By Mickaël Dailly (original article here)
Expand Your Growth and Network With the VR/AR Association (VRARA)
Zürich – May 5, 2017 – As long as there have been professions, human beings have often seen the need to associate along shared interests. In the past, these were in the form of guilds. Today, they are the modern professional associations representing the numerous professions and endeavours.
These associations are important because of the value they add to these professions and trades. Foremost among these is the bargaining power you get with the strength in numbers. If you are planning to push an agenda within your industry, you are likely to get results and impact when you do it within the umbrella of an association.
Associations also serve as important networking platforms. Because you meet people in your industry who are involved in diverse endeavours in the sector, it is very easy to forge personal and professional relationships that can in the future be transformed into job or business opportunities.
However, you shouldn’t just look at associations in terms of what you can take from them but what you can give in. Many senior professionals in fact join professional associations to add value in the form of knowledge, experience, networks or financial support. Some do it to nurture a new generation of dedicated professionals that will be capable of taking the industry to new heights.
In the context of an industry such as the rapidly developing virtual reality industry, a professional association helps in building a support system and institution infrastructure that will help in guiding this industry to future greatness. Many of the people joining the virtual industry right now are pioneers and a professional association can serve as an anchor point for all the activities that they are engaged in, coalescing their efforts to drive growth, innovation, networking and linkages which are very much needed in an industry that is rapidly in flux.
Because the virtual reality and augmented reality industries are a relatively new phenomenon, many assume that there is no professional organization in this small and still obscure industry. However, there is in fact an association for virtual and augmented reality professionals called The VR/AR Association or VRARA that is already deeply engaged in various activities in the industry.
The VRARA Association
The association was founded in 2015 as a platform for bringing together global experts and professionals in the virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality industry. The association helps to accelerate the growth, knowledge and connections in the industry. Its main mission is to offer a collaborative platform between the best minds in the industry and innovative companies with the aim of accelerating growth, research and development, education, developing industry standards in the virtual reality and augmented reality space. The association also connects member organizations and helps in promoting the products and services of the disparate member organizations.
The VRARA association membership comes from diverse backgrounds including entertainment, retailers, universities, advertising, software developers, academics, content developers, VR hardware developers and developers of the various accessories used in the VR industry.
The VRARA has a presence in various cities around the world through local chapters in those respective cities. Part of the association’s mandate is supporting and promoting the growth and development of these local chapters in the process helping in the dissemination of virtual reality and augmented reality knowledge and expertise at the local level throughout the world.
The association carries out various responsibilities every year that help it meet its objective of fostering collaboration and accelerating growth and development of the industry. These include organizing meetups, conferences, and industry panel discussions. The association also supports research and case studies development work carried out by the disparate local chapters to help build local and global bodywork of knowledge in the virtual reality, mixed reality and augmented reality space. Companies and individuals in the industry interested in expanding their scope and reach can also account on the association for promotion and exposure to the greater industry and market.
What are the Benefits of Joining the VRARA Association?
Perhaps the biggest advantage of the association is its reach and the scope of its activities. There are more than 3400 industry organizations in its directory and it has a mailing list of 15,000, mainly consisting of the best minds in the VR and AR industry. If you want to make things happen and are looking for networks, this is the best platform to reach the right people and make things happen.
The association also has a dedicated staff of 30 located around the world that you can leverage to get to assist you in organizing events, in business development and marketing your VR/AR initiatives.
As a member, you can get access to the VRARA Directory, the most comprehensive yet, of organizations in the world involved in various aspects of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.
If you are an expert of thought leader in the industry, you can participate in even steer Industry Committees and work with multiple stakeholders in creating a body of work and best practices that can guide the various industry verticals.
Other perks of VRARA membership include access to attendee passes for all the VRARA events globally, get unrestricted access to all industry reports and publications that have been commission and produced by VRARA; get speaking opportunities on VRARA events or partner events; you can opt to be included in test market campaigns for relevant products and services; get a 50% discount on all industry events and also get featured in VRARA media channels including e-newsletters, podcasts and blogs if you have something to share or showcase. If you are hiring, you can also post your jobs freely in the VRARA jobs boards and get access to a highly skilled pool of VR/AR talent.
What are Some of the VR/AR Events That I Can Attend in 2017?
As a VRARA member, you get generous discounts on all the main VR/AR/MR events globally. Some of these events include the following:-
- Immersive Architecture Conference IM-ARCH – Venice, Italy June 1st 2017
- VRARA Birmingham Chapter Launch Event June 5th 2017
- Up The Ante with the VRARA – The Investor Edition (Los Angeles) June 6 2017
- VRARA Singapore Chapter Event June 13th 2017
- SF Chapter: Road to the Holodeck, Lightfields and Volumetric VR June 14 2017
- VR/AR Association – Kentucky Chapter Event June 21st 2017
- The WAVE Congress – Birmingham UK June 22nd 2017
- VRTO – TorontoJune 24th – 26th 2017
- VR/AR Excellence Days 2017 – Hamburg, GermanyJune 27th – 28th 2017
- 2nd Global VR/AR China Summit 2017June 29th to 30th 2017
- Gwangju ACE Fair (Asia Content & Entertainment Fair) – South Korea September 17th – 24th 2017
- Shop.org LA September 25th – 27th 2017
- MEC Congress – Berlin September 26th – 28th 2017
- 2017 Display Summit – Sterling, Virginia October 4th – 5th 2017
- VRevolution NYC on November 15, 2017
The VRARA Local Chapters
Currently, there are VRARA local chapters in all the major cities of the world. There are 30 chapters in total in all the major cities in Europe, US, the Middle East, Asia, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.
The purpose of a VRARA local chapter is to provide you with a local network and platform to network with other best minds in the industry in your city. Membership in your local VRARA chapter also plugs you in to global opportunities.
The local chapters are run in a structured way according to the VRARA constitution. Each chapter is administered by a Chapter President who carries out a host of local chapter responsibilities such as hosting local VRARA events, organizing industry panel discussions along with presentations and supporting members in the chapter in growing and scaling up their virtual reality and augmented reality business initiatives. If you live in a city with a local chapter, you can attend the local events and network with the other VR and AR professionals. You can also take it further and leverage your access to the global chapter network to grow your initiatives beyond local borders.
How Do I Form VRARA Chapter in My City?
To form a local VRARA Chapter in your city, you can simply submit an application to the parent organisation to express your interest in forming a local association and becoming a Chapter President. The association requires that every Chapter President be familiar with some of the best minds in AR and VR in their city.
As a Chapter President, it is also important to have good proximity to a network of local thought leaders in the industry. These thought leaders and business leaders don’t necessarily have to be experts in the virtual reality and augmented reality but they should be leaders in industries that are going to directly benefit from innovation in this industry. These will include areas such as advertising, media and entertainment, content producers, the gaming industry etc.
The Chapter responsibilities are not particularly exerting. You will need to put in less than five hours per week handling the various chapter responsibilities such as organizing events, coordinating meetings, onboarding new members to the chapter and coordinating research and case study development in your city. To apply for a local Chapter President position for any inquiries, you can contact the European Memberships and Events Director Mickaël Dailly at firstname.lastname@example.org.