Ultimate guide to VR, AR and MR conferences – Updated March 2018

by John Sunda Hsia   12.20.2017 08:37 AM

AR/VR conferences

Interested in exploring the latest in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or mixed reality (MR) tech? Looking for an opportunity to network with your fellow developers and creators? Look no further; We’ve compiled an extensive list of 2018 conferences that you can attend to explore, learn, or hone your immersive experience skills. We’ll continue to update this guide quarterly as new conferences are announced and dates are finalized.

Alternate realities (i.e., VR, AR, and MR) are a huge trend right now; there are more conferences, symposiums, workshops than we have time to list. So we concentrated on conferences in the United States and Canada, though there are several large and specialized events that occur in Asia and Europe that we couldn’t ignore. Unlike some hot past technologies (e.g., CASE, Java, AI in the 80’s), VR touches both consumers and enterprises, so we’ve included some general conferences such as multimedia, interactive media, gaming and 360 video.

Enjoy our compilation and let us know if you found this helpful. Did we miss your favorite VR conference?  Post a comment and we’ll get it added.

 

March 2018

9-18: SXSW in Austin, TX

Known initially as a film and music festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) or just “South by” for those in the know, has grown to include interactive media such as VR and AR.

13-14: AVR 360 Show in London, UK

At the Augmented and Virtual Reality 360 Show, thought leaders and innovators will discuss AR, VR and Mixed Reality as it applies to consumers and enterprise.

18-22: IEEE Virtual Reality 2018 in Germany

For academics, researchers, industry folks and enthusiasts, this five-day conference will undoubtedly cover VR topics in breadth and depth.

19-23: GDC 2018 (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco, CA

Since VR and AR has become an integral part of many high-end games, this huge conference is a must-see for both game developers and VR/AR developers.

19-20: Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC@GDC) in San Francisco, CA

The VRDC is organized by Game Developers Conference (GDC) and for 2018 will be held at GDC.  This joint conference focuses on bringing together VR, AR, and MR content creators, vendors, and decision makers to share best practices and learnings.

 

April 2018

4-8: Laval Virtual in Laval, France

This five-day European conference showcases VR and AR innovations and technologies.

7-12: NAB 2018 in Las Vegas, NV

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show has grown over the years to attract over 100,000+ attendees, and covers all aspects of entertainment including VR.

 

May 2018

1-2: F8 – Facebook Developer Conference** in San Jose, CA

F8 speaks to all of Facebook’s platforms including Oculus and unsurprisingly, how social and VR come together.

4-5: VRLA 2018 in Los Angeles, CA

Billed as the “world’s largest VR & AR expo,” this two-day conference covers all things VR, AR, and MR including gaming, entertainment, and audio.

8-10: Google I/O in Mountain View, CA

Google’s annual developer conference never disappoints with unprecedented access to Google developers, preview of the latest tech and major announcements on new and existing platforms.  With their hardware and software support for VR and AR, this is a must-see conference.  Note that this conference usually sells out so be ready to register as soon as it becomes available.

10-11: 5th ARVR Innovate in Dublin, Ireland

Tagged as “Where Augmented and Virtual Reality Get Down to Business,” this two-day conference includes cutting edge demos and sessions with AR/VR experts.

17-18: VRX Europe 2018 in London, UK

Catch up on the latest VR developments and see how you can use VR to advance your business or organization.

AR/VR conferences

22-23: VR World 2018 in London, UK

This two-day conference features four tracks with over 150 speakers discussing AR, VR, and MR.

22-24: Digital Hollywood Spring in Los Angeles, CA

Included in this regionalized and seasonal conference on all things entertainment is extensive content on VR, AR, MR, and Drones.

30-June 1: Augmented World Expo 2018 in California

Also known as AWE 2018, this three-day conference is is billed as the “Largest AR+VR Conference & Expo in the World.”

Dates TBA*: Vision VR/AR Summit 2018** in Hollywood, CA

This is Unity’s annual user conference. If you develop VR or AR content in Unity, this event will help further your knowledge of what has become a de facto standard in game development, AR, and VR.

 

June 2018

2-3: AT&T SHAPE at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles, CA

This flagship AT&T conference focuses on the convergence of Entertainment and Tech with visionary speakers, interactive exhibits and film competitions.  Along with 5,000 of your colleagues and fellow enthusiasts, discover how the future of content creation and distribution will usher in new audience experiences.  Expect a strong presence in VR, AR and MR along with AI, 5G, motion capture and other entertainment tech.  Last year this conference sold out, so grab your tickets early.

4-8: WWDC** in San Jose, CA

The Apple Worldwide Developer Conference or “dub-dub” is your opportunity to see their new software and technologies. With their recent release of their AR libraries and the ubiquity of their devices, the 2018 conference should be an important event for anyone interested in mobile AR.

7-10: World VR Forum in Crans-Montana, Switzerland

This event is open to professionals, innovators, and the general public, and includes a conference, a film/VR festival, and a VR pitch market.

12-14: VR & AR World 2018 in London UK

This three-day conference is part of London Technology Week and focuses on VR & AR in the enterprise.

12-14: E3 in Los Angeles, CA

See how VR and AR is applied in gaming at this premiere computer, video, and mobile gaming conference.

13-15: CES Asia in Shanghai, China

Similar to CES in the U.S., the enormity of this mega-conference for consumer electronics will ensure a significant number of consumer and business-focused VR/AR products and technologies.

16-18: Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo in Toronto, Canada

Also known at VRTO Expo, this professional international conference located in Canada’s megacity, covers all aspects of VR including video gaming, health care, crypto/blockchain, 360 video and multi-sensory with presentations, workshops and intensive training.

17-20: LiveWorx 2018 in Boston, MA

Join 11,000 of your colleagues as you discover the latest in CAD, AR and IoT in workshops, training/certification, presentations and demonstrations.  While not a VR or AR conference, this 4 day conference is run by PTC – the owner of the popular AR library Vuforia.

22-24: World AR VR Expo & Conference (WAVE) in Hyderabad, India

WAVE 2018 comes to India for the first time and includes focused days on B2B and consumers.

26-27: Immersive Enterprise 2018 in Boston, MA

Brought to you by the organizers of VRX, this 2 day conference will help you learn about enterprise strategies and successful use cases from leading XR experts.

27-29: MWC Shanghai 2018 in Shanghai, China

Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai, like its founding conference in Barcelona, is a mega-conference for the mobile industry that had over 53,000 attendees last year. While VR/AR is not their focus, they will have VR zones that may easily dwarf other VR dedicated conferences.

27-29: Virtual Reality Summit in Seoul, South Korea

Over three days, join your fellow VR professionals and learn the latest on VR applications, software, hardware and platforms along with the specialized needs of the Asian market.

Dates TBA*: AWE Asia 2018** in Beijing, China

Also known as Augmented World Expo, this AR and VR conference and expo is billed as the “Largest AR+VR Conference & Expo in the World.”

 

August 2018

12-16: SIGGRAPH 2018 in Vancouver, Canada

The first SIGGRAPH conference was held in 1974 and had 600 attendees. Fast forward years later, and it’s an event that attracts over 15,000 attendees. This conference continues to be THE conference for all things computer graphics.

20-22: AVAR 2018 in Redmond, WA

3D audio, if designed properly, can make the illusion of VR seamless.  Learn the latest techniques and tools from audio and acoustic experts at the 2018 AES International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality.

 

September 2018

12-14: Mobile World Congress Americas in Los Angeles, CA

After a successful inaugural launch in 2017 in San Francisco, this mega conference with over 21,000 attendees from 110 countries has moved to LA and undoubtedly will have more than its share of VR, AR, and MR tech.

21-23: VU: Defy Reality in Vancouver, Canada

This VR conference is billed as “Canada’s Biggest VR/AR Expo” and features events for professionals and consumers.  This conference was previously known as Consumer VR or CVR.

Dates TBA*: Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories in Toronto, Canada

FIVARS is a film festival for VR and AR storytellers. See the latest groundbreaking stories using immersive technology at this three-day festival.

Dates TBA*: Silicon Valley VR Expo 2018** in Northern California

Being in the heart of Silicon Valley and being organized by a group of VR professionals, it’s not surprising that SVVR has become a VR industry event featuring three days of demos and talks that cover the latest innovations.

 

October 2018

23-24: Virtual Reality Strategy Conference 2018 in San Francisco, CA

This executive-level event focuses on case studies, and distribution/marketing strategies along with company tours.

25-27: NYVR Expo 2018 in New York City, NY

The New York Virtual/Augmented Reality Expo provides a two-day interactive and experiential event for professionals and consumers.

Dates TBA*: Digital Hollywood Fall in Los Angeles, CA

Included in this regionalized and seasonal conference on all things entertainment is extensive content on VR, AR, MR, and Drones.

Dates TBA*: Oculus Connect 4 in San Jose, CA

This is Oculus’ one-and-only developer conference. Enough said.

Dates TBA*: Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, CA

Join thousands of fellow developers and technologist for Samsung’s annual get together.  While specific to VR, one cannot ignore the showcase event for one of the major producers of mobile devices, smartphone-based HMDs and 360 cameras.

Dates TBA*: Immersed 2018 in Toronto, Canada

Featuring technologies such as AR, VR, gesture technologies and stereoscopic 3D, this three-day conference is designed for professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors interested in immersive video.

Dates TBA*: AWE Europe 2018 in Munich Germany

Also known as Augmented World Expo, this AR and VR conference and expo is billed as the “Largest AR+VR Conference & Expo in the World.”

 

 

man wearing VR headset at AT&T hackathon

November 2018

Nov 28 – Dec 1: Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST) 2018 in Tokyo, Japan

VRST is an international ACM Symposium that offers researchers and developers an opportunity to discuss new and emerging technologies. ACM SIGCHI and SIGGRAPH sponsor this event.

Dates TBA*: VRevolution in New York City, NY

Hosted by Nasdaq, this free conference is for corporate and brand leaders interested in developing VR strategies for their business and brands.

Dates TBA*: Virtual Reality 20/20 in New York City, NY

Held during NYC Television Week, this one-day conference brings together media executives, technologists, and investors to share the latest on VR and AR.

 

December 2018

4-7: SIGGRAPH ASIA 2018 in Tokyo, Japan

Like SIGGRAPH in the U.S., this large four-day conference provides an opportunity to network with over 7,000 developers, practitioners, and academia on all things computer graphics.

6-7: Virtual Reality Expo in San Francisco, CA

Learn from 80+ top speakers leading the VR and AR charge into gaming, film, and enterprise.

 

January 2019

AR/VR conferences

8-11: Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV

This massive conference covers all aspects of consumer electronics. At CES 2017, 170,000+ attendees saw 3,900 companies covering over 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space that included VR, AR, AI and drones demos.

 

February 2019

25-28: Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain

The world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry will also include VR/AR, AI, drone, Internet of Things (IoT), and Robotics.  2018 was another successful year with over 107,000 attendees and 2,400 exhibitors.  Expect more of the same in 2019.

 

* At the time of publication, the dates for these conference have not been announced. When this conference was last held, it was at about this time.

** A link to the upcoming event was not available at time of publication so for reference purposes, so either a more general link or a link to the previous year’s event has been included.


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