Your Guide to the Best VR Events at SXSW 2016

by Greg Gopman • March 9th, 2016

SXSW is right around the corner and we’ve scouted out all the best VR info sessions and parties for you. I’ll be on the ground reporting from most of these, feel free to say hi and tell me what VR craziness you’re working on.

MARCH 12th — Deep Impact: the AR/VR/Immersion Empathy Machine @ Driskill Hotel ( 7:00 – 10:00PM)

Who’s speaking: The editor and associate editor from New York Times, senior advisor to the United Nations Gabo Arora and Marissa Mahler, the founder of People purpose magazine.

Why we’re excited: An awesome panel of humanitarians, journalists and storytellers discussing VR’s potential for social impact through f VR documentaries and VR journalism.

March 13th — AR/VR Austin 2016 @ Vuka Austin (2:00 – 9:00PM)

Who’s there: A dozen VR experiences ranging from indie devs like Ghost Machine, big companies like Kodak, and over 300+ VR enthusiasts.

Why we’re excited: Tons of VR demos, tasty tacos’ and free booze from 5-9pm! AR/VR Austin was the best VR party in 2015 and will likely be the best one this year as well. Do not miss!

March 14th — Let’s Break Tradition, Virtual Reality in Public Relations @ W Hotel (11:00 – 1:00PM)

Who’s speaking: Big PR Agencies, Indie VR devs, Robert Scoble and Samsung’s head of Gear VR Tara Kriese.

Why we’re excited: This event aims to bring agency influencers and decision makers together to witness VR demos, discuss how VR can be used for the future of marketing and communications and explore integrating VR into 2016 budgeting. That’s huge! If Interested in demoing your VR experiences at this event email [email protected]

March 14th — Ultimate Empathy Machine: 360 Storytelling in VR @ Austin Convention Center Room: 9ABC (2:00 – 3:00PM)

Who’s speaking: Google’s Product Manager for VR Apps and execs from GoPro and SubVRsive.

Why we’re excited: Solid panel, great topic, and one of the rare appearances by someone on Google’s VR App team. The most ubiquitous VR market for the foreseeable future is the hybrid VR smartphone market and there will surely be a VR unicorn created in the near future that masters the VR social storytelling medium.

March 16th — A Conversation with Chris Milk @ Hilton Salon A (11:00 – 12:00PM)

Who’s speaking: Chris Milk, Chris Milk, and everyone who loves Chris Milk.

Why we’re excited: Intense knowledge bombs dropping on the future of VR entertainment. Milk will get you up to date on the live VR event space (top 3 VR markets), challenges he’s facing, and his gameplan for building out the future.

March 16th — A Conversation with John Gaeta @ Hilton Salon A (12:30 – 1:30PM)

Who’s speaking: John Gaeta, i.e. the pioneering cinematic force behind The Matrix, Star Wars, Virtual Cinematography, and now Lucas Film’s Immersive Entertainment division… i.e. The Man.

Why we’re excited: Learn about how VR and AR will change cinema and personal entertainment as we know it. Here’s a teaser.

March 16th — Mars Experience VR @ Hilton Salon A (2:00 – 3:00PM)

Who’s speaking: Super smart people from NASA, MIT, Bioshock and Source Sound.

Why we’re excited: A VR martian experience was made with the “highest regard to scientific accuracy.” My inner Elon Musk is loving every bit of this.

March 17th — New Advertising Models for VR @ Hilton Salon A (12:30 – 1:30PM)

Who’s speaking: Founders from some of the hottest VR startups (VRSE, Kaleidoscope, VRSE, WEVR) and Samsung’s head of VR, Nicholas Dicarlo

Why we’re excited: One of the biggest things holding VR back right now is figuring out how to monetize it. This panel is about solving that. It’s also the most stacked VR panel at SXSW.

March 17th — Five Best Startup Ideas in VR @ Hilton Salon B (2:00 – 3:00PM)

Who’s speaking: Robert Scoble, CES’ head of research Shawn Dubravac and
Nonny de la Peña aka the godmother of Virtual Reality.

Why we’re excited: Awesome topic and easily one of the best panels, if not the best. These futurists will cover everything from big HMD movers and shakers to top industry trends and of course, the top 5 startup ideas for VR.

March 18th — VR PORN.. The Future is Upon us, What’s Next? @ Hilton Salon B (2:00 – 3:00PM)

Who’s speaking: VR porn stars and owners of porn VR sites

Why we’re excited: ummm, how to answer this… Who isn’t curious about the future of VR and Porn?!? Honestly! VR porn will likely be one of the biggest drivers in the industry. This panel discusses how VR porn executives plan to meet the insatiable demand, overcome restrictions in the market and potential monetization channels in the space.

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