NeurIPS Changes Ticketing Process »


Katherine Gorman

Press and Media Co-Chair 2019

410 599 2012 


NeurIPS Changes Ticketing Process

To ensure fairness in access and to guarantee that contributors are able to register.

Vancouver, September 4, 2019 — 

Last year, tickets to the Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) Annual Conference sold out in under 12 minutes. With sales opening in Pacific time, this short window of availability created challenges for participants from Eastern time zones, people with slow internet connections, and students who had to take the extra time to upload their student IDs. 

This year, NeurIPS registration will change from the prior first-come-first-served model to a randomized lottery. In addition, some tickets will be held back from this lottery to ensure authors of accepted papers and those creating content for and around the conference are able to attend and take part in the event that their thought leadership is helping to create. 

Between September 6th and September 20th, those wishing to attend the conference from the public (those not contributing to the conference or any of its affiliated groups) will indicate their intention to register for the conference and desire to purchase a ticket  by signing up for the lottery. 

On September 20th, conference officials will randomly distribute invitations to register as there is capacity in the building. The invitation expires in 2 weeks. If, after 2 weeks, we have physical space to accommodate more attendees, we will repeat the process until the capacity is full. 

Registrations and tickets will be withheld from the lottery for the following content creators: authors of accepted papers, workshop presenters, demo and competition presenters, invited speakers, top reviewers, volunteers, program and organizing committee members, session chairs, and breakfast mentors. These groups consume the majority of available tickets. Given the size of the conference center, it is estimated that 3800 tickets will go to authors, 2400 to reviewers, 1200 to presenters in workshops, 1000 to participants in co-located affinity group workshops, and 600 to conference sponsors. The conference expects that about 3500 tickets will go up for sale to the general public through the lottery.  Many reviewers and program-committee members will not register; their tickets will be added to the lottery after their 2 week invitation expires. 

Michael Littman, communications co-chair for NeurIPS 2019, says the new approach is necessary given the increasing interest in the conference. “We are thrilled that we’re seeing so much excitement surrounding NeurIPS in the community of artificial intelligence and machine-learning practitioners,” he says, “To continue to grow and evolve with community demands, we’re adopting this new approach to distribute access opportunities fairly across time zones and differences in digital accessibility.”

“We are constantly trying to think proactively about resources and sizes of venues, but it has become clear that the physical space that we have secured for the conference will not be able to accommodate the expected demand. We need to create a more agile solution that can level the playing field for all who would like to attend.”  says Katherine Gorman, communications co-chair for NeurIPS 2019. 

The Vancouver Convention Center, where the conference will be held, can accommodate approximately 13,500 people. However, conference officials are still awaiting confirmation from local officials as to how many attendees the event will be approved to have. The full capacity of the Vancouver Convention Center represents a 68% increase in capacity from the The Palais des congrès de Montréal the conference center in Montreal where the conference was held in 2018.


About the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems

 Over the past 32 years, the Neural Information Processing Systems conference has been held at various locations around the world. The conference is organized by the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation, a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to foster insights into solving difficult problems by bringing together researchers from biological, psychological, technological, mathematical, and theoretical areas of science and engineering.

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Press Policy and Press Pass

If you wish to apply for a press pass to NeurIPS 2019 do so here:

Notification of acceptance or denial of press pass will take place on a rolling basis. Journalists receiving a press pass will receive an email and be directed to register for the conference. Review of applications ends on November 3rd. No passes will be granted after that time. You will be able to pick up your credentials at the main registration desk, credentials are not transferable. Each member of your team attending the conference needs to submit an application.

Journalists who are given accreditation will receive:

  • Complimentary registration for the Main Conference

  • Access to the NIPS press conference and resources.

  • Access to Wi-Fi

Currently the Press Pass grants access to the main conference. Plans to expand that access are in progress. All accredited journalists will be given the same level of access to the conference and its activites.

Some information presented at NeurIPS may be proprietary or off the record. Accredited journalists attending the conference will be provided guidelines in advance of the conference. Cameras, filming or on the record taping, if permitted, will be restricted to specific places and times. Interviews should be scheduled with the communications teams of the interviewee and take place off site.

For Attendees: In advance of attending the conference this year, you may want to to check in with the communications or media team that manages media interaction with your work. A few key things to remember when showing public work in a space with active media teams:

  • Nametags for reporters will be distinct from from the tags of general attendees.

  • Check with your media team, or manager about what strategy your group intends to follow regarding interactions with the media.

  • If you are unsure about how to react or respond, direct the member of the media to speak with your communications team member.

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