In the Spotlight: LA ACM SIGGRAPH

August 2021 Event: Welcome to LA - Chapters party 2021
Hosted by LA ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter
online event via Discord

The SIGGRAPH 2021 conference was virtual so the Chapters party was too.  LA ACM SIGGRAPH participated with other chapters around the world with their “Welcome To LA” virtual party events. Even though the party was virtual, it was just as fun as any other event. The Los Angeles ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter strives to create a fun environment by creating a wealth of things for people to do. From a trivia game, to virtual tours of LA, the chance to control an actual giant robot on a robot farm in New Mexico, create artwork using A.I., and art and music channels to explore, the LA Chapter had much to offer. The LA ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter held their Welcome to LA - Chapters Party event on August 12th 2021 5:30 - 6:30pm.

Trivia game graphic (Photo credit: Sunil Rampersad, LA ACM SIGGRAPH)

The Los Angeles ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter has advice for other chapters who would like to run an online event. They say that you will need a lot of help on the day of the event to make sure everything runs smoothly. You should also double check that people can log into your event without issue. Even with planning and practice, new issues can arise. Always be prepared and ready to troubleshoot by coming up with creative solutions. 

There were a few positive outcomes from this event. People did have a great time and that usually makes people more sociable. There was no need for an open bar here! Although the event was supposed to end at 6:30pm, people were still hanging around socializing until 9pm. The event might have gone even longer had the host been able to stay. During this segment of the party, people were able to network and celebrate the SIGGRAPH Conference. In a time where many people do not have the opportunity for human interaction, this kind of event is so important. 

Screenshot of video call on Discord (Photo credit: Sunil Rampersad, LA ACM SIGGRAPH)

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Postmortem for Other Chapter Leaders

If you want to host a successful online event, think of a theme and then see what type of events fit that theme. In this case it was LA - which is where the conference would have been had it been in-person. Most of the activities were based on past LA ACM SIGGRAPH chapter events. One activity was about robots that they previously had during their February 2021 event. Another activity showcased artificial intelligence from their December 2020 event. They also had channels dedicated to the art and music of Los Angeles. An interactive activity allowed participants to give short tours of their small part of the city. It is important to have interesting topics and activities for an online event. This will keep attendees engaged and looking forward to future events. 

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