The recent coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has stymied many of the industry’s most important conferences and expos this year. To avoid this, HTC today announced it will be holding its next Vive Ecosystem Conference (VEC) from within virtual reality.

Update (March 7th, 2020): It was previously reported that VEC would take place at 5:30 PM PT on March 18th, which was calculated erroneously by us. It actually starts an hour later at 6:30 PM PT. We’ve listed the GMT starting time at the bottom of this piece.

Furthermore, the official online registration opens on March 10th. You can go to the Engage website to sign up for the event and reserve your spot.

The so called Virtual Vive Ecosystem Conference (stylized as V²EC) is slated to take place on March 19th in Engagethe education & training-focused social VR platform created by Immersive VR Education, the same minds behind VR experiences Apollo 11 VR and Titanic VR.

The news was announced by HTC Vive China President Alvin Wang Graylin in a tweet, stating that virtual attendees can follow along either via 6DOF VR headset or livestream via monitor.

Last year’s VEC, which took place in Shenzhen, China, saw a number of announcements including global pricing and availability of Vive Focus Plus and the announcement of several updates to Vive Wave. Although VR telecommuters will miss a chance at playing around with Vive Cosmos and its modular faceplates.

Out of all the industries with potential to ‘go VR’ in the wake of coronavirus cancellations, HTC’s move makes the most sense here considering developers in the medium should already own a headset capable of connecting to Engage, which supports PC VR, Oculus Quest, and Vive Focus Plus.

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It’s uncertain to what extent the conference’s events will actually take place in VR, or whether it will be more of a glorified livestream viewing party. Whatever the case, Graylin says that it will be simulcast in both Chinese and English, and there’s sure to be lively discussion in both languages in the virtual space as a result.

Developers looking to take part can simply register and download Engage. The conference is slated to begin at 1:30 AM GMT on March 19th (local time here). The official online registration opens on March 10th. You can go to the Engage website to sign up for the event and reserve your spot.

Thanks to Antony Vitillo of VR publication Skarred Ghost for the tip. Grazie Sig. Ghostman!

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Moe Curley

    Skarredghost, my go to source for solid VR info.

    • Immersive Computing

      Tony’s a great source, especially for HTC news

      • LOL, I hope also for the other ones ;)

        • Immersive Computing

          That goes without saying. I mention HTC because of your meetings with Mr. President!

    • Thanks Moe! I’m flattered!

      • Moe Curley

        Your OG! I remember uou from way back in the early OG Vive forum before the 500500 debacle

        • Yeah, actually I reduced my presence there when 500500 threatened me to ban me from the subreddit because I shared my posts there

          • Moe Curley

            He banned me and deleted all my posts. Lol

          • Moe Curley

            The new Vive forum is really much better anyway

  • impurekind

    One more thing VR is great for.

  • Jonathan Winters III

    HTC f*&king up again. What a hairbrained idea.

  • Thanks Rob, the King of VR ergonomics!

  • Prego, Scott! I already used ENGAGE for some workshops, it’s a solid platform. I’m curious of how the strategy of cloning rooms to host more than 50 people will result for the users