needs at the conference, then try a few of these options to reduce your costs:
Register early. Registering before the early-cutoff date can save serious dollars. Don't wait until the last day to get the discount. Many do and risk the possibility of not getting it.

Become a SIGGRAPH member. SIGGRAPH members enjoy discounted rates for registration. You will need to register for membership before you register for the conference. The savings alone can pay for the cost of all the conference documentation you receive with registration rather then buying them individually.

Full Conference registration. This category gives you access to all programs and events during the entire week plus loads of great conference documentation. It is a bargain at any rate.

Exhibitor guest. Exhibitors are allowed a small quantity of guest passes to the SIGGRAPH 2003 Exhibition. You may wish to contact an exhibitor to locate one of these limited-access registrations if the Exhibition is your main focus.

Transportation. There are numerous cost savers here. Book early. Super-saver fares usually go first, often by late April. Booking a month ahead of time can often get you the lowest fares.

Saturday night stayover. Arriving on a Saturday can add considerable savings to your ticket, sometimes more than the cost of a hotel room for the extra night.

Neighbor cities. If you book late, you might want to look into flying into neighboring airports (Los Angeles or Anaheim) and using local transportation to reduce costs.

Shuttles. Plan on using a shuttle service to your hotel unless you are traveling with others and can share a cab.

Housing. Early booking will help to guarantee lodgings that fit your price constraints. SIGGRAPH conference hotel reservations begin in early March, so there is no excuse for not reserving the room you want. Also, if you plan on sharing a room with another attendee, you can designate that person if you make your reservations at the same time.

Eating smart at SIGGRAPH 2003
You need to keep up your strength, so don't skimp here. Smart attendees plan ahead. If you like to snack, plan on bringing snacks with you for your use during the week. If you need to eat during the day, you will be faced with trading off convenience for economy. Convention center prices cater to convenience. Eating elsewhere can save you some money, but the time spent may not be worth it. You may wish to research local restaurants before you arrive to find sources of economical food near the convention center. (A little time spent searching the web can achieve this quickly.)

Budget
Don't forget to budget some money for one-of-a-kind items that you can get only at the conference. Things such as t-shirts and other novelty items are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Buy them early so you won't miss out on the chance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I find others to share a room with at the SIGGRAPH conference?
A: Although there is no official service to do this, you are free to designate a hotel roommate at the time you make your hotel reservation (provided you both reserve at the same time).

Q: Are there any special travel discounts for SIGGRAPH conference attendees?
A: Attendees can sometimes take advantage of special airfares and car rental rates when booking with the official SIGGRAPH travel agent. Inquire about these options when you make your travel reservations.

Checklist
Register early for travel, housing, and the conference.
Request available travel discounts.
Research local restaurants before you get to the conference.
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 find us at SIGGRAPH 2003 at the Pathfinder booth in main registration or via email. Thank you.



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