After a year that turned our lives upside down, the world is slowly going back to normal – proven, among others, by a large number of XR events in 2021. While some of these events will be held virtually, others will take place in physical venues. Thus, participants will be able to interact with each other and with the innovative devices and technologies on display.
XR Events in 2021 – Celebrating the Industry that Made Lockdown Bearable
This year will be special for the XR industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how important immersive and interactive apps and games are in our everyday life. A large adoption rate for augmented and virtual reality in 2020 has broadened the audience and age groups interested in the latest technologies.
Using AR and VR, many people were able to continue working, remodel their homes, stay fit, and discover new ways of having fun. Immersive games and apps and 3D videos have opened a new world for emotionally exhausted people staying at home 24/7.
Our Top Recommendations: Must Attend XR Events in 2021
The second half of 2021 will be extremely busy for anyone with a vested interest or simply curious about the XR world. Here are the top events we recommend:
1. AWE Asia 2021
When: September 2 – September 3
Where: Chengdu Marriott Hotel Financial Centre, Sichuan, China
One of the biggest international events dedicated to the augmented and virtual reality will take place at the beginning of September in Chengdu Financial City in Sichuan, China. The event is an opportunity to explore the latest developments and trends in the XR industry, meet other professionals and negotiate B2B deals.
We start our list of XR events in 2021 with AWE Asia because of the sheer size of the opportunities to explore and network. So far, we know that there will be 50+ featured speakers, including:
- Alvin Wang Graylin – President of HTC China;
- Yu Yuan – Chair of the IEEE VR/AR Standards Committee;
- Tom Emrich – VP of Product at 8th Wall;
- Li Yingchao – Director of Augmented Reality Technology Department at Baidu;
- Charlie Fink – XR consultant and author;
- Gabriel Guo – VR/AR China Business Director at Qualcomm.
The event will also feature over 60 exhibitors and special areas where keynotes will be delivered on specific areas of interest such as AR and VR development, creation, and enterprise XR. The afternoon of day 2 will also be dedicated to startup pitches and B2B meetings.
2. The VR/AR Global Summit 2021 (European Edition)
When: September 29 – October 1
It may not be an in-person event, but the VR/AR Global Summit is one of the big XR events in 2021. Featuring over 200 speakers, the event will cover in detail some of the most important topics in the industry, such as:
- VR/AR in the age of pandemics;
- Museums of the future;
- VR for good;
- Immersive arts and design;
- AR Cloud;
- Training in the workplace;
- Location-based entertainment;
- VR tourism and hospitality;
- Social VR.
This event mostly benefits professionals, executives, and businesspersons who are interested in the current and future applications of XR technologies in their field of activity.
3. VIEW 2021
When: October 17 – October 21
Where: Turin, Italy (and Online)
Turin becomes the hotspot for anyone passionate about VFX computer graphics. The 22nd edition of the VIEW Conference makes it into our list of XR events in 2021 because the line-up of speakers looks just great:
- Ed Catmull – Co-Founder of Pixar;
- Kris Pearn – Director of Sony Pictures Animations;
- Alvy Ray Smith – CG Pioneer and Co-Founder of Pixar;
- Paul Debevec – Senior Engineer at Google VR;
- Sebastien Deguy –VP of 3D & Immersive at Adobe.
Some of the sessions in the section dedicated to XR will explore topics such as:
- Sculpting in VR;
- Using VR for story development and pre-production;
- Revolutionizing content businesses with XR spatial design.
4. AIXR Insights Live: Marketing in VR Games
When: October 19
The Academy of International Extender Reality offers a free virtual event, which content creators will certainly be interested in. How do you sell real-life products in a virtual game? This is one of the big questions that businesses still need answers to.
And the online event on October 19 promises to deliver some of them thanks to the panel of industry experts.
5. AWE USA 2021
When: November 9 – November 11
Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA
If you can’t travel to China for AWE Asia, you can attend the event at home, in sunny California. The 3-day conference will cover hot topics in the XR industry, such as:
- remote collaboration, training, and education;
- artificial intelligence and virtual beings;
- healthcare and wellness;
- gaming and location-based entertainment;
- enterprise solutions.
The speaker lineup is nothing short of impressive:
- John Hanke – Founder and CEO of Niantic;
- Jenefer Brown – EVP, Live & Location Based Entertainment at Lionsgate Entertainment;
- Ioana Matei – Head of Immersive Technologies at P&G;
- Connell Gauld – Co-Founder and CTO at Zappar;
- Lauryl Schraedly – Global Head of Marketing Insights & Strategy at Snap, Inc.;
- Mikey Trujillo – Project Manager at Marvel Entertainment, LLC.
Some of the exhibitors who will present new devices and technologies to the public are 8th Wall, Nreal, Unity, Unreal Engine, Pico Interactive, Atheer, Holoptic, Varjo, Cleanbox Technology, LetinAR, and Vuzix.
6. ICHVR 2021
When: December 14 – December 16
Where: Budapest, Hungary
The 2021 International Conference on Haptics and Virtual Reality (ICHVR) will focus on theoretical and applied haptics in various VR applications. An event for researchers and professionals, this year’s ICHVR will feature reputable keynote speakers, including:
- Prof. Stephen Brewster – Professor of Human-Computer Interactions at the University of Glasgow, UK;
- Prof. Clément Gosselin from Université Laval in Quebec, Canada;
- Prof. Dr. Rolf Drechsler from the University of Bremen, Germany.
If you want to submit a paper or attend as a listener, you can register here.