The Orlando iX conference returned to the Orange County Convention Center in October as professionals from the video game, virtual reality, and various digital arts industries came together to network, collaborate, and further unite the Orlando tech community.
The conference was held over two days, and began with a kickoff party in downtown Orlando which offered live music and free swag. The conference itself hosted multiple keynote speakers, green room sessions, workshops, and game tournaments.
Guest speakers from Full Sail included Simulation and Visualization Program Director Rob Catto, Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships Josh Mora, Game Design Department Chair Zack Hiwiller, Game Design Course Director Will Fitzgerald, and Game Design master’s Course Directors Adams Greenwood-Ericksen, Shawn Stafford, and Rob Kennedy.
Orlando iX Board Member Rob Coble, who was in charge of organizing the guest speakers, explained that this year they wanted to keep the focus on games while also highlighting the new and exciting developments in the VR industry and interactive experiences.
In addition to exploring new developments in the industry, there is another key aspect of this conference.
“For students, networking is really important when it comes to these conferences,” said Game Design Course Director Justin Gallo. “You can be the best of the best, but if you don’t know how to put yourself out there and show people what you’re capable of, that’s going to be a problem.”
Looking toward the future, Rob is hoping to create local meet-ups that happen outside of Orlando iX. “Hopefully we’ll be able to maintain a positive presence in the community throughout the year and not just in the fall when we’re ramping up for the conference,” said Rob. The goal of these meet-ups is to unite the Orlando scene and create a central hub of information, from discussing the issue of how to get more women involved in the tech industry to simply networking with other professionals.
“We want to create a group that offers mentorship, educational opportunities, support and collaboration,” said Rob. “The great thing about Orlando iX is that it always gets people fired up about our [tech] community and what we’re capable of doing.”