A beautiful website redesign for London SIGGRAPH with an intelligent events management system to make everyone's life a little bit easier
Since its establishment in 1974 as a small group of specialists in a previously unknown discipline, ACM SIGGRAPH has evolved to become an international community of researchers, artists, developers, filmmakers, scientists, and business professionals who share a passion in computer graphics and interactive techniques.
The organisation is grouped into various chapters that span the globe, with one particularly major group being the London SIGGRAPH chapter.
London SIGGRAPH run monthly events which help to promote the CGI industry, whilst bringing the community together. They invite industry leaders to discuss their latest projects, along with the technology used in the project and creative process’ and challenges involved. The events cover a whole host of visual delights from the motion graphics used in Prometheus, to the character design process of Groot, a character in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy release.
How we met
FX were approached by London SIGGRAPH after they learned of the work they had done with Double Negative, europe’s largest VFX production house. FX specialise in working with post production houses and VFX companies, and as well as having a strong background in VFX they are also part of the community; communicating with other members, attending regular events, and being present at screenings of new releases. From promoting feature films to working with post production houses, FX know how to grow audiences, build loyal fan bases, and give brands the digital platforms they need to fulfil their potential.
London SIGGRAPH has picked up enormous traction since being set up in 2014 and have already built a strong following. They approached FX wanting to grow their audience, improve the efficiency of their events process, and to grow a strong online presence. With SIGGRAPH events fully booking within an hour in some instances, an innovative approach was needed to ensure that the SIGGRAPH team could better anticipate the level of bookings for upcoming events, whilst also ensuring that the SIGGRAPH community would have an improved experience in the booking process.
London SIGGRAPH needed a website that connected with it’s audience and ultimately helped to grow the community, drawing more traffic and encouraging interaction. FX spoke to leaders in the VFX industry, students and CGI artists to find out what they wanted going forward with the new SIGGRAPH platform. FX worked with SIGGRAPH to scope a bespoke membership section of the site, with the intention to allow users to register with the organisation for a small yearly fee whilst in return receiving early access to eventbrite event tickets to ensure they could book a place.
The biggest challenge posed by the SIGGRAPH site was the bespoke and intimate integration with the eventbrite events system. Initially, FX had suggested that SIGGRAPH centralise all ticket sales onto an events system on the site, removing the need to use eventbrite whatsoever, but after attending a number of the SIGGRAPH events it became very clear how well the SIGGRAPH team worked with eventbrite and how essential it had become to their operation.
FX therefore proposed to enable early access to members via the eventbrite access code API. The system FX developed was focused around automation, with the intention to reduce SIGGRAPH team members involvement by publishing access codes autonomously, making life easier for the SIGGRAPH administration team. The site fully manages memberships and communicates with eventbrite to confirm if a user is eligible for a membership ticket type. The site developed by FX also manages cancellations of memberships, email reminders when membership is due for auto renewal and takes payments. All SIGGRAPH have to do is simply create the event and the website manages the rest of the process.
FX set up regular meetings with the board of London SIGGRAPH throughout the project to define clear goals, review the work and to make sure there was a consistent level of high quality in each of the major milestones of the project. From listening to the community and attending the London SIGGRAPH events, FX also realised that the brand needed some improvements to better relate to the community. The SIGGRAPH organisation was already globally recognised having a fantastic positioning, promoting cutting edge technologies and creative works in the CGI industries. A particularly pressing problem FX found was that the London chapter’s brand didn’t have the same impact locally, their content and growing community was there but there visual identity did not support this. Updating the SIGGRAPH London chapter logo and emphasising the brand was therefore an essential part of the design process, and whilst the suggestion of changing something so close and personal to SIGGRAPH did initially receive some pushback from the board, after listening to the community and creating many assets for the site incorporating the new logo, it seemed like a natural fit.
FX were ecstatic to be given the opportunity to work with London SIGGRAPH, having very similar values towards promoting film and entertainment, it was a privilege to be working alongside such an outstanding organisation.