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  Reports from SIGGRAPH 2001

The Large and Small of the Exhibition

by Erin Callihan
25 July 2002

It's a matter of survival of the fittest. So where do gadgets like keychains and personalized matchbooks fit into the scheme?

If you've never been to the Exhibition floor at SIGGRAPH, try to picture this: Times Square flashiness coupled with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of the latest graphics technology equipment, amidst an over-enthusiastic crowd of SIGGRAPHites. For the vendors it's a chance to show off, but it's also a means of survival.

For the more than 200 exhibitors, there goal is simple - get your attention and spark your interest.

Large money-making booths such as Intel, AMD, ATI, Hewlett Packard and Softimage can be seen from any spot on the floor, spanning as high as they are wide. Mini computer studios, complete with carpeted floors and leather stools, are assembled for the three-day long exhibition in order to flaunt their biggest and best products. NVIDIA attracted a multitude of onlookers with an on-site logo drawing competition, while the Art Institute offered Photoshop drawing and painting classes on their eye-catching flock of Apple Cinema displays. MAYA once again caught our eyes and ears with a series of presenters, including key speakers from Star Wars.

So, still wondering where the keychains and matchbooks come into play?

For the smaller booths, survival means not being overshadowed and not being overlooked. Their main survival tactic becomes word of mouth, and they know that we tech geeks love our free stuff.

The littler booths offered highly sought-after mass manufactured T-shirts and hats. The popular favorite seemed to be Virtual Clones' bright orange T's, which feature their catchy logo in black.

ESC Visual Effects, who was crammed in on one side of the show, offered match books and fortune cookies which were personalized with their logo. Throughout the week, their advertising spread, as matchbooks were left on tables throughout the Convention center.

Sticking with eye-grabbing marketing, Big Idea made use of their small space adorning their stand with a bright green plastic cucumber and a fake red tomato. The look definitely stood out among the tech-driven decor of the Exhibition.

So next year when you're at the Exhibition, remember the slogan "only the strong will survive." Because, you'll need lots of muscle to lug back the array of posters, foam penguins, magnets, pens, battery-operated fans and reading material that the booths will be using as bait.





Official SIGGRAPH 2002 Exhibitors Description



225 exhibitors in 2002.


2002 Conference Panels Page

Photos from SIGGRAPH 2002


This page is maintained by
Jan Hardenbergh
All photos you see in the 2002 reports are due to a generous loan of Cybershot digital cameras from SONY