5 Jul 2023 | Sam Sprigg
Elevate Your XR Journey at AWE EU in Vienna this October
AWE EU 2023

With its vibrant tech scene, central European location, and rich cultural heritage, Vienna, Austria offers the perfect setting to push the boundaries of XR technology and level-up the spatial computing industry as a whole.

On October 24th and 25th, 2023, XR thought leaders, VR and AR businesses, 3D developers, and immersive tech enthusiasts from around the globe will gather at AWE EU in Vienna, Austria to connect, learn, and grow at AWE’s leading industry event 'Where XR business thrives.'

Vienna has established itself as a technological hub, attracting innovative startups, research institutions, and tech companies. The city's thriving tech industry creates a fertile ground for collaboration and knowledge exchange, and as VR and AR technologies continue to revolutionize industries, Vienna's tech ecosystem will certainly help to bring together XR experts, thought leaders, developers, and enthusiasts from around the globe, enabling them to share insights and push the boundaries of XR technology even further.

Austria's history of XR

As well as having a rich cultural history, Austria is also the home of some historic contributions to the field of XR. Vuforia, an augmented reality SDK solution, was a product of Qualcomm Austria Research Center GmbH, which is based in Vienna. Vuforia was acquired by PTC back in 2015, and is still today one of the leading enterprise AR platforms available on the market. 

Another example would be Wikitude, which was founded in Salzburg and offered an augmented reality SDK for the creation of location-based AR experiences. The company was acquired by Qualcomm in 2021. Both platforms have played pivotal roles in shaping the XR landscape.

There are dozens of AR and VR companies located throughout Austria, with the geographical focus of XR activities is based in Vienna, according to a PwC report on the Austrian XR Landscape. This rich history, as well as ongoing XR innovation from within Austria brings an added extra layer of significance to hosting AWE Europe in Vienna this year, and will no doubt make for a great location to pay a fitting tribute to the city's legacy, while embracing the future of XR.

Located in the heart of Europe

One compelling reason for choosing Vienna as the venue for AWE EU this year is the city’s central location within Europe. The city's excellent transportation infrastructure, including an international airport with direct connections to major cities worldwide, will ensure convenient access for attendees from across the European continent, as well as from further afield. 

With more than 2,000 attendees expected at the event, Vienna’s central location will enable a global and diverse audience to gather, and will help to foster cross-cultural collaboration between XR professionals and businesses, as well as amplify the importance of all of the industry connections that will be made on site at the Austria Center Vienna.

The city already has a strong XR community, with organizations such as XR Vienna leading the charge locally to spread the word about augmented and virtual reality technology, and to help the industry grow. 

Other organizations, such as Meeting Destination Vienna, which represents Vienna’s meeting industry, are playing a part in helping to facilitate global industry events such as AWE EU and make them a success. In fact, Meeting Destination Vienna’s own words state: “the exceptional meeting infrastructure, the high service quality of the meeting service sector as well as the cultural attractiveness of the city” are all factors that contributed to AWE’s decision in selecting Vienna as a top destination to host this year’s event.

Arts and culture

Let’s be honest, sometimes attending an industry event or conference isn’t solely about the event itself – it’s as much about getting to visit an exciting new location as it is about the industry that the event covers. Vienna's cultural heritage and vibrant arts scene offer an amazing setting for AWE’s European conference, and we’re sure that attendees will have almost as much fun exploring the city's historical landmarks, museums, and theaters as they will exploring the world of AR and VR on site at AWE EU 2023.

The city even offers its own unique synergy between VR and AR technology across some of Vienna's iconic sites. The integration of VR and AR experiences within some of the city's cultural sites adds an exciting layer of interactivity, allowing attendees to experience XR both inside and outside the event this year.

Image source: https://www.vars.at/augmented-reality-tour/

Networking opportunities at AWE EU 2023

Networking is a crucial aspect of any conference, and AWE EU will be no different. In fact, meeting fellow AR and VR professionals is a unique part of all AWE events. Attendees consistently note that attending AWE feels like “coming home” to be with the rest of the XR community, and that the value in meeting with this community on site is something that can’t be matched anywhere else. Thankfully, Vienna will provide plenty of opportunities for participants to connect, learn, and grow their network and businesses as they establish meaningful and lasting relationships whilst at AWE this year. 

The Austria Center Vienna also boasts a range of professional meeting spaces and private rooms, which will offer attendees (as well as any interested exhibitors) the facilities needed for engaging and productive interactions. Additionally, Vienna's vibrant social scene, with its cafes, restaurants, and entertainment options, will provide an ideal setting for informal networking and socializing. Plus, let’s not forget the AWE afterparty, which will be taking place this year at Stage 3.

Austria's strong government support for emerging technologies like VR/AR further reinforces Vienna's appeal as a host city. The Austrian government's investment in research and development initiatives demonstrates a commitment to fostering an ecosystem that promotes technological innovation.

AWE’s commitment to sustainability

We set the standard for our sustainability initiatives at AWE with our 2023 USA event. This is something that AWE is committed to continuing with all future events from now on, and AWE EU will be no exception as we aim to create a sustainable and environmentally conscious event. 

AWE EU will be a carbon-neutral event and all carbon produced by the event production and our guests including: travel, lodging, catering, shipping, and more will be calculated and offset with the help of our third-party verified sustainability partner.

Thankfully, Europe has an incredible rail network, and traveling by train instead of air travel is one great way to cut down on any carbon emissions created as a result of getting to the event. This conscious effort also aligns with Vienna's reputation as a city that values sustainability and responsible environmental practices.

Furthermore, the event venue itself is a “green conference center,” and the Austria Center Vienna takes targeted steps that have a real impact on the venue’s environmental footprint. As a green conference center, the venue puts an emphasis on waste prevention, eco-friendly travel options and regional sourcing of ingredients for catering.

Image source: Austria Center Vienna

An industry event that continues to level up

As AWE continues to level up and grow, it is only fitting that the conference expands its horizons to new locations. Vienna, with its tech ecosystem, central European accessibility, and cultural richness, perfectly embodies the spirit of AWE. This year’s AWE EU promises to be a milestone event, bringing together the brightest minds in XR and to propel the AR and VR industry forward.

With AWE’s Europe event on the horizon, now is the perfect time to mark your calendars and prepare for an extraordinary XR industry gathering that will combine some of the leading breakthroughs from across the AR and VR industry with cultural immersion, and unparalleled networking opportunities. We can’t wait to bring the XR community together in Vienna to celebrate the industry’s past, present, and future, and to explore the limitless potential of XR. 

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