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The exhibition hall at the 2011 SIGGRAPH conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

How does the city's largest conference to date stack up against events past and future?

From August 10-14, the Vancouver Convention Centre will host the 2014 SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques) conference, its largest event to date. The conference is expected to attract 16,000 attendees from more than 60 countries to both the east and west buildings of the convention centre, and is estimated to contribute $39 million in direct spending to the local economy.

Comparatively, the TED conference—held earlier this year to much fanfare—had 1,200 attendees, with an estimated $2.1 million in direct spending; the massive A. A. Convention, coming in 2025, will be the city's largest-ever event with 48,000 attendees and an estimated $71 million in direct spending.

“Vancouver is a great destination for SIGGRAPH, given its blend of technology and natural beauty, international flair and vibrant vibe,” said Dave Shreiner, SIGGRAPH 2014 conference chair, in a release.

The annual conference, 41 years in the running, is billed as an exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques and is respected globally for its displays, seminars and interactive marketplace focusing on everything from art, animation and gaming to science, research and education. "The city is the perfect home for the SIGGRAPH community and our varied interests,” said Shreiner. “It truly is a great destination for both business and inspiration."

The conference first came to Vancouver in 2011, marking the only time it had ever been held outside of the U.S. Ken Cretney, PavCo interim president and CEO, said its return is a reflection on what Vancouver has to offer. “The return of this international convention after only three years speaks to the incredible draw of our city and province for an event of this magnitude—from the thriving computer graphics and digital effects community to the state-of-the-art convention centre and tourism infrastructure."