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Pixelsonic
04-28-2008, 11:41 AM
Hi,

Im from Berlin/Germany and would like to visit Siggraph 2008 (first time) to get in touch with potential employers for freelance work and to get informed about the latest developments in the industry.

But the cost is very high for me:

Flight $ 1600 from Germany
Full conference $ 850
Accommodation $ 500 ?

So it would be at least $ 3000 for me to go to Siggraph, which is quite a lot to be honest.

Do you think it still makes sense to go and attend the full conference ?

Is it necessary to attend the full conference for $ 850 or is it enough to just attend the basic conference and save $ 700 ?

Best,
Martin

malducin
04-28-2008, 03:42 PM
Now that SIGGRAPH eliminated the Conference Select, the decission is more difficult.

Anyway 500 for accomodation for the whole week is quite cheap and if you share the room with other people (say 4 people in a room) you can lower your costs much further. There is a thread for looking for roomates around here.

As far as paying for the whole conference that is a tough call. If by getting "informed about the latest developments in the industry" you mean attending things like the Technical Papers, sure spend on the Full Conference. If you want to hear behind the scenes talks about how CG in high profile projects (film VFX, TV, commercials, music videos, etc.) were done, the only option is the Full Conference is the only option now (unfortunately). But if by getting informed you mean vendor news (new releases, product demos, user group meetings, etc.) then the Basic Conference might be more than enough.

There aer other ways to save money as well besides sharing a room. You can eat on the cheap in LA, check at big Universities to see if a group is going to SIGGRAPH (they might get cheaper airfare as a group), etc.

Pixelsonic
04-28-2008, 10:27 PM
Thanks for your help!

Ill check out the Siggraph website for more information about the papers and advantages on the full conference.

What I also intended with my question was, whether you or someone else would spend so much money for Siggraph or not. I have been to quite a lot of different conventions and fairs in the music and audio field, but not to many in the graphics field. So this is new to me and if many people say its worth spending the money because Siggraph is the place to make connections and find freelance jobs, Ill no doubt spend the money.
But if its more a conference where new products are shown and its hard to get in touch with employers and people, Id think again about going or not.

So any advice in this direction is appreciated.

Thanks,
Martin

malducin
04-29-2008, 12:06 AM
Oh certainly there's pople that spend that and more for SIGGRAPH since they fly from the other side of the world. There's people from Japan, India, Australia, etc. so the airplane ticket really adds up.

Personally, yes I spend around that much on SIGGRAPH every year: I always select the Full Conference, plus goodies (the mug, the Animation Festival DVDs). My flying costs are cheaper though and almost every year I share the room with at least one person. I used to really save on food as well but at least I try to have a couple nice dinners during the Convention (and I get one free because of the Reception). I usually stay a few extra days for non-LA years to visit (spent a couple extra days in Boston for example, or after San Diego flew to San Francisco, I usually take some vacation time after SIGGRAPH).

As far as SIGGRAPH per se in part it's worth it because it's the biggest CG conference in the world. SO yes, it's a good place to make connections (at SIGGRAPH and also events around it like the user group meetings). And no, contrary to what some people believe it's not just a place for new products announcements. For employment, there's the Job Fair, the Exhibition Floor and user group meetings among other things.

Although if you want more local contacts maybe you should try some of the European conventions like Eurographics, fmx and Imagina.

Or you may want to save for New Orleans next year, it was a blast last time :-P.

Pixelsonic
04-29-2008, 09:28 AM
Hey Malducin,

many thanks for your answer, this is exactly what I wanted to know.

Im planning to go to L.A. with my girl friend with vacation after Siggraph. But we were thinking about going at another time, because the flight would be half price when going in winter.

Knowing that its really important and worth to go, makes my decision much easier and Ill surely spend the money now.

About making contacts, you recommend the user group meetings. What are these and how do I find out more about these meetings ?

And one last question, what would you recommend to do to arrange meetings with people in advance. Id like to make the best out of the conference for me...

malducin
04-29-2008, 02:05 PM
User group meetings are events where users from a specific area of package gather. They are usually organized by the vendor. Usually there's a mix of vendor announcements (new products, etc.), customer presentations and some party. It's a good way to meet a lot of people. Usually the big vendors have user group meetings: Autodesk, Softimage, Newtek, Luxology, Side Effects, etc. The best way to find out is checking the vendors website, but also there is a specific thread here where people will post the meetings.

Other gatherings are the Birds of a Feather, or BOFs for short. They're mainlyfocused on specific areas, mostly non-vendor stuff (although there are a few like the Blender users BOF). BOFs cover things like OpenGL, Women in Animation, several areas of visualization, the annual Sake Barrel ceremony, etc. You can check the listing now at the SIGGRAPH 2008 site.

As far as arranging meetings it dpends on what you mean. You can arrange your own BOF if you have something specific in mind.

Pixelsonic
05-02-2008, 10:47 AM
Thanks for the info ! Ill watch the forum for anouncements and see if the vendors announce any user group meetings.

Looking forward to Siggraph :) !

Youpi
05-13-2008, 09:34 PM
Hello!

I’m living in Europe too, so, sorry for US resident, I’ll talk in Euros and not in dollar. :argh:

I went to 4 Siggraph and my budget was minimum 2000€ to 5000€, included travel, housing, car rent, siggraph, food and all those sort of things you can’t can’t buy (book, DVD, etc…). :blush:

Siggraph is 5 days long, but travel has to be at least 7 to 8 days, to go over jet lag and to have a rest day after the convention. I strongly recommend staying even longer after the convention to go to visit all those nice people you’ll make connection with.

So, is it worth 5000€? The answer is definitely yes!!!

You’ll going to learn A LOT a Siggraph, during courses (oops, classes now), papers, and, in fact, everywhere in siggraph. In fact, I learn so much during Siggraph that I need more than a year to practice and try!
So, if you compare price of a standard high-end CG workshop in Europe, the price is near the same! And you get a nice travel to California as bonus ;-). A student I know, talking about CG jobs, said he learnt more in 1 week of siggraph than 1 year in school.

And, it seams incredible but that’s true, you’ll meet people and companies you will work with! Really! You’ll make so many connections that there will not be fruitless. Believe my experience.

And, most important, you’ll have nice time during parties.

But there one thing you have to understand before going: Siggraph is here to share experiences.
If you plan to keep your work secret and to not talk about how you are working, it could be a very bad time for you. Share, and you will receive the more than you can imagine!

Hope to see you soon in LA !

Pixelsonic
05-20-2008, 12:56 PM
Hey Youpi,

many thanks for your comments and help. Its good to know that you feel its absolutely worth going and spending the amount of money on the convention. Im planning to stay longer anyway and add a nice vacation afterwards in California, so it will be even more expensive.

In regards to your recommendation to share my works and knowledge, what can you recommend to show ? Should I take Demo DVDs or printed pictures with me ? Is a business card sufficient, because people anyway visit the website ?

Ive been to fmx two weeks ago and Ive seen quite some people with their printed portfolios to show the pictures to potential employers.

So if you have any experience on this, Id appreciate your recommendation.

Thanks again and best regards to France ...
Martin

malducin
05-20-2008, 04:38 PM
If yo're looking for a job, then definately bring your portfolio, reels, resumes and business card. Or if you bring a laptop you can put your reel there to show around at least. Some people even bring portable DVD players at events, so you can at least brig a DVD version of your reel.

Youpi
05-20-2008, 10:08 PM
At siggraph 2006 in Boston, I came with about 20 DVD of my demo reel. I gave them the first morning!

In fact, you have to come with 2 things: one to show, one to give.

For giving, I suggest you DVD with your demo (I like it a lot ). NTSC is better, but, mostly, US companies read PAL DVD as well. You can also bring printed portfolio, but giving them is more expensive than cheaper DVD.
With each demo DVD, join your resume and a Demo Breakdown Paper (explaining the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of each image or animation) and also your business card.
If you plan to go to see big companies, you have to know exactly the job you want: Visualization, Lighting or FX (as seen in your Demo…).

For showing, anything with a screen is good! Laptop, Apple iPhone, Sony PSP, portable DVD player… You just have to be fast and don’t have to say ‘go to have a coffee while my vista laptop is booting…’. Just open it and show!
For still pictures, a printed portfolio is even better (no booting time ;-) ).

And, when you are showing your demo, don’t forget to give the DVD also!
Last year (in San Diego), I’ve seen someone showing his Demo on a laptop. It was a really good one, but when the company at the job fair asks for the DVD or resume, this poor person was unable to give it. So he misses the job!

Bring also a lot of business card, because you can’t go to parties with all your DVDs and laptop.

But the best thing to do is to keep eyes and ears wide open and don’t miss any opportunity to make connection, to talk to anyone, and to meet as many people as you can!

Just some little tips:
Go to the registration the first day, at first hour, so there will be a lot of people and you’ll have to wait half an hour! So, thanks to this, and even before Siggraph opens, you’re already making connections with people waiting around!
When it’s time for lunch, always go to the fullest table! I’ve found extraordinary people during lunch!

Siggraph is a wonderful experience, somewhere between dream and jungle!

See you at LA! :beer:

PS: I also plan to have some vacation in California before and after Siggraph :thumbsup: See you in Las Vegas !

Pixelsonic
05-21-2008, 10:20 AM
Many thanks Malducin and Loupi,

this is very helpful. Ill probably even print a more-page brochure including a dvd, which I can hand out. Having a PSP might be sufficient to show my reel to people right away. Ill also try to create a newer reell by then.

Regarding the showreel, would you recommend to specialize more in certain fields (music or audio in connection with 3D, or just lighting, or just matte backgrounds for example) ?

I mean currently Im incuding most things in my reel that Im offering, but I dont know if companies in the US are looking for such generalists or rather for specialists ...

In another thread where Ive posted my reel, there was no feedback unfortunately, so I though Id ask you, as youve seen it already.

Or should I post it in the "finished work: animation" thread ?

Best regards from Berlin,
Martin

malducin
05-21-2008, 04:51 PM
Regarding the showreel, would you recommend to specialize more in certain fields (music or audio in connection with 3D, or just lighting, or just matte backgrounds for example) ? I mean currently Im incuding most things in my reel that Im offering, but I dont know if companies in the US are looking for such generalists or rather for specialists ... In another thread where Ive posted my reel, there was no feedback unfortunately, so I though Id ask you, as youve seen it already. Or should I post it in the "finished work: animation" thread ?

That depends on what you're planning. Do you plan to work as a generalist or specialized on something. What kind of company are you looking for, small (they tend to hire more generalists) or big (they tend to look more for specialists).

Second don't put everything on your reel, keep it short and only the best stuff. About 3 min. tops. I would recommend toput your reel in the WIP forumfirst to et feedback if you're going to be putting somenew stuff later.

Also somepeople create several types of reel, say one a generalist reel to apply to a wide range of places, and a second specialized one when applying for specific jobs and/or companies.

Ziye-Liu
05-28-2008, 02:40 AM
Oops.... I'm a colleage student from People's Republic of China and attempt to join the Siggraph 2008. Once I thought that I might have be able to go under the name of my university (it really saves a lot of money) but it seems to be impossible now, so I'm thinking of giving up this dream...hahahaha....


anyway best wishes to you.

malducin
05-29-2008, 04:11 PM
Oops.... I'm a colleage student from People's Republic of China and attempt to join the Siggraph 2008. Once I thought that I might have be able to go under the name of my university (it really saves a lot of money) but it seems to be impossible now, so I'm thinking of giving up this dream...hahahaha.... anyway best wishes to you.

You could either goto SIGGRAPH Asia at the end of the year, or prepare for next year in New Orleans which will probably be a blast, hehe.

randychen
06-14-2008, 03:25 PM
Oops.... I'm a colleage student from People's Republic of China and attempt to join the Siggraph 2008. Once I thought that I might have be able to go under the name of my university (it really saves a lot of money) but it seems to be impossible now, so I'm thinking of giving up this dream...hahahaha....


anyway best wishes to you.


Siggraph Asia isn't too bad either, sans a visit to LA.

Titus
06-15-2008, 03:49 AM
Oops.... I'm a colleage student from People's Republic of China and attempt to join the Siggraph 2008. Once I thought that I might have be able to go under the name of my university (it really saves a lot of money) but it seems to be impossible now, so I'm thinking of giving up this dream...hahahaha....


anyway best wishes to you.

Next time try to apply as an student volunteer, they pay for your staying.

csmallfield
07-15-2008, 02:36 AM
Isn't next year in Vancouver?

You could either goto SIGGRAPH Asia at the end of the year, or prepare for next year in New Orleans which will probably be a blast, hehe.

CLONEOPS
07-15-2008, 04:47 AM
In 2011.
.:) woohoo.

"For the first time ever, the main SIGGRAPH conference will be held outside the United States."

Siggs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIGGRAPH)

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