Advice for rookie attendees?

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Old 06 June 2012   #1
Advice for rookie attendees?

This is my first time going to SIGGRAPH not as a student volunteer. Every year I feel I have gotten better at the conference, but I am a bit nervous going as a new grad, now looking to network with professionals instead of mostly other students going to mostly SV sessions. I was wondering if any vetrans had some advice on how to make the most of the conference? Any advice would be appreciated
Old 06 June 2012   #2
Hey Rachel,

If you see someone you know, talk. If you see someone you might recognise, introduce yourself. Don't wander aimlessly and wonder where the week went by Thursday.

Grab the Advance Program @ HERE and begin to map out what you'd like to see/visit etc. What you get from the week will depend on your purchased ticket, who you talk to (everyone) and where you go to network.

I've been going since 2005 and there are many I knew who have been going since the 1980s. If you've been a SV, now you don't need to answer questions. You need to ASK them! Definitely check out the Emerging Technologies, Computer Animation Festival and their Production Sessions, the Jobs Fair, the SIGGRAPH Dailies show and network like a crazy thing.

By the end of the week, if you don't have a suitcase full of business cards, flyers, ideas, notes and leads to several possible new jobs, there's something wrong.
For Editor and features writer, CGSociety; Global Artist Liaison, Ballistic Publishing. Freelance writer, media consultant & digital producer.
Old 06 June 2012   #3
After attending a few times, I've learned that it's great to go to some of the birds of a feather meetings and also parties/events and just start introducing yourself to people. I've met some great people that I've kept in touch with. You'd be amazed as to who knows who once you start chatting. It's like getting 1 degree of separation from people who know others at major studios, etc. Plus everyone is usually super friendly and fun to chat with!
Old 07 July 2012   #4
Hi there, you're the siggraph parties facebook group creator, aren't you? I'm about to go my second time, I went back in 2010.

Ditto on what these guys have said. If you find yourself chatting with some people who seem cool, get a group together and go out to dinner or something. I got to know a few people this way in 2010 and it got me an internship last year.

If you've been a SV before, you know comfy shoes are key :P

Grab the program guide and highlight or jot down every single one you find interesting. Then check their times against each other and narrow down the conflicts to the thing you like the most. If there's something you're interested in that you think could be over your head or super technical, I would definitely recommend that you go. I learned so many things simply through exposure.

If you're going with friends, make sure that you don't just hang out with them, it will be a detriment to your networking.

Last edited by andrewkennedy : 07 July 2012 at 05:01 PM.
Old 07 July 2012   #5
Thanks for all the advice so far.
This is my first SIGGRAPH meeting so I've been a bit nervous about what to expect, but more so that I'll be going out there solo...
Originally Posted by andrewkennedy: If you're going with friends, make sure that you don't just hang out with them, it will be a detriment to your networking.

but based on this, I'll probably be alright
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Old 07 July 2012   #6
No need to worry about going solo, my first few SIGGRAPHs I went that way and you would find plenty of friendly people especially at things like BOFs and the Reception. One year one guy bought me adrink, simply because I forgot to go to the ATM and was scrambling to find my credit card.

Don't forget to bring business cards, and wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
Old 07 July 2012   #7

Thanks for the advice guys! This year I feel like I am out of my depths. I am going with a bunch of people I know, and I've made a lot of friends from going in the past, and to boot, my boyfriend is coming (He's in CG too), and I'm worried about getting caught up with those guys, a lot of them are recent grads like me, and I'm worried it will turn into some sort of last hurrah trip, but for me, I'm having this start my serious job search.

Any advice for keeping myself nicely distanced from my friends? We're all staying at the same hotel, and I'm helping them get into as many parties as I can.

And yes, I am the party group creator, they have something similar for GDC, so I figured why not SIGGRAPH. It's a great use for my nervous energy.

About the reception, I am not getting a full conference pass this year (apparently as soon as you walk the stage, so does your student discount), is there a way to get in without purchasing the full conference pass? I'm getting the basic plus pass.
Old 07 July 2012   #8
Well when you're looking for jobs you'll be at the exhibition floor, which is pretty big, so there's lots of room to spread out. And the area where interviews happen is a separate extension to the exhibition floor where only job-seekers really go. People who are interested in different things will probably be attracted to different booths. You can spend a whole day just on the exhibition floor and still miss things. For the talks/other activities I recommend you go with your friends because it's more fun.
Old 07 July 2012   #9
If you are in the DC area you are welcome to come:
DC_SIGGRAPH Meeting Tuesday, July 24 (Preparing for SIGGRAPH)

:Daily Sketch Forum:HCR Modeling
This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government

Old 07 July 2012   #10
Hey guys, today a lot of things are being on-line, is it still reasonable to have a dvd with a reel? I am also thinking of dropping a reel and some more portfolio on my ipad, just wanted to hear your thoughts, cheers
Thank you,

- stas
Old 07 July 2012   #11
The iPad is what I'll be using primarily. Tablets weren't really huge when I went last but this year I'm guessing that it'll be pretty prominent. Also, it can't hurt to carry a few DVDs around for the few companies that would seriously be considering you.
Old 07 July 2012   #12
Here is a piece of advice that I have given for years and it works.

If you are serious about looking for at job at SIGGRAPH I STRONGLY recommend that you arrange for your interviews NOW.
Check which studios will be sending reps to the conference or have a private suite (Disney and Dream-works does this often)
Then check who will be attending the job fair.

Google their individual recuiters e-mails and send then a message that if they are interviewing at SIGGRAPH you are available for an interview (dont forget to include a link to your reel)..

Here are some videos that I produced a few years ago that should help.
Interview with Rhythm & Hues Studios at SIGGRAPH 2008.

LucasArts Recruitment Presentation- PART 1 (1 of 4)

Dreamworks Recruiting podcast @ SIGGRAPH 2008

Digital Domain/Recruiting podcast @ SIGGRAPH 2008
:Daily Sketch Forum:HCR Modeling
This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government

Last edited by RobertoOrtiz : 07 July 2012 at 05:28 AM.
Old 07 July 2012   #13
Thanks RobertoOrtiz, great suggestion. Thanks for the links!!
Thank you,

- stas
Old 07 July 2012   #14
Yes, thanks Roberto! The videos are very helpful.
Old 07 July 2012   #15
Regarding the job fair, I am wondering if handing out hard copies of resumes is best or just a personal business card or something with my online resume link and info on it? I'd hate to have resumes printed up and carry them around if no one really wants them in that format.

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