Ultimate guide to XR, VR, AR and MR conferences – Updated December 2018
Interested in exploring the latest in extended reality (XR), 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 and 2019 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., XR, 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), XR 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 XR conference? Post a comment and we’ll get it added.
Catch the latest on AI conferences with the Ultimate Guide to AI and Deep Learning Conferences.
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: VRX 2018 in San Francisco, CA
Learn from 80+ top speakers leading the VR and AR charge into gaming, film, and enterprise.
8-11: Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV
This massive conference covers all aspects of consumer electronics. At CES 2018, 170,000+ attendees saw 3,900 exhibitors covering over 2.75 million square feet of exhibit space that included the latest in 5G, Smart Cities, VR, AR, AI, and drones.
7-11: Digital Hollywood Events at CES in Las Vegas, NV
Get to CES a day early so you can catch the kick off on the 7th (one day before CES starts). Like previous years, there should be a significant presence of new XR technologies.
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.
7-8: Media Summit** in New York, NY
This more general media event has included dedicated tracks on Immersive Hollywood that covers XR “from Cinematic to Mobile to Advertising Experiences”.
8-17: 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.
12-13: 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: 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.
18-22: 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.
20-24: Laval Virtual in Laval, France
This five-day European conference showcases VR and AR innovations and technologies.
23-27: IEEE Virtual Reality in Osaka, Japan
For academics, researchers, industry folks and enthusiasts, this five-day conference will undoubtedly cover VR topics in breadth and depth.
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.
11-12: VRX Europe 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Catch up on the latest VR developments and see how you can use VR to advance your business or organization.
21-23: 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.
TBA*: 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.
TBA*: VRLA 2019** 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.
TBA*: 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.
TBA*: 6th 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.
TBA*: VR World 2019** in London, UK
This two-day conference features four tracks with over 150 speakers discussing AR, VR, and MR.
TBA*: Augmented World Expo 2019** in Santa Clara, CA
Also known as AWE 2018, this three-day conference is is billed as the “Largest AR+VR Conference & Expo in the World.”
10-13: LiveWorx 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.
11-13: VR & AR World in London UK
This three-day conference is part of London Technology Week and focuses on VR & AR in the enterprise.
11-13: E3 in Los Angeles, CA
See how VR and AR is applied in gaming at this premiere computer, video, and mobile gaming conference.
11-13: 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.
14-17: 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.
26-28: MWC Shanghai 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.
TBA*: 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 9,000 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.
TBA*: 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.
TBA*: 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.
TBA*: 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.
TBA*: Immersive Enterprise** 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.
TBA*: 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.
28 – August 1: SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, CA
The first SIGGRAPH conference was held in 1974 and had 600 attendees. Fast forward four decades later, and it’s an event that attracts over 15,000 attendees. This conference continues to be THE conference to learn about the latest developments in computer graphics.
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TBA*: The VR/AR Global Summit** 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.
TBA*: Oculus Connect 4** in San Jose, CA
This is Oculus’ one-and-only developer conference. Enough said.
17-18: AWE Europe 2019** 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.”
22-24: MWC Los Angeles in Los Angeles, CA
In its third year, the Mobile World Congress Americas has been renamed. This mega conference with over 21,000 attendees from 110 countries will undoubtedly have more than its share of VR, AR, and MR tech.
TBA*: Magic Leap Conference** in Los Angeles, CA
After a successful inaugural conference, we’ve left this place hold with hopes of a second event. For most, this may still be their first opportunity to try out spatial computing. For the first year, this was invite only event!
TBA*: Digital Hollywood Fall** in Los Angeles, CA
Included in this regionalized and seasonal conference on all things entertainment is extensive content on XR, VR, AR, MR, and Drones.
TBA*: Virtual Reality Strategy Conference 2019** in San Francisco, CA
This executive-level event focuses on case studies, and distribution/marketing strategies along with company tours.
TBA*: NYVR Expo 2019** in New York City, NY
The New York Virtual/Augmented Reality Expo provides a two-day interactive and experiential event for professionals and consumers.
TBA*: XRDC (formerly VRDC)** in San Francisco, CA
This two day conference focuses on AR, VR and MR with session tracks for Gaming/Entertainment, Education/Training, Innovation and Healthcare. This conference is produced by the organizers of the Game Developers Conference.
TBA*: Augmented & Virtual Reality For Enterprise Asia 2018** in Singapore
Focused on business applications, this inaugural two day Asian conference looks at the XR tech and its usage in education, healthcare, manufacturing and engineering.
TBA*: Samsung Developer Conference** in San Francisco, CA
Join thousands of fellow developers and technologist for Samsung’s annual get together. While not specific to VR, one cannot ignore the showcase event for one of the major producers of mobile devices, smartphone-based HMDs and 360 cameras.
TBA*: TIFCA’s Immersed 2019** in Toronto, Canada
Organized by The International Future Computing Association (TIFCA), this conference at the Ontario Science Center feature technologies such as AR, VR, gesture technologies and stereoscopic 3D. This three-day conference is designed for professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors who are interested in immersive video.
TBA*: Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST)** 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.
* 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, either a more general link or a link to the previous year’s event has been included.