20 Can't-Miss VR and AR Events in 2018

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are no longer a figment of our imaginations - they've come to life! We’ve compiled 20 events dedicated to VR and AR to keep you up to date and involved with this innovative and revolutionary technology. Once only seen in movies or described in storybooks, technology has advanced to allow VR and AR to...

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are no longer a figment of our imaginations - they've come to life! We’ve compiled 20 events dedicated to VR and AR to keep you up to date and involved with this innovative and revolutionary technology.

Once only seen in movies or described in storybooks, technology has advanced to allow VR and AR to not only work, but to be reproduced at a commercial and consumer level. A new age has dawned where companies can now base their business models around these advanced technologies and functions. To keep up with the times, both consumers and businesses need to learn about its functions and uses to put them to good use wherever possible. In fact, when VR and AR technologies are incorporated in events, they serve to enhance attendee experience as well. This list of events are sure to be enjoyable events with both exclusive content and unforgettable experiences.

Disclaimer: Events which have passed at the time of writing as well as unconfirmed events in 2018 are not included in this list.

A quick guide to the abbreviations:

  • VR - Virtual Reality
  • AR - Augmented Reality
  • MR - Mixed Reality
  • XR - Extended Reality (All real-and-virtual combined environment such as VR, AR and MR)

1) F8 - Facebook Developers Conference

Facebook's F8 Event

Start Date:
May 1

Location: San Jose, California

Description: Facebook’s annual conference dedicated to developers and entrepreneurs who build products and services around the platform.

Why You Should Attend: Mark Zuckerberg has been vocal about making Augmented Reality the next big bet for the Facebook platform. Given the acquisition of Oculus, it is no surprise that there’s a large emphasis on both VR and AR technology at Facebook’s annual F8 conference. Judging from their event registration website, F8 Summit will be filled with delightful surprises that wow the attendees. At the time of writing, the tickets have been sold out but you can still tune in to the keynote and sessions on demand via stream to get the latest scoop on all the latest technological advancements.

Google's IO Conference

Start Date: May 8

Location: Mountain View, California

Description: Google’s annual developer festival brings together developers from around the globe for an immersive experience focused on exploring the next generation of tech.

Why You Should Attend: Another tech giant that has shown interest in the evolution of VR and AR technology is Google. Aside from announcing new android releases or product updates, Google’s conference is also an avenue to explore all things new in tech for the year. Similar to other conferences, you can tune in to the keynotes through online streams if you haven’t been able to get the ticket from the Google raffle system.

Virtual Reality LA event

Start Date: May 4

Location: Los Angeles, California

Description: Experience the next generation of immersive and transformative technology

Why You Should Attend: As a dedicated conference to virtual reality, this conference is home to world premiers of VR games and interactive technology available to the market. It also hosts 12000+ attendees, including top experts in AR and VR technology to engage you in their keynotes speeches and sharings.

Apple WWDC 2018

Start Date: June 4

Location: Los Angeles, California

Description: Apple’s annual conference dedicated to developers and entrepreneurs who use their platform

Why You Should Attend: Aside from looking forward to new product releases from Apple, this conference is also dedicated to advancements in technology including VR and AR technology. Since the release of their AR libraries, this conference is essential to anyone interested in AR technology ever since. Keeping in mind how the AR feature on the iPhone X was a big moment in WWDC 2017, we can’t wait to see what else is in store in 2018. If you’re unable to make the actual event, you can look for online streams to be updated on all the newest updates in technology.

5) E3 2018 - Electronic Entertainment Expo

E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo

Start Date: June 12

Location: Los Angeles, California

Description: Famous for its releases in all things gaming related for computers, consoles, handheld and more.

Why You Should Attend: When it comes to video games for all sorts of platforms, this is the conference to attend. With many companies introducing VR and AR technology into the gaming industry, you can definitely be sure of new interactive games and functions at this year’s E3 expo in Los Angeles. Aside from the introduction of new technology, there will also be live esports tournaments, game demos and celebrities to keep this event exciting as well.

Augmented World Expo

Start Date: May 30 (US), October 18 (Europe)

Location: Santa Clara, California & Munich, Germany

Description: Known as the World’s No. 1 VR and AR dedicated conference, it typically holds 3 conferences in US, Europe and Asia

Why You Should Attend: This event aims to bring together a mix of C-suite executives, designers, developers, creative agencies and futurists to learn, inspire and partner with each other for the development of all things AR and VR related. The event is returning to California for the 9th year and Europe for the 3rd. The event has also been held in China for the last 2 years but may not be hosting an event there in 2018.

WAVE World AR and VR Expo and Convention

Start Date: June 22

Location: Hyderabad, India

Description: Largest AR and VR Expo in India

Why You Should Attend: Besides being an expo for companies to release their new products, there is also a focus day dedicated to B2B and B2C exhibitors to interact with their target audience. Be sure to check out the new games, interact with VR and AR experts as well as purchase the most advanced interactive technologies at this event.

World VR Forum Event

Start Date: June 7

Location: Crans-Montana, Switzerland

Description: Annual Conference organized by a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the virtual, augmented and mixed reality industries

Why You Should Attend: Held in the snowy mountains of Switzerland, WVRF18 brings to you cutting-edge presentations, industrial trends and allows you to experience the most unexpected VR content. In addition to that, companies are also invited to pitch their brilliant XR business ideas in the market. The core question for this year's conference is, “What does it mean to live together in the 21st century in a time where we expect more from technology and less from each other, and when social inequality has reached a pinnacle?”

XRDC Event

Start Date: October 29

Location: San Francisco, California

Description: Premier conference for AR, VR and MR innovators with a focus on use cases across a broad range of industries

Why You Should Attend: Previously known as VRDC (Virtual Reality Developers Conference), the organizers have changed it to XRDC to fully encompass all forms of interactive and immersive technology for this year’s conference. With business and technology leaders from companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Song and Tencent, XRDC will feature two days of expert-led sessions and a Partners Lounge showcasing the latest technologies, tools and services across industries including entertainment, healthcare, education, industrial design and more.

New York VR Event

Start Date: October 25

Location: New York, NY

Description: Premier AR and VR conference on the East Coast of USA

Why You Should Attend: Split into 2, the event has a professional conference filled with content for businesses and B2B technology as well as a consumer conference which covers topics relevant to a consumer’s experience with immersive technology. The Exhibitor-sponsored Show Floor Theatre is also free for attendees to visit too.

Read the Event Tech 2018 Guide today!
VRST 2018 Event

Start Date: November 28

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Description: International Symposium for research results on mixed reality software

Why You Should Attend: Hosted by Waseda University, this symposium is being hosted for the 24th time in Tokyo, Japan. It brings together researchers and developers concerned with mixed reality software and technology to present on new research results, systems and techniques to everyone in attendance.

AR & VR World Event

Start Date: June 12

Location: London, United Kingdom

Description: Augmented & Virtual reality event that showcases technology and business strategies of today

Why You Should Attend: 2018 marks the third year for this annual event taking place in Europe for the enterprise-focused AR, MR and VR communities. It aims to develop a blueprint for enterprises who are thinking of utilizing AR/VR technology and to walk current users through the next stage of their application development with the goal of spearheading commercialization. For event marketers, this conference may spark ideas on how to combine AR/VR technology with their event brand. With an expected turnout of 2000+ attendees and more than half their attendees planning to acquire goods or services from at the event, you can be sure this conference/trade show will be worth attending.

Virtual Reality Summit

Start Date: June 28

Location: Seoul, South Korea

Description: Annual AR/VR summit to bring together leaders in technology who leverage the virtual experiences provided by VR and AR platforms from different industries

Why You Should Attend: This event features a wide variety of industry-leading keynote to share the use cases and current business strategies they utilize in association with VR/AR technology. In addition to that, this Virtual Reality Summit delivers content with a slight emphasis on the specialized needs of the Asian market as compared to other events.

SIGGRAPH 2018 Event

Start Date: August 12

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Description: An AR/VR event which focuses on computer graphics and interactive techniques

Why You Should Attend: Boasting an attendance of 15,000 attendees annually, the 45th SIGGRAPH conference is one event that has everything you need and want when it comes to anything related to computer graphics. Learn about the latest research, demo the newest technologies and be inspired by the best ideas from the brightest minds who attend this event every year.

AVAR 2018 Event

Start Date: August 20

Location: Redmond, Washington

Description: An international conference on audio for virtual and augmented reality

Why You Should Attend: Aside from the three dimensional space visually created during a VR/AR experience, what truly creates the immersive experience is by stimulating as many senses as possible. In this event, treat yourself to the science, technology, design and implementation of all things related to the audio of a VR/AR experience.

Mobile World Congress Los Angeles 2018

Start Date: September 12

Location: Los Angeles, California

Description: International Conference on all things related to the mobile phones

Why You Should Attend: At its inaugural launch in 2017, this mega conference had 21,000+ in attendance, of which 59+% held senior-level positions. With mobile phones getting a larger penetration in our world markets, this event will serve to cover everything related to the newest apps, software and hardware for this device, including the VR and AR component which was recently introduced to the smart phones.

Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018

Start Date: June 27

Location: Shanghai, China

Description: International Conference on all things related to mobile phones

Why You Should Attend: Originating from its founding conference in Barcelona, MWC Shanghai is the largest mobile phone conference in Asia. With 600+ exhibitors, 60,000+ attendees and 59 hours of conference content, this event will serve to cover everything related to the newest apps, software and hardware similar to its American counterpart (MWC Americas) but with a heavier emphasis on the Asian market.

Virtual Reality Summit

Start Date: October 16

Location: San Francisco, California

Description: VRAR’s top executive event

Why You Should Attend: VRS 2018 has different industry-themed conferences under one roof. One focuses on the big phenomenons in entertainment and while the other conference focuses on the enterprise applications of phenomena. These events typically have an amazing list of attendees from senior level and executive positions in its annual event.

AT&T Shape Event

Start Date: June 2

Location: Los Angeles, California

Description: Immersive event exploring the convergence of technology and entertainment

Why You Should Attend: AT&T SHAPE is designed to provide attendees with the newest insights into cutting edge content creation and distribution to usher in a new era of audience experience. The events features interactive exhibits from promising start-ups as well as industry leaders at Warner Bros. Studios.

VU Event

Start Date: September 21

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Description: Largest VRAR conference in Canada

Why You Should Attend: Vu is an experimental conference on emerging technologies. The conference brings together leaders in VR, AR and MR industries to share knowledge, showcase products and get inspired by one another to make technological breakthroughs. Sign up for the keynotes speeches by world-class speakers, innovation workshops, vancouver excursions or simply network with like-minded innovators from a diverse range of backgrounds at the event.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the VRAR industry is growing and technology is advancing. These events are just the gateway for you to learn more about the VRAR world. With the VRAR industry estimated to be worth $30 billion in 2020 and tech giants investing heavily in this area, 2018 might be the time for you to register for these events to keep up-tp-date with the ins and outs of this promising industry.

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