The I3D'18 conference in Montreal, Canada in May 2018 was a tremendous success. The event had 143 attendees, which is a significant increase (2x) from the previous year and the highest attendance since 2012, the farthest back that we have good records. We attribute this to intentional changes to draw more submissions and more student attendees, and decrease attendee costs by locating in Montreal and raising more sponsorship.
The attendance breakdown was:
- Members- 28
- Non-Members- 30
- Students- 49
- Other- 36
The "Other" was group registrations, which were offered a bulk rate for schools and companies registering 10 or more people, included invited speakers, committee, and sponsor recognition registrations.
By hosting at a large game company and locating in Montreal where costs are at least 2x lower than San Francisco, we were able to stretch our budget much further. We primarily used that to lower costs for students, which helped to bring in a large number of attendees. Because we still budgeted conservatively and raised significant corporate sponsorship,there was a $25.9k surplus. We hope that next year's chairs can use half of that for new initiatives to further broaden participation. One suggestion that we have is adding subsidized or free child care on site for attendees.
67 members of the community served on our international programme commitee. For the first time, selected papers received two rounds of review and were published in the Proceedings of the ACM as a Journal. We recommend that next year there be no distinction in page length or presentation length between journal and conference papers, although the journal papers should still have the extended review process to verify required changes.
There were 70 papers submitted. Of these, 22 (31%) were accepted as journal papers and 14 were accepted as conference papers. We also had 12 posters accepted and 6 presentations from TVCG and JCGT authors that were outside of the I3D review process.
We had keynotes on machine learning from Daniel Holden (UbiSoft), virtual reality from Turner Whitted (NVIDIA), and graphics tools Aras Pranckevičius (Unity). Andy van Dam (Brown) has agreed to be one of our invited keynotes for next year as well, as he was invited this year but could not attend. We regret that neither of the two female speakers we invited and neither of the academic speakers were able to accept our invitations. By the time we realized that they were not available, it was too late to go to another round of invitations. So, we recommend that next year's chairs begin keynote speaker invitations immediately and invite a disproportionate number of women and people of color. This will increase the odds that they will succeed at diversifying the invited speakers more than we were able to.
The general chairs for next year are Natalya Tatarchuk (senior) and Sheldon Andrews (junior, this year's posters chair). As is I3D custom, Derek and I will proceed from 2018 general chairs to serve as 2019 papers chairs.
We wish to make special note of the service of then-graduate student, now Dr. Ari Blenkhorn of UMBC, who served as the publicity chair for I3D'17 and I3D'18. She was remarkably responsible and proactive in her official duties managing publicity as well as helping out with other tasks that arose for conference organization and during the event.
We also wish to note that the UbiSoft staff Chantal Castonguay and Eloise Boucher handled significant local arrangements and event management during the conference, which greatly reduced the general chair burden and made the event successful. While such an accommodating hosting sponsor is rare, we recommend that next year's chairs seriously consider the UbiSoft offer to host again and consider the value added by external staff when looking at other potential hosting sponsors such as Unity and McGill, vs. hosting at a hotel.