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a trade fair still
on the rise
Laval Virtual, the top global fair dedicated to Virtual and Augmented reality, closed last light. Internationalisation and creativity topped the bill in an increasingly mature market landscape.
Nineteen years ago, when the first virtual reality fair was staged in Laval, very few would have bet a cent that so much would have happened over the last five days.
With a record number of 240 exhibitors, there was a clear feeling during this edition of Laval Virtual that the market has reached maturity, both for professionals and for the general public.
Virtual and augmented reality was originally a niche market. It then focused on a handful of countries, but has now become a major global phenomenon.
In addition to Canada, the United States and Japan, all long-time players at Laval Virtual, this year’s edition featured many European players (Britain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Switzerland…) who are structuring clusters with new ambitions.
China’s positions were also significantly reinforced, as symbolized both by the presence of a 200 sq. m space for our guest of honour - Qingdao’s Laoshan district - and the signing of a partnership agreement for the creation of Laval Virtual Asia, to be held in China from November 2 to 6. “Laval Virtual” is becoming a global brand with a clear ambition to develop on every continent.
Another highlight was that studios and content creators are increasingly embracing VR masks, with their multiple possibilities providing increasingly rich and immersive user experiences. Our market place, which we had restricted to twenty studios despite rapidly growing demand, brimmed with creativity, and contacts with purchasers were extremely fruitful.
Likewise, professional stakeholders and developers are increasingly benefiting from the latest technologies - notably Microsoft’s HoloLens, which was particularly noted this year - that could revolutionize a number of sectors, from vocational training to automotive retail. Many key players in European industry took advantage of this opportunity to “shop around” for the years to come across the fair’s 6 200 sq. m.
Finally, more than 150 researchers and professionals took part in the biggest World Café, a time for collective intelligence devoted to VR/AR dedicated to creating a vision of the technology for 2025 in order to guide the development of businesses in the sector and the industry’s investments.
To top all of this off and validate the fair’s new positioning, we gained more than 30% trade visitors (7 900) and more than 5% general public visitors (9 800).
In the run-up to our 20th anniversary celebrations, our ambition is to continue to expand our year-long know-how and advance technologies in the field of VR/AR, whether through the Laval Virtual Days (featured at the Cité des Sciences, starting on May 17), the launch of the Laval Virtual Center (September 2017) and, of course, the organization of the 1st Laval Virtual in Asia (November 2 - 6).
Thomas Marko & Associés
Peter EVEN - T. 01 44 90 85 25 - M. 06 27 06 27 58
Clemence GAUVIN-DENISE - T. 01 53 20 18 07 - M. 06 74 64 79 63 firstname.lastname@example.org
Laval Virtual is the European leader in the fields of new technologies and uses of virtual reality, and the fair of reference for their development. In 2016, nearly 15,000 visitors filled the aisles of Laval Virtual and discovered a constant diversification of the sectors represented: industry, heritage, health, training, marketing, culture, etc. At every edition, this diversification, and the interest expressed by both professionals and the public, strengthen the undeniable status of Laval Virtual which brings together the entire new technology community. For more information: www.laval-virtual.org