SIGDIAL 2018 will include a special session. Please follow each link for more details.
NOTE: The other was cancelled.
Conversational Approaches to Information Search, Retrievals, and Presentation
Please visit the registration system via the following link:
Registration includes attendance, reception, banquet, lunches, and coffee breaks.
The main sessions, including the opening, for SIGDIAL are being held in
RMIT Building 80;
street address is 445 Swanston St Melbourne.
The registration area and entrance to the lecture theatre is on Level 4, at the back of the building, behind automatic sliding glass doors --- follow signs to room 80.04.06.
Referring to the photo of the building below, there are two entrances, marked by red ellipses.
The left entrance is easier to navigate from: if you enter here you'll see an escalator/moving staircase to the right; take this to Level 3 where you'll see another escalator further towards the back of the building: take this to Level 4 and turn right.
If you take the right entrance or prefer/need to take the lift/elevator, you'll find a bank of lifts at the back of the building. Take one of these to Level 4 and then walk towards the escalator and turn left.
You can also visit the IJCAI 2017 Local Information page, including a map with RMIT and MCEC (where ACL will be held):
Relevant info (currency, weather, time zone, etc.) can be found from the above link.
There are basically two main options for getting to Melbourne city centre (where most of the hotels are) or to RMIT from Melbourne Airport:
If you have a spare day and would like to get out of Melbourne, then one
great option is to visit the Yarra Valley wine region. There are many
great wineries and you can easily get there in just over an hour from
the city by renting a car or by finding a professional tour company.
You can also combine the winery tour with a visit to the
Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can get up close to all those weird Australian animals. Healesville is a town on the edge of the wine region so it's easy to combine both winery and wildlife in a single trip if you have a car; tour companies can also combine the two destinations.
Another popular destination about 1.5 hours from Melbourne is Philip Island, where crowds flock to see the nightly parade of fairy penguins waddling up the beach after a day out feeding. Given we're in middle of winter this may not be as good an idea as just heading for St Kilda beach and viewing the community there (see below) , but again, you can rent a car or find a tour company if you really want to get out to the parade.
(The following suggestions are mainly within walking distance of RMIT or within the Free Tram Zone of the city (see the map). To travel further afield (e.g., to St Kilda) you'll need to buy a Myki travel card, which is used on all Melbourne public transport - you can buy these at convenience stores or at train stations.)
Lacking the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour, visitors to Melbourne have to make do with great cafes, excellent restaurants, and fun bars and pubs. You can look up the city guides for lots of options, but some of the neighbourhoods close to RMIT most worth visiting are Carlton, Fitzroy, and the eclectic laneways of the city. (Most of the places mentioned below is marked on the Melbourne Google map on the SIGDIAL site.)
Just a couple of blocks west of RMIT is the Queen Victoria Market, a fabulous large market for fresh produce and deli foods, but also the place to buy your souvenirs from Melbourne and Australia. If you're looking for food on a Wednesday night, then Vic Market houses The Winter Night Market, with a range of food stalls, artists' stalls, and live music entertainment. Northish of the Vic Market is Seven Seeds, where they take coffee extremely seriously; get a cup from most places around the world or take a lesson on how to roast beans or become a barrista.
Carlton is Melbourne's Little Italy (as well as the University district) and you'll find a ton of Italian restaurants (of varying quality). Walk up Lygon St, which runs north from the NE corner of the main RMIT, about 10 mins to get to the heart of the Italian district. Visit Brunetti (arguably now too big to retain its original charm) for classic Italian pastries, great coffee, and other great food. Padapipo across the street has some of the best rated gelato. A few doors further north, Jimmy Watson's is a classic wine bar and a Carlton institution - its proximity to Uni of Melbourne means that many a professor will have staggered out of here over the years. You'll pass many Italian restaurants and pizzerias on the walk north; Seasons Provedore is highly recommended for its gnocchi. Further north along Lygon St (requiring a tram ride) is Brunswick East, the place in Melbourne for craft breweries.
Fitzroy, right to the east of Carlton, is the old artist and bohemian district of Melbourne; it's also the original working-class suburb of Melbourne and lots of the old houses are "working men's cottages", although most are now renovated with price tags well over a million! Brunswick St is chock full of boutique designer clothing and jewelry stores, cafes, bars, and reasonably-priced restaurants of every cuisine from Afghani to Vietnamese. It's a great place for a coffee or a drink or to people watch, and also has great street art in some of its side streets. Naked for Satan is a favorite, with a wide range of infused vodkas, pinxtos, and a rooftop bar serving meals and 270 degree views for miles (Melbourne is flat!). Brunswick St is particularly known for having lots of vegetarian restaurants; Transformer in particular offers very fine vegetarian dining. The Rose St Artists Market is a fun place to visit on the weekends before grabbing a coffee or brunch somewhere nearby. Fitzroy is also a great place to find character-filled pubs in back-street locations.
Between Carlton and Fitzroy are the Carlton Gardens, which house the Royal Exhibition Buildings, a World Heritage-listed buildings which was the site of the opening of Australia's first Parliament in 1901. Behind that is Melbourne Museum, the site of the SIGDIAL banquet dinner.
Melbourne's Chinatown, just a couple of blocks south of RMIT, is one of the world's largest Chinatown districts. Established during the gold rush of the 1850s, it's purportedly the oldest continuous Chinese settlement in the Western world and the oldest Chinatown in the Southern Hemisphere (according to Wikipedia). Chinatown is great for a wander and has some fabulous restaurants. Try The Supper Inn if you want a classic family-run simple style restaurant.
Melbourne is also known for it's narrow laneways in between its main streets, often covered in street art. Hosier Lane is Melbourne's most photographed laneway, with end-to-end street art and one of Melbourne's best tapas restaurants, Movida, at one end. Degraves St is packed full of restaurants with outdoor seating down the middle of the street. Flinders Lane is noted for its many little boutique art galleries.
Down where Swanston St meets the Yarra River is Federation Square, a
large space designed for congregations, with funky buildings with
seemingly no vertical lines, housing some interesting museums, including
the Ian Potter Gallery of Australian Art, the Koori Heritage Centre of
Australian Aboriginal art and culture, and the Australian Centre for the
Moving Image (ACMI) where you can find a replica of Mad Max's car from
the original movie amongst other Australian movie and TV memorabilia. On
the river behind Federation Square you'll find riverside pubs and some
great walking. Walk east 20 mins and you'll hit the Melbourne Cricket
Ground, site of cricket and Australian football, and the most revered
site of modern Melbourne. The most truly Melbourne cultural (arguably
religious!) experience is to catch a game of footy - a game with no
rules where players bounce off each other at breakneck speed and just
get up and keep going. (There are games being held there on the Sundays
both before and after SIGDIAL.)
On the other side of the river are the extensive Botanical Gardens and Melbourne's Arts district, including the National Gallery of Victoria. Walking west along the river, on the southern bank, you'll eventually reach the Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre, the site of ACL.
Further afield, requiring a ride on the No. 96 tram down Swanston St, is St Kilda, Melbourne's most eclectic beach neighborhood (and red light district). Walk along St Kilda pier at dusk to discover a small colony of fairy penguins that climb up onto the rocks to roost when the sun goes down. The iconic St Kilda landmark is Luna Park, a fun fair with a giant clown's mouth as its entrance. On the weekends, the Esplanade at the front of it is a lively artists' market (if the weather is OK), and Acland St, just beyond, is packed with cafes and long-established Jewish cake shops.
There are many hotel options within easy walking access of RMIT University, the conference venue. While some of the options below involve deals negotiated for SIGDIAL attendees, a search using a site such as bookings.com or hotels.com may well throw up cheaper or better value options. Feel free to contact the Local Organiser for questions about location or access to the conference venue (though I'm unlikely to know more about the hotel quality than what you read on reviews).
If you are also planning to attend ACL then you can contact the ACL secretariat at acl2018[at]icmsaust.com.au in regards to booking in an ACL hotel --- some of these are very close to the SIGDIAL site. Of the ACL hotels, the Ibis Little Bourke St is closest to the SIGDIAL venue (20-25 minutes walk to SIGDIAL, less if you combine with a (free) tram ride; 10 mins walk to the ACL venue).
Rydges in Carlton have offered a guaranteed rate of $182 / room (about $US135); however, you may even find cheaper rates than that for rooms there using Hotels.com or Bookings.com. The SIGDIAL specific link for booking the Rydges hotel is here: https://www.rydges.com/private-page/sigdial-2018/
Mantra on the Park have also offered a 10% discount off their standard room bookings. To receive the 10% discount, please follow the following process:
The 10% discount will apply for any room type travelling between 09/07/2018 - 14/07/2018, when booked before 09/06/2018. PLEASE NOTE: All rooms are subject to availability at time of booking. There will be no release backs or inventory updates leading up to check in. To book and receive 10% off the daily rate, visit http://www.mghotels.com.au/ and follow the below simple steps: 1. Select the Region and Property, your Travel Dates and the Number of People travelling - hit SEARCH 2. Select Change Search - at the top of the page 3. Input Promo Code RMITJULY2018 (case sensitive) in the Promo Box - hit SEARCH again. You will now see the discount applied to the daily rate. 4. Select the room type you wish to book and hit BOOK NOW to proceed to payment screen 5. Fill in all required details to confirm your booking and hit COMPLETE BOOKING 6. You will receive an email confirmation once all details have been processed. ***PLEASE NOTE: promo codes are only valid for bookings made online; rooms are subject to availability & will require full prepayment. Bookings will also be subject to any minimum night stay restrictions as listed on the website. Online Terms and Conditions apply to these bookings. For full terms & conditions please visit http://www.mghotels.com.au/terms-and-conditions/ Once booking is confirmed, it can be accessed via My Bookings on the same website by logging in using the Reservation number on your confirmation and the Surname on the booking.Both Rydges and the Mantra are 4-star rated and in lovely locations (on parks!) about 10 mins walk from the venue.
The Ibis hotel on Therry St (http://www.ibismelbourne.com.au/
) is an option very close to the conference location and has cheaper
The Mercure Accor (https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-9376-mercure-melbourne-therry-street/index.shtml), also on Therry St, is similar.
Note that there is a lot of construction in this area, although the hotel websites claim that they are well insulated from noise.
For anyone considering Airbnb, "Melbourne CBD" (Central Business District / downtown), "Docklands", "Carlton" (my preference) or "North Melbourne" (take care that your selected accommodation is in the suburb "North Melbourne" and not just "Northern areas of Melbourne"!) are the most convenient locations to the SIGDIAL venue. "CBD" and "Docklands" are also convenient to the ACL venue (Carlton or North Melbourne would involve a 20 min tram ride); "Southbank" is very close to the ACL venue but would require a 20 min tram ride to the SIGDIAL venue.
Attendees on a tighter budget may consider backpacker-style
The Nunnery (http://nunnery.com.au/) is a guest house with both private and dorm-style rooms, across the street from Carlton Gardens and Melbourne Museum (the banquet venue), and close to some of Melbourne's best cafe / bar areas. It's a 10-minute walk to the conference site, half of that through the park.
20 minutes for the talk + 5 minutes for questions.
You can connect your own laptop with a VGA or HDMI cable to a projector and with an audio plug to loudspeakers. But we recommend you to preload your slide to a podium desktop on site if possible.
The boards are 200cm x 150cm.
Local Chair further advises that the boards are definitely portrait (free-standing) but should be wide enough for an A0 in landscape. So that would let an A0 go either landscape or portrait.
Authors can arrange printing via dinkums.com.au
--- contact by email and it can be waiting when you arrive.
Please use standard (non American :) sizing, i.e., A0 or A1; anything other than that may inadvertantly attract a premium on the price!
It seems like printing will be about $AU 50-60 ($US 35-45) for A0, depending on the colours used / complexity of the layout.
If you have any special requirements/requests, please let Local Chair (lawrence.cavedon [at] rmit.edu.au) know directly.