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Attendee Experience
19 December 2019 

28 Can’t-Miss VR and AR Events in 2020

Bizzabo Blog Staff
28 Can’t-Miss VR and AR Events in 2020

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are no longer figments of our imaginations – they’ve come to life! We’ve compiled 28 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 far enough to allow VR and AR to not only work, but to be reproduced at a commercial and consumer level. A new age has dawned and companies can now base their business models around these advanced technologies.

To keep up with the times, both consumers and businesses need to stay appraised of the latest best practices. In fact, when VR and AR technologies are incorporated in events, they serve to enhance attendee experience as well. 

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)

Can’t Miss VR and AR Events in 2020

1. Tribeca Film Festival 

Tribeca Film Festival - AR VR EventsSource: Tribeca Film Festival 

Start Date: April 15, 2020

Location: New York City, New York 

Description: An innovative film festival that celebrates the intersection of arts and technology.

Why You Should Attend: As you can tell from some of the other events featured on this list, film and VR go together like PB&J. Last year’s Tribeca Film Festival contained two events that centered on VR. We expect the 2020 gathering to have even more of this kind of content.

2. NAB Show

NAB Show - AR VR Events Source: NAB Show

Start Date: April 18, 2020

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Description: A media, technology, and entertainment event. 

Why You Should Attend: The NAB Show’s goal is to teach attendees how to effectively create, distribute, and monetize content — including content made using VR, AR, and/or Mixed Reality. They offer some great resources through their event website like a podcast and a virtual guided tour of the conference as well.

3. Laval Virtual 

Laval Virtual - AR VR EventsSource: Laval Virtual 

Start Date: April 22, 2020

Location: Laval, France 

Description: An immersive VR/AR conference.

Why You Should Attend: The Laval Virtual is in celebrating its 22nd year as a leading international conference for VR, AR, and Mixed Reality. The main features of this event include an exhibition, conference, and awards ceremony.

4. XR Europe 2020

XR Europe 2020 - VR AR EventsSource: XR Europe

Start Date: April 28, 2020

Location: London, UK

Description: Europe’s leading senior level VR and AR industry event.

Why You Should Attend: VRX Europe is the first of London’s many VR-themed events this year. But it’s definitely one of the ones at the top of our wish list! This premiere European event is focused on marketing and business solutions that use VR and can be implemented for immediate success in any industry. 

5. F8 – Facebook Developers Conference

Image 2019-12-06 at 12.35.09 PMSource: F8

Start Date:
May 5, 2020

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’s 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. If you’re unable to secure a ticket, 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.

6. XR Immersive Enterprise 2020

XR Immersive Enterprise 2020 - VR Events 2020
Source: XR Immersive Enterprise

Start Date: May 5, 2020

Location: Boston, MA

Description: A gathering of 300+ experts across enterprise and tech to set the bar for the future of XR. 

Why You Should Attend: The world’s premier XR immersive tech event will discuss how XR can bring ROI and propel businesses forward. Speakers and attendees will join forces to cut the noise and reveal the best applications of XR. Discover the strategies to deliver an effective rollout, no matter what stage you’re at, the business application or industry vertical you work in. Learn how to simplify processes, prove the ROI, foster trust among partners and peers, inspire, motivate and deliver impact for your management and secure a successful immersive future. This event is moving beyond the vision and will give you the power to make change now.

7. Digital Hollywood Spring

Digital Hollywood - AR VR Events Source: Digital Hollywood

Start Date: May 19, 2020

Location: Los Angeles, California

Description: An entertainment industry conference that explores and dissects the future of the medium, which includes VR.  

Why You Should Attend: Digital Hollywood puts on quite a few events every year. Having been a staple in the TV/Film industry for over 25 years now, it’s no surprise that this conference would be at the forefront of tech innovations in Hollywood. Check out keynote speakers from leading TV networks as well as sessions on the future of VR film and consumer experience. 

8. Microsoft Build

Image 2019-12-06 at 4.28.49 PMSource: Microsoft Build

Start Date: May 19, 2020

Location: Seattle, Washington

Description: A premier development conference brought to you by an industry titan. 

Why You Should Attend: Learn about new and imaginative ways to unite the latest technologies with your creative vision. This is a great conference to attend if your goal is to network because Microsoft Build offers many opportunities to bond with your community over new VR, AR, and mixed reality trends.

9. AWE 2020 – Augmented World Expo US & Europe

Image 2019-12-06 at 12.49.53 PM

Source: AWE 2020

Start Date: May 27, 2020 (US) 

Location: Santa Clara, California

Description: Known as the World’s No. 1 VR and AR conference, AWE typically holds 3 events per year: one in the US, one in Europe, and one in 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, Europe for the 3rd, and China for the 2nd.

10. VRTO

Image 2019-12-06 at 4.06.34 PMSource: VRTO

Start Date: June 6, 2020

Location: Toronto, Canada

Description: Canada’s premiere immersive technology event. 

Why You Should Attend: At this solutions-focused symposium, attendees will explore all branches of ethics, science, and humanity through immersive technologies. Although they have yet to release their 2020 speaker line up, VRTO does share their past guest lectures on YouTube so you can get an idea of what you can expect if you attend.

11. LiveWorx

Image 2019-12-06 at 4.17.57 PM

Source: LiveWorx

Start Date: June 8, 2020

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Description: A digital transformation conference.

Why You Should Attend: The annual LiveWorx event is chock-full of disruptive tech demos, tech business strategists, and edgy problem-solvers. In addition to AR and VR, the conference will also cover topics like robotics, IoT, and digital engineering.


12. E3 2020 – Electronic Entertainment Expo

Image 2019-12-06 at 12.45.22 PMSource: E3

Start Date: June 9, 2020

Location: Los Angeles, California

Description: E3 is famous for all things video related, including its computer, console, and handheld releases.

Why You Should Attend: When it comes to video games on any platform, 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.

13. AR & VR World

AR & VR World Event - AR VR EventsSource: AR & VR World

Start Date: June 10, 2020

Location: London, United Kingdom

Description: An augmented & Virtual reality event that showcases the latest technology and business strategies of the day.

Why You Should Attend: 2020 marks the fourth year for this annual event, which takes place in Europe and is designed 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 of them planning to acquire goods or services at this event, you can be sure this conference/trade show will be worth attending.

14. MWC – Mobile World Congress Shanghai

Image 2019-12-06 at 3.58.08 PMSource: MWC 

Start Date: June 30, 2020

Location: Shanghai, China

Description: An international Conference on all things related to mobile phones.

Why You Should Attend: Originating out of 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.

15. SIGGRAPH2020

Image 2019-12-06 at 1.04.41 PM

Source: SIGGRAPH2020

Start Date: July 19, 2020

Location: Washington, DC

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

Why You Should Attend: Boasting an attendance of 15,000 attendees annually, the 46th SIGGRAPH conference is the one event that has everything you need when it comes 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.

16. Gamescom

Gamescom - AR VR EventsSource: Gamescom

Start Date: August 25, 2020

Location: Cologne, Germany 

Description: A trade fair for gaming. 

Why You Should Attend: VR and gaming will always have a symbiotic relationship. At Gamescom 2020, attendees can expect to see over 56 exhibitors from around the world showing off their latest gear, games, and software. 

17. Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit

Image 2019-12-06 at 4.38.34 PM
Source: Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit

Start Date: October 20, 2020

Location: San Diego, CA

Description: Where Enterprises go to innovate with AR, VR, and wearables. 

Why You Should Attend: The Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit (EWTS) is the longest-running and most comprehensive event dedicated to the business and industrial application of wearables; including smart glasses and other HMDs, Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Reality, body-worn sensors, wrist wearables, and exoskeletons. Consisting of real-world case studies and expert-led group discussions, The Enterprise Wearable Summit is where enterprises go to hear practical insights on how to effectively evaluate, adopt, implement, and advance immersive and wearable technology in the workplace.

18. MWC – Mobile World Congress Americas

Mobile World Congress Los Angeles 2018

Source: MWC

Start Date: October 28, 2020

Location: Los Angeles, California

Description: An international Conference and expo on all things related to intelligent connectivity.

Why You Should Attend: At its inaugural launch in 2017, this mega conference had 21,000+ in attendance, of which over 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 smart phones.

19. VR Days Europe

VR Days - AR VR Events

Source: VR Days

Start Date: November 4, 2020

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Description: A 3-day conference that explores the past, present, and future of VR.

Why You Should Attend: VR Days Europe has exhibits on VR, AR, and mixed reality. Their activities include expert speakers, breakout sessions, and hands-on workshops. This year they plan to host over 140 guest lecturers from large, international brands so there’s definitely something for everyone at this event.

20. VR World

VR World - AR VR EventsSource: VR World

Start Date: November 10, 2020

Location: London, England

Description: Learn about the business of AR and VR. 

Why You Should Attend: Although VR World takes place over a single day, this event is jam-packed with unique opportunities. Multiple in-depth tracks paired with more than 100 industry speakers help attendees learn all the practical ways they can create, market, and distribute their digital creations. 

21. Google I/O 2020

Google IO - AR VR EventsSource: Google I/O

Start Date: TBD, 2020

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.

22. WWDC 2020 – Worldwide Developers Conference

WWDC - AR VR EventsSource: WWDC

Start Date: TBD, 2020

Location: San Jose, California

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

Why You Should Attend: Aside from the numerous new product announcements, this Apple conference will also be dedicated to advancements in technology — including VR and AR technology. Since the release of their AR libraries, this WWDC has been essential to anyone interested in AR technology. Knowing that the AR feature announcement for the iPhone X was a big moment in WWDC 2017, we can’t wait to see what else is in store in 2020. 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.

23. XRDC

XRDC Event - AR VR Events

 Source: WRDC

Start Date: TBD, 2020

Location: San Francisco, California

Description: The 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 the name to XRDC to fully encompass all forms of interactive and immersive technology at their conferences. 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.

24. VRST 2020 – ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology

VRST - AR VR EventsSource: VRST 

Start Date: TBD, 2020

Location: Sydney, Australia

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 26th time in Sydney, Australia. 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.

25. xRS 2020 – Virtual Reality Strategy Conference 2020

VRS - AR VR events

Source: VRS

Start Date: TBD, 2020

Location: San Francisco, California

Description: VRAR’s top executive event.

Why You Should Attend: xRS 2020 will contain two different industry-themed conferences under one roof. One focuses on the big phenomenons in entertainment and the other focuses on the enterprise applications of phenomena. These events typically have an amazing list of  senior and executive level attendees show up to the annual gatherings.

26. Stereopsia

Stereopsia - AR VR EventsSource: Stereopsia

Start Date: TBD, 2020

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Description: A global event at the intersection of science and culture.

Why You Should Attend: This international summit is a 3D experience for science, tech, art, and business. Now in its 10th year, Stereopsia features the latest and greatest VR and AR products with keynote speeches from tech innovators behind the creation of many of these amazing inventions.

27. Digital Transformation Conference 

Image 2019-12-06 at 4.20.17 PMSource: Digital Transformation Conference

Start Date: TBD, 2020

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Description: A gathering of leaders and visionaries in global tech.

Why You Should Attend: The Digital Transformation Conference gathers digital business leaders to deliver insight into the evolving world of AR, VR, and the digital experience as we know it. With the inclusion of detailed case studies, real-world advice, and actionable takeaways, this event is a must-see for anyone interested in accelerating their own digital capabilities.

28. IEEE VR 

IEEE VR - AR VR EventsSource: IEEE VR

Start Date: TBD, 2020

Location: Osaka, Japan 

Description: VR’s top research-based event. 

Why You Should Attend: Since 1993, IEEE VR has been a leading technology conference and international venue for research in and around the world of VR. And, unlike most other conferences on this list, 3D interfaces are heavily featured at this event.

Wrapping Up: A Virtual New World

As you can see, the VRAR industry is advancing quickly. The events listed above are the perfect gateway for you to learn more about the VRAR world.

It seems like 2020 might be exactly the right time for you to register for these events and learn about this promising industry.

You may also be interested in:

Editors Note: This post was originally published April 13, 2018 and since been updated.

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