We are excited to report that VRDayATL’s inaugural event was a success! Held on January 12 this year at the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University, VRDayATL’s inaugural event had 354 attendees from a variety of backgrounds connecting to VR/AR including industry professionals, from enterprise to start-up, and academia, from faculty to students. In addition to our on-site attendees, we also had over 100 viewers watching the events via livestream including some classrooms.
The day kicked off with a proclamation of the day as VR Day from Atlanta City Councilman for District 2 Kwanza Hall and ran presentations and demonstrations throughout the day. The speaker line-up included 32 presenters on a wide range of topics and from various backgrounds including news agencies (CNN), academia (Georgia State University, University of Georgia, and Georgia Institute of Technology), game development (CCP Games and Valve Corporation), media companies (Nektr, Microsoft, Samsung USA, WorldViz, Turner Studios, Drakeford Films, VRScout, Devine Sound, BARK BARK, Moxie, Foundry 45, Alreal, and Future Lighthouse), artists (Jak Wilmot and Thomas Nybo), and incubation and consultation (NextGen Interactions and ATDC). In addition to speakers, the event also boasted 20 hands-on VR/AR demos by a variety of developers from independent artists to large corporations. Video recordings of presentations will be made available in the coming weeks and will be posted to our website.
The events of VRDayATL highlighted the vision for CMII as supporting the facilitation of creative media and research on its significance at a local, regional, and global scale. According to Gov. Nathan Deal, Georgia-lensed feature film and television productions had an economic impact of over $7 billion in 2016 (Georgia.org). Additionally, Georgia is now tied for 3rd in worldwide film production (Atlanta Business Chronicle). These increases are also accompanied by a larger game’s industry increase in VR jobs by 400% since 2014 (UploadVR.com). The combination of these factors both industry-wide as well as within the local climate shows how events like VRDayATL work to reflect CMII’s attention to and participation in the creative media landscape. We see VRDayATL as exemplary for CMII’s role going forward mixing Atlanta’s business community, downtown ecosystem, and academic capabilities for the advancement of creative media.
We would like to thank everyone involved in VRDayATL for helping to make it such a success. Specifically, we would like to thank our partner, Nektr, for co-hosting the day’s events. We would also like to thank our sponsors including CNN, Turner, Microsoft, Metro Atlanta Chamber and many others who helped to support VRDayATL. Finally, we would like to thank our organizers and volunteers who helped make the day’s events a reality.
Preparations for next year’s VRDayATL event are already underway, and it is expected to be even bigger with more content, demos, and workshops. We are also looking forward to utilizing CMII’s new facilities that will be unveiled later this year. The next VRDayATL is tentatively scheduled for February 2018; so, mark your calendars and check back for more updates!
For more information about this year’s VRDayATL event or for information regarding future events, please contact our CMII Host for the event, Elizabeth Strickler via email.