Boston China Town graffiti as seen on the daily commute from the hotel to the BCEC
Major mishaps, because my timing was apparently totally out of synchronization with that of most everyone else's. I missed out all over the place, and only dogged persistence on my part, and the kindness of those who took pity on me, pulled something like a victory from the jaws of defeat.
We had a heat-wave, for those who have not caught on or live in a news-sheltered part of the USA. It was sticky-hot and sweaty- humid.
This was my most expensive Siggraph trip so far. Also, taxation, definitely w/o my representation added $15 a day to the price of my room at the Courtyard Marriott. Nonetheless, there never is a substitute for 'being there'. Siggraph is always a special time and experience. I made excellent contacts, took care of some problems and got some show specials. Not many drawings this year, and so I won nothing. However, I did not walk away completely empty-handed. Got a book, when I was at the Newtek booth at the right time, sneaked to me by one of the Newtek ladies (Andy was throwing them, but only in one direction). Then, I slept the last night at the airport (I had a very early flight which would have made for a short night at the hotel plus an expensive ride to the airport), and used the money saved to buy some software. The Newtek party was great, even though I missed most of it. There actually were two, but I missed that second one completely.
It was great (for me anyway - they might think otherwise) to meet the friendly and capable Newtek staff again, as well as the boss. They are a great lot, good source for information and are always friendly and eager to help.
Siggraph, as always was not just the story of the big corporations, but also of the smaller companies and entrepreneurs, who always enrich and at times become stars of the 3D design or art world. Those who provide innovative approaches, new ways to scan 3D objects, provide sensory feedback to gamers or designers, and the near teleportation-like rapid prototyping equipment providers, who can do something like fax a sculpture or machine part from a file to be reproduced anywhere in the world, where one of their prototyping machines is located. They, sometimes are the real story and may well become the 'heavy' hitters of the future.
Anyway, it was fun and it's a kind of educational mini-vacation for me. To truly do Siggraph justice, you have to go there yourself and use your own filters and find your own trail of happiness, and discover in the end, to your surprise, how much of it you managed to miss, in spite of your best efforts. So, you make the best of it and enjoy the time you've got and the people you meet. In the end, it's a community and it's all about the people.
Once, many, many years ago, a Siggraph 'Exhibit-only' ticket included the Electronic Theater. Then that became a $50 add-on. Now they created an a-la-carte type structure, where you end up paying for everything. Because a lot of people apparently just bought or were given free 'Exhibit-only' tickets in the past, and then enjoyed the heretofore free Animation Theatre, they now made that one a $25 option too. At this rate, we'll end up being charged for the use of the toilets in the future and may end up with coin-operated water fountains.
Next year's Siggraph will be in the superbly located San Diego convention center, and from what I now see, the West Coast exhibits are far more glitzy and exciting than the East Coast shows. San Diego will be a good one and one to look forward to. I, for one, will definitely be there.