27 of the Best Meetup Groups for VR Enthusiasts in North America
Last Updated: July 20 2018
The VR and AR community is welcoming and diverse, bringing great minds together as we work toward a future of incredible immersive possibilities. This list includes 27 meetup groups across North America, and many of them are connected to larger national and global communities.
It’s important to connect with other people if you want to make a future in virtual reality, augmented reality, or any other kind of immersive tech, so here's a list of 27 virtual reality and augmented reality meetups to help you get started!
1. Women in VR
Women in VR is based in the Los Angeles area, and it's an important force in supporting women to get involved in the XR industry. They have online discussions and resources to help you get started networking.
XR Atlanta is an active, member-driven group of people who “have an interest in extended reality, whether personal or professional.” The group has more than 1,000 members and hosts events from keynote presentations to movie release parties. From 360 video to VR/AR, this is a great group to get started expanding your knowledge and social circle.
VR Austin is a place where creatives meet to share their excitement about the industry focused around central Texas. They bill themselves as a tech-enthused social group that’s eager to welcome anyone with an interest in VR: aspiring VR developers, artists, programmers, designers, musicians, games persons, film persons, or those just curious about VR.
An exciting community in its own right, Bmore VR also regularly teams up with DCVR to host “science fair” style meetups in the DC area. Many of their discussions focus on the past, present, and future of VR/AR, making it a great option to get an overview of where the industry has been and where it's going.
In keeping with Boston’s relaxed but academic reputation, this group of more than 5,000 members meets monthly to talk about virtual reality and its variety of applications. Recent presentations include “VRHealth and iMotions,” “Art in AR” and “AR & VR in Museums.” They host these presentations with guest speakers monthly and, bonus, they share these lectures online so everyone can get in on the action.
VR/AR Chicago boasts strong attendance and group networking, highlighting the excitement of the VR industry and the amazing opportunities new technology brings. They actively produce, promote, and demonstrate VR and AR tech in their businesses and local community. Check it out if you want to get involved and learn.
Dallas VR used to be called Visual Purple. Go to one of their meetups and ask them why. Then tell us. They focus on VR, making them a great resource to learn about this aspect of the industry whether you're an enthusiast, developer, or content creator.
Denver has hosted several VR meetup groups over the years, but right now Colorado VR is the most active place to find other people looking to connect in the industry. Many members recall when VR was introduce in the 1990s (with more hype than anything else), but now work in making those lofty goals a reality.
Everything's bigger in Texas! The Houston meetup has over 1000 members, making it a great place to network with other XR enthusiasts! The group's connections to the energy industry are what really make it an exciting place to plan for your future in tech.
10. Los Angeles
MiamiVR hosts a ton of regular meetups, giving the local XR community space to network, learn and grow while exploring new immersive possibilities. Plus, an open demo policy!
How is Montreal so cool? We’ve never been to one of their meetups, but the effortless style of the MTLVR page makes us really want to go. Focused on VR/AR/MR/XR enthusiasts and developers, they encourage folks to share ideas, troubleshooting, and work collaboratively.
13. New York
NYC has meetups for a wide range of industry and recreational interests, hosted by many different individuals and organizations. Check out the NYVR meetup page for more. They cover gaming as well as the business, social, and medical applications of VR. You definitely want to be in this well-rounded crowd.
The meetups hosted by OVR are well-organized, well-funded and enlightening. Share ideas, try out new demos, or just chat about what's new in the industry! Check out their events and get involved.
OttawaVR is driving exciting new creative possibilities in the Ottawa area. They are a think tank and discovery group looking to create a local scene and push the boundaries of VR software, hardware, and media. If you’re in Canada’s capital and at all interested in VR, get involved here.
AWE Nite Phoenix hosts AWE Nite meetups with one of the biggest immersive tech communities in the world. (You may have seen us at AWE 2018, where we ran all of the Unity development workshops.) Their events aim to advance the augmented reality industry in Arizona by connecting and empowering its community.
Design Reality hosts a variety of events for its diverse community of AR/VR/MR developers, entrepreneurs, engineers, artists, enthusiasts and early adopters. The meetups are a fusion of networking, previews, launches, discussions and socializing all while exploring and learning about the technology that will influence and design our realities.
Raleigh’s VR meetup also includes members from Durham and Chapel Hill who meet under the umbrella of Research Triangle Park VR. Though they boast a modest 1,300 members, event attendance is impressive, which makes for great networking opportunities at fairly regular events.
19. Rhode Island
Small but powerful, RIVR is helping its community members aim for huge success as the VR/AR industry moves forward. Members share their innovative research, design, and development across nearly all of the key sectors of the XR industry. Check it out and get involved if you’re in the area.
20. San Diego
SDVR doesn't meet very often these days, but it's still a great place to start if you're looking to get connected in the San Diego area. Online discussion are welcome, and maybe it'll spark a future meetup!
21. San Francisco
The regular meetups hosted by SFVR are casual events to explore developments in the industry and get to know other community members who are excited about the future. Each event features two speakers with plenty of time to try demos and meet each other. There is no better place to meet your fellow enthusiasts, artists, and developers — at least in the San Fran area!
Seattle VR is a great place to get to know other people who are excited about the industry, since they meet every month regardless of “rain, hail or shine (but it's usually raining).” They welcome everyone, including storytellers, professionals, students, artists, educators, and everyone interested in immersive technologies.
23. Silicon Valley
SVVR has a hands-on, industry-driven approach to VR networking — and they should be given their location! With 50+ events under their belt and nearly 7000 members, you'll want to get in with these pals! They're based in Silicon Valley, but host international events as well. Check out their meetups page for details on events and organizational goals.
This community aims to inspire and challenge its members with talks and workshops as well as productivity-focused networking sessions. They welcome everyone, including innovators, developers, inventors, storytellers, content producers, entrepreneurs, hackers, modders, programmers, pioneers, ontologists and adventurers. Serious about playing a part in developing Canada's future in VR/AR? This is the group for you.
VanVR is one of the most highly integrated meetups when it comes to taking advantage of social media networking. They share their projects and thoughts, actively promote diversity, and work create an enriched discourse on VR, making Vancouver a premiere flagship virtual reality hub in Canada. Join them in person or on Slack, Discord, Facebook, Twitter or Steam.
26. Washington, DC
Virtual Reality is getting better than ever and the United States capital is the perfect place to learn more about it. The DC meetup keeps things connected with regular focus-driven events as well as collaborations with other nearby meetups like Bmore VR.
The Waterloo meetup emerged out of a series of research projects based at the Felt Lab, so it benefits from an inherent structure and connection to emerging tech. This established access to cutting edge interactive digital display hardware and software makes it a great place just waiting for you to start building. Events range from “Talk about VR” to specific demo nights and hands-on experimentation.
Get out there!
Now that we've given you a place to start, get in touch with your local meetup and start connecting! If you notice we're forgetting someone, please let us know.