By @SimonCocking. Interview with Alex Gibson Senior Lecturer DIT, The Persuaders Marketing Radio Show, founder of ARVR Innovate Conference 28 April. See last year’s event reviewed here.

Brief background about you?

I am a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at DIT , in the School of Hospitality Management and Tourism, where I’m currently involved in a number of research projects into use of augmented reality in areas such as visitor attractions and museums. I also have a radio show on marketing The Persuaders on Dublin City FM, and I take a keen interest generally in how technology is shaping marketing practice today. The show’s podcasts are a great resources for marketing professionals, and I regularly addresses technology issues.

Why it will be helpful for people to attend. What will they get out of it?

The ARVR Innovate Conference and EXPO will be bigger than ever this year. 2016 is the year when VR in particular has hit the headlines, so the event will explicitly address this area. Also the event has been broadened beyond the initial marketing audience of the past couple of years. We noticed last year that almost half of the delegates came from sectors such as engineering, retail, financial and architecture, so this has influenced the rebranding from AR Marketing to the new title. The conference is designed to allow delegates to see and experience some of the latest wearables and apps, but also it’s about exploring how these technologies can be used in today in your business, and explore alternative business models. This conference is not a developer conference – we’re now ready to get serious about the commercial side of things.

We have secured Don Levy flying in from Los Angeles as a keynote speaker. Levy is a giant in the worlds of entertainment marketing and visual special effects having worked with Sony Pictures for 17 years before setting up his own consultancy. His TED talk is a masterpiece in storytelling about cinema and special effects.

Who has inspired you?

My first large project using AR really stirred my interest in the area. A few years ago I attended the biggest conference in this area, AWE in San Francisco, and met Gaia Dempsey and Brian Mullins from DAQRI, who were exploring the possibility to come to Ireland to locate their international operations. What they had to show the delegates was really mind-blowing – effectively showing how AR was going to totally reshape the nature of work. I guess that for me was the time I decided to get serious about the area in my own research. I really think that this conference can help build Ireland’s position as a serious player in AR and VR. (DAQRI subsequently open a highly successful office in Dublin, and a keynote speaker at the conference will be Gaia Dempsey).

What trends are you excited about?

“Everything! Almost daily we’re hearing about new technologies, and multi-million euro investments by the smartest tech and VC companies around”. The arrival of the Samsung Gear and hotly anticipated Playstation VR hardware as game changers in opening up the technologies to an audience of millions.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked you?

The event is clearly putting Dublin on the map for AR and VR, already there are delegates coming from as far afield as Indonesia, Ukraine and United States to attend.

To co-incide with the conference, DIT School of Hospitality Management and Manchester Metropolitan University will host an academic ARVR Conference on Business Realities of AR and VR, and papers are invited on this topic to Alex [email protected]

Where can people see / listen / read more about you?

The ARVR Innovate Conference and EXPO takes place on April 28th in Croke Park Conference Centre and booking information, and latest news on speakers can be had on the website, which includes a video of last year’s conference. The Persuaders Radio Show will also be running a series of interviews with speakers in the week’s ahead. Tickets for the Conference, EXPO, and hospitality breaks are from €235 plus VAT. Significant discounts are available for group bookings and members of a wide range of professional associations.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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