VIS 2016 – Pre-conference

This is the first time I’m attending VIS, the visualisation conference. We discussed with Romain of blogging on our  experience, here is a personal account, we might post a more structured summary in the near future.

I’ll start with the pre-conference activities. Then will publish a post per day.

The conference really starts on a Tuesday, with Sunday and Monday dedicated to workshops and tutorials. With Romain, Charles Perin, Jeremy Boy and Jean-Daniel Fekete, we are organizing the LIVVIL workshop on Sunday.

Day -2: Friday

We left Lyon on Friday morning. We finalized the workshop plan on the plane from Lyon to Amsterdam, handled last minute things, drafted the workshop introduction presentation.

Compared to other workshops I’ve organized in which only people who submitted papers participated, VIS workshops are open to anyone. As organizers we have no idea how many people will attend. This makes it super challenging to structure the workshop, especially the interactive parts. Discussing only between authors and organizers, is one thing, but involving people who might just drop by for a bit is particularly difficult. So we planned various activities depending on the number of attendees.

The flight was during the day so we also got work/personal stuff done, and worked on a template for blogging during the week.

At arrival I met with Pierre and Yannick who were flying from Paris, we took a cab together to Baltimore and had diner together.

Day -1: Saturday

We booked an awesome airbnb at the edge of Baltimore’s safe area (still less than 15 minutes of walking distance from the conference venue). So my first interaction with a Baltimorean was with a crazy person knocking on the door at 4 in the morning 🎉. To keep up with the spirit I checked some of the Wire places in the morning.

In the afternoon we wrapped-up the workshop organization with Romain, finished the slides. Defined discussion points, and outlined next steps. I was in charge of managing the first panel so I also re-read the papers, and outlined a set of questions, and sketched an introduction to the papers. We also registered, checked the workshop room, and looked for a place to host the post-workshop lunch so that we could have more informal discussions.