Have you ever been involved in a project that became so intense that you begin to realize that the project is either going to go spectacularly well or utterly flop? Right before the Educators in VR 2020 International Summit, we had that feeling. We write that not to cast doubt on this organization. Conversely, we want to tell you the story of how Educators In VR took a huge risk and got a virtual conference right…spectacularly right.
Two research colleagues from the Immersive Learning Research Network attended and presented at this first-of-a-new-kind of conference. The origin story from the Educators in VR founders will move into lore but the earliest versions include phrases like “we can do this because it is all virtual” and“this will be a free conference” and “we will aim for 40 presenters.” Eventually, this conference covered 6 days (February 17-22, 2020), 5 platforms (AltspaceVR, Engage, Somnium Space, rumii, and Mozilla Hubs), 170+ presenters, 150+ sessions, and 75+ volunteers. Events ran around the clock so there was truly a global audience. There were an average of 100 attendees per event and because it was online, it saved 1,400,800 lbs of carbon dioxide.