18 May 2023 | Nathan C Bowser
XR Activations, On-site Activities & Community Connections at AWE USA 2023
AWE USA 2023

There’s always something exciting happening at AWE USA, the world’s largest event for XR professionals. With 400+ industry leading speakers presenting across 14 conference tracks and 300+ exhibitors packing the Expo floor with the newest AR and VR technologies, there are endless opportunities to connect, learn, and grow with this vibrant community.

To help you plan your time at AWE in Santa Clara, 5/31 - 6/2, we’ve collected a list of XR activations, on-site activities, and community connections that are taking place in addition to the official agenda of the conference.

XR Activations

Against a blue hazy background a hand holds a tiny retro gaming cabinet. On the Screen text says "8th Wall & Powster, 8th Wall ARcade" in retro type.

Play Web AR games, powered by Niantic 8th Wall 

Beat the lines! Grab your badge at Early Registration Tuesday, May 30th, from 4-8pm and let the Web AR fun begin. Scan the back of your AWE badge and find nostalgia for the past with an 8th Wall powered mini game.

Images of 3 mobile web screens showing the onboarding steps for a special avatar experience created for the AWE 2023 event

Build your network with lifelike avatars, powered by Avaturn.
Create a personalized lifelike avatar by visiting avatar.awexr.com on a mobile device and scan the QR code on your badge to get started. **You’ll need your badge to start. Once you’ve created your digital persona, you’ll be able to trade and collect avatars with the people you meet at AWE by scanning their badges.

The top three people who collect the most avatars at the end of AWE USA will receive a free full conference pass to their next AWE event! 

If you opt-in to join the avatar group photo, our partner Avaturn (booth S22) will email you group photos of all the avatar friends you’ve made after the conference.

two images from a Snap AR Lens page showing the AWE lenses built for AWE USA 2023

Take selfies with the AWE USA Snapchat lenses, powered by Fyware.
Find yourself in the middle of a magical experience, everywhere you go with our two Snapchat lenses built by the team at Fyware

The Find AWE Everywhere Lens puts you in a magical scene surrounded by moments of awe and wonder from this year’s visual theme; developed by Sutu Campbell, of Eyejack.io.

You can also try-on classic head mounted displays with our HMD Photobooth Lens. Please remember to mention AWE and use the tag #AWE2023 on all your social posts. 

Two views of Digital Expo Hall app, by Auki Labs, screenshots of an expo hall with digital AR tags that help you find what you want.

Tour the Expo Hall with a digital AR map, by Auki Labs.
Scan an AWE branded QR code in the Expo Hall to open the Digital Expo Layer—an AR guide that helps you “discover the hidden layer of reality around you,” powered by Auki Labs.

Use any iOS device to view XR content and labels that help you find your way to sponsors, amenities, and other attractions throughout the Expo Hall. Scanning any of the 70 QR codes placed about the hall will get you back into the experience anytime you need to find your way.  iOS users can be ready to scan in on arrival at AWE by grabbing the app here

Home page from skatrix.io showing an AR app that lets you "skate anywhere, skate anything"

Skate the AWE campus grounds with pro skater Rodney Mullen’s Skatrix AR app.
“From the Inventor of the Ollie, Kickflip and Impossible (plus a few talented game developers) comes a new breed of skate game SKATRIX.” Turn any surface into a skatepark with the cross-platform Skatrix app.

On-site Activities
A branded lounge by Snap AR from AWE 2022. two low, modern metal wire chairs in white sit on either side of a large white banner that says "Snap AR." the banner also has many images of 12" circles with photos of peoples faces in them

Take a load off and visit the Snap AR Lounge.
The Snap AR lounge is back at AWE! Each day of the conference you can chill out and connect with other guests in the stylish lounge that’s located right in front of our Main Stage; the Mission City Ballroom. This chic lounge is a great spot for networking and recharging with both indoor and outdoor options.

Connect with the 8th Wall and Lightship developer communities in the Niantic Lounge.
AR developers and fans are in for a special treat at the Niantic Lounge where they can expect three full days of office hours, special programming and announcements, and fun. Check out the Niantic Lounge in Great America Ballroom, or the Niantic landing page for more information and scheduling details. 

All AWE attendees will also receive tickets attached to their name tags for a special Niantic happy hour in their space, from 3-5pm on Thursday, June 1, and a complimentary sustainable swag gift. 

Boston Dynamics Spot robot dog on a speaker announcement card for AWE USA 2023 for a talk by AWS

Play with a robot dog, from AWS.
For their talk, Scan Today, Build Tomorrow, the team from AWS will be joined by a Boston Dynamics Spot Robot to showcase how AWS's cutting-edge technology can help users visualize live robot telemetry and much more. 

Spot will be exploring the conference grounds and Expo Hall with their handlers—don’t miss this opportunity to meet this tech sensation up close. 

Community connections

The XR Women Awards and networking event
Join the XR Women as they honor the accomplishments of women in the XR industry with their yearly XR Women Awards in the categories of Innovation, Trailblazer, and Real World Impact. 

The Awards will take place Thursday, June 1, at 11am, on the Main Stage with networking to follow. 

XR Guild meetup
“Meet the XR Guild at AWE 2023, from 1-3pm upstairs outside the Great America rooms, just above the Niantic Lounge. We’ll discuss how ethics can help make better XR products by focusing on real-world issues and mitigations like child safety, generative AI, use of personal data, privacy, avatars and identity, and more,” invites Avi Bar Zeev of the XR Guild.

“Every voice matters. We believe that making ethical products takes all of us in the field pitching in, not just a few experts. Our goal is to provide as much knowledge and mentoring as possible to make all of our work successful and ethical.”

AWE Pride happy hour and networking
This year the Thursday night happy hour on June 1, will be spread across the conference grounds with multiple bars and meet-up locations to choose from; 5:30-6:45pm. 

AWE’s Chief Marketing Officer, Nathan C, invites you to celebrate the first day of Pride Month with good times and networking for the LGBTQ+ community and allies at the top of the escalators above registration. All are welcome. Bold and gold attire recommended. 

XR Job Fair, powered by XR Bootcamp
Join XR Bootcamp as they host a 2 hour job fair in the AWE Expo Hall at booth #1251! On Thursday, June 1 from 2pm to 4pm, come meet other XR job seekers and companies with open positions. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot on the Eventbrite form.

UX Meetup
A gathering of UX researchers, developers, and designers from across the globe will meet to chat about some of the great examples of UX they’ve seen throughout the conference. Meet at 10:30am for a meet and greet, then head over to catch Finn Staber’s Interactive XR Design Standards in room D, returning to The Great America Meeting Room Foyer & Terrace at 12pm to complete the conversation about great UX for XR that we learned at AWE 2023.

Friday 10:30am to 12pm,  The Great America Meeting Room Foyer & Terrace

Something for everyone

Whether you log-in to awe.live to review the agenda and set up meetings in advance or if you follow inspiration to spontaneous meetups in the lobbies and lounges around the conference; your days are bound to be filled with innovative ideas and conversations.

At AWE USA, there are so many ways for you to connect with other passionate XR professionals, learn from the best in the industry, and grow your craft, product, or business. 

We can’t wait to see you in two weeks!

And if you’re reading this and still don’t have a ticket, you can save 20% when you use the code CMO20 to purchase tickets.

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