Image Credit: The green roof at the Vancouver Convention Centre’s West Building. (Shutterstock)
As we get closer to the first-ever hybrid SIGGRAPH North America, we wanted to take a moment to consider the experience as Student Volunteers (SV). For many of you, this may be your first time at a conference, much less one in a post-pandemic world. The SIGGRAPH Student Volunteer Program Subcommittee (SVSC) has worked to design a Student Volunteer experience for those virtual and in person that will be engaging and enjoyable.
What Does a Hybrid Conference Entail?
The first question on most minds is what would be included in the in-person experience versus the virtual experience. SIGGRAPH 2022 Conference Chair Munkhtsetseg Nandigjav explained all this in the article, “The SIGGRAPH 2022 Committee Is Evolving the Conference Experience.”
What Can Student Volunteers Look Forward To?
With a hybrid conference in mind, there is one thing for certain: this year will be like no other. The roles of the Student Volunteers had to be revised to suit our new hybrid format. Because of that, the Student Volunteer experience as a whole transformed to make room for two separate components under one team.
How will the Student Volunteer experience be in 2022? We asked Raymond “Ray” Huang and Rogelio Sol from the SVSC to reflect on what they enjoyed most about past SIGGRAPH conferences in Vancouver and what they look forward to most about going back.
SVSC: What was the Student Volunteer experience like in Vancouver in 2018?
Raymond Huang (RH): This was my first year as a Team Leader (TL) and my second year at SIGGRAPH! One thing that’s particularly unique to Vancouver and is an interesting challenge is that the convention center is a two-wing building. Because of that, communication and teamwork is very important! Vancouver is my personal favorite SIGGRAPH location. Although the conference is wonderful, the city itself has so much to explore, and there is always something to do after the conference each day.
Rogelio Sol (RS): SIGGRAPH 2018 in Vancouver was my first year as an SV! It was a great time. I really enjoyed getting to meet other volunteers and experiencing what the conference has to offer. The weather was great when I was there. The downtown area was also very walkable, so it was easy to get around and explore. The night life was also really fun. Vancouver is a welcoming and active city.
Wondering about what to do while in Vancouver for SIGGRAPH? Check out this post 10 Ideas to Help You Experience Vancouver the SIGGRAPH Way.
SVSC: What are you looking forward to the most about the conference being in Vancouver for 2022?
RH: I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone in person again. Other than that, the food! Vancouver is very diverse, and it has amazing food from all over the world.
RS: Being reunited with so many SIGGRAPH friends again after so long! As my first year as a TL, Vancouver was one of my formative SIGGRAPH experiences, and the memories I made with that year’s TL team are particularly special for me.
SVSC: What advice would you give to a Student Volunteer/Team Leader for Vancouver this year?
RS: Make friends and explore together! I had a great time getting lost roaming around the city. I also made some great bonds while there with other volunteers — we’ve kept in touch and are good friends now!
RH: Take care of your bodies and minds throughout the conference. There’s so much to do, but the conference will also take a lot out of you! Stay hydrated throughout the day, listen to your body, and make sure to let someone know if you need assistance or a break.
How Can Student Volunteers Prepare?
With all that in mind, here are some tips to help Student Volunteers make SIGGRAPH 2022 the best year yet.
In-Person Student Volunteers
- Consider plans for traveling to Vancouver
- Consider what to bring to Vancouver
- Pack comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Bring a notepad for writing down the names and contact information of those you meet.
- Consider what you will do while in Vancouver.
- Always travel with a buddy or let someone know where you will be.
- Stay alert while exploring the city or attending events after the conference.
Virtual Student Volunteers
- Keep a charger and water bottle with you during your shifts.
- Always double check the time for your shifts. They may be on a different time zone than your own!
- Stay active online and through Discord.
For All Student Volunteers
- Bring a positive attitude!
- Connect with your fellow SVs, and have fun.
- Never hesitate to ask for help or reach out to your fellow SVs/TLs for support!
Whether you will be on the ground in Vancouver or participating virtually, SIGGRAPH 2022 will be an amazing experience for all!