Senior Vice President, Entertainment & Games Strategy
Dave & Buster's Inc.
One of the best-known and most highly respected executives in the video game industry and an active investor in the digital media sector, Kevin was one of the original group of four individuals at Microsoft Corporation who came up with the idea for the Xbox video game system, an initiative that grew in part out of his role as group product manager for the DirectX family of Windows technologies.As Microsoft's first director of third-party relations for Xbox, Kevin secured support for Xbox from all major game publishers worldwide and created and managed the programs and processes that would ultimately lead to the strongest software line-up ever for the launch of a game console.Prior to joining Microsoft, Kevin served in a number of business and production capacities at Mindscape, a video game industry pioneer. After leaving Microsoft, Kevin co-founded or served in an executive capacity at a number of innovative, venture-backed companies including Capital Entertainment Group, the video game industry's first independent production company; Infinium Labs, a pioneer in the field of digital software distribution whose flagship product was a finalist for Best Hardware at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo; and Nival Interactive, the largest independent game developer in Eastern Europe.Although he developed a number of games on his own during the industry's infancy, Kevin chose to attend the prestigious University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television where he majored in screenwriting and directing, before combining his two passions, technology and entertainment, in the field of interactive entertainment.
Kevin Bachus is speaker of the following session:
CEO & Owner
Markus Beyr is CEO and owner of Attraktion! GmbH. Attraktion! covers a group of innovative companies, mostly formed in 2011, creating media-based attractions and turn-key solutions for entertainment and leisure venues. The experience products created by Markus and his team cover a wide range of immersive experiences, interactive group games and a unique range of entertaining robots. Furthermore, his vision to merge the integration of attractions with the production of specialty venue movies for immersive and 4D attractions evolved in forming an in house CGI Animation Studio, focusing solely on nothing else than special venue films for the out of home entertainment markets. The company holds patents in interactive solutions and media based attraction technology. Noteworthy is that Attraktion! invented several new product genres within outstandingly short periods, also surprising is the fact that all the developed products have been placed in the market even before they were official launched!
Markus thinks outside the box together with vast industry experience in special venue theatres, he constantly teaches young professionals on proper use of innovative technologies in a leisure group experience. Nowadays his products invade the water park market to bring in media-based experiences for the first time ever as major integrated part in wet environments.
Markus started in themed entertainment beginning in the 90’s as lighting designer. Today, he’s one of the world’s leading attraction producers, with more than 250 attractions realized all over the world. He has been involved in successful projects for many theme parks around the world, and more than a hundred and twenty 4D/5D attractions plus numerous dark rides, brand lands and fulldome experiences: Marvel Superheroes 4D at Madame Tussauds London (UK), Dreamplay Manila (Philippines), Arthur 4D at Futuroscope (France), Swarovski Crystal World (Austria), Ancol (Indonesia) and City of Dreams, Macau (China). Markus´s work has been featured in industry publications such as; 4D Media Master (IP Magazine) and Future of Entertainment (EAP Magazine) and he has won several awards, including the prestigious THEA Award for outstanding achievement. He is active in global industry associations, served as member of the IAAPA European Committee, TILE Committee and the IMERSA Boards of Advisers. Markus is also a frequent speaker at global conferences and has spoken in almost every corner of the world at industry events from TEA SATE Orlando, Future of Retail Dubai to several Theme Park Summits in China.
Markus Beyr is speaker of the following session:
Columnist and Consultant
Tubefilter.com & TVRev.com
An award-winning journalist and communications strategist, David Bloom is a columnist for online news sites Tubefilter and TVRev, writing about the collision between technology, entertainment and media.
As a communications strategist and principal with Words & Deeds, Bloom advises a wide range of companies on content marketing and creation, social media and broader communications strategy, drawing on his years as a journalist, editor, communications executive and podcast producer/host. David Bloom also teaches a class technology, entertainment and media for the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Marshall School of Business.
He is a strong proponent of the power of narrative, of crafting a compelling story across a range of media and social media to capture an audience and build understanding and engagement.
Bloom has worked in senior positions at Deadline Hollywood, Variety, MGM, the USC Marshall School of Business, Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, Red Herring magazine and the Los Angeles Daily News among others. He has consulted widely on communications and social-media issues with major companies such as TechStyle, Herbalife, Amazon, ShortsTV and Goldstar, and with fast-growing tech startups such as Epoxy.tv, Vertebrae.io, KarmaBox, Canvs.tv and Beachfront Media.
Bloom frequently moderates conference and event panels on digital media, virtual reality, the film industry and related tech and entertainment issues. He has hosted and produced hundreds of audio and video episodes for Deadline, USC Marshall and other outlets. Bloom has been a frequent guest lecturer at USC, Pepperdine, Boston University, Syracuse University, Chapman University, BIOLA and Cal State - Fullerton among others. He graduated with honors from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
David Bloom is moderator of the following session:
David Bloom is leader of the following workshop:
Senior Vice President, Lionsgate Global Live and Location-Based Entertainment
Jenefer Brown is Senior Vice President of Lionsgate’s Global Live and Location-Based Entertainment. She and President of Global Franchise Management Kerry Phelan are quickly establishing Lionsgate’s fast-growing location-based entertainment business, which encompasses planned attractions in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Ms. Brown oversaw the development of several key business initiatives to expand Lionsgate’s intellectual property and establish the studio as a major force in branded entertainment. These initiatives include: the Lionsgate Zone of the Motiongate Dubai theme park which opened in October 2017, featuring Hunger Games branded attractions and a Step Up live stage show; Lionsgate Movie World, the Company’s first branded outdoor theme park in Jeju Island, South Korea; and Lionsgate Entertainment World, a state-of-the-art indoor theme park under construction in Hengqin, China, that will bring to life The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga and The Divergent franchises.
Additionally, Ms. Brown brokered the Company’s partnership with Parques Reunidos to bring indoor Lionsgate Entertainment City leisure centers to the U.S. and Europe. The first of these will open in New York’s Times Square in 2019 and will include a Mad Men restaurant, The Hunger Games flight simulator and John Wick ride. Ms. Brown’s team also launched Lionsgate’s 125-city “La La Land in Concert” world tour in the summer of 2017, inspired by its multiple Academy Award® winning blockbuster film.
Before joining Lionsgate in 2014, Ms. Brown served as producer and business development executive at Thinkwell Group, where she managed the strategic planning and creative development of location-based entertainment projects and live events for major film studios and Fortune 500 companies. Her clients included Warner Bros., Anschutz Entertainment Group, the National Basketball Association, CORE Media Group, Sesame Workshop and Nickelodeon Animation Studios. Prior to Thinkwell Group, Ms. Brown worked as a writer and an attorney.
Ms. Brown holds a JD, cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Jenefer Brown is speaker of the following session:
Simon has been working with location based VR experiences at his company Escape VR for over a year. Starting with creating high quality content for the escape room industry, the team at Escape VR has successfully deployed their turn-key VR solution to over 20 locations in 5 countries.
Before his endeavors in VR, Simon has been and is still the CEO of StuckPixel, a mobile app company. As CEO, Simon has helped his team capture the #1 app ranking on Apple's mobile appstore, then proceeded to push three more apps into the top 10. StuckPixel has generated 50 million app downloads with hundreds of thousands of daily active users.
Simon Chu is speaker of the following session:
CEO / Director
Observe Media Inc. & OneTouchVR Distribution
Travis Cloyd is a leader in today's Virtual Reality movement. A diversely talented entrepreneur, he started multiple successful tech companies, before marketing and producing a number of films that led to his entrance into, and fervor for, immersive entertainment. Cloyd has produced content with many top brands and talent over the last decade. Having filmed VR sporting events, music concerts and VR films with celebrities such as Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, Wesley Snipes, A.R. Rahman, Shah Rukh Khan and billionaire Mukesh Ambani. He’s been mentioned in Variety, TechCrunch, Deadline and Rolling Stone covering his recent projects.
Cloyd specializes in producing and directing fast-paced and action-oriented VR experiences. A testament to his dynamic leadership and creativity, he produced 4 cinematic virtual reality experiences over the last 18 months. THE RECALL VR Abduction with Wesley Snipes and RJ Mitte - a 13 minutes 1st person experience/film that launched on Oculus Gear VR and Google Daydream in June 2017. THE HUMANITY BUREAU VRevolution with Nicolas Cage that launched on most VR app platforms in March 2018 as the first hybrid film and episodic VR experience. DISTORTED with John Cusack and Christina Ricci - set to release in summer 2018. Cloyd most recently produced and directed SPEED KILLS VR with John Travolta, Kellan Lutz, & Katheryn Winnick, - set to come out in mid 2018.
THE RECALL VR Abduction, starring Wesley Snipes, which was the first feature film to launch a mobile app on Oculus to showcase multiple media feature content in a central custom themed environment that included 2D, 3-screen and 360 films within one bundle package.
Currently, Cloyd speaks on panels to discuss the use of VR in cinema to monetize, market and boost your films value. In March 2018, he was honored with the 2018 VR Visionary award at the Cinequest Film Festival in Silicon Valley.
Travis Cloyd is speaker of the following session:
President and co-founder
The Elumenati, LLC
D’nardo Colucci is President and co-founder of The Elumenati, LLC (2003), a leading immersive projection design firm providing solutions in entertainment, education, and enterprise.
Aside from business related responsibilities, he is responsible for overall system design, matching immersive projection hardware and software solutions to customer needs. He has a PhD in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center.
D’nardo has over 20 years experience designing optical systems including adaptive optics for telescopes, laser scanning systems, custom lenses for theme park rides, head-mounted displays for virtual and augmented reality applications, optical tracking systems and of course spherical projection systems. D’nardo has been awarded 10 patents.
Previous positions include Staff Scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Computer Sciences Department, Director of Optical Engineering at Elumens Corporation and Industrial Liaison at the University of Minnesota Digital Design Consortium.
D’nardo Colucci is speaker of the following session:
Location-Based Entertainment & Amusement Thought Leader, Speaker, Writer, Mentor
Blue Laser Consulting
In 1990, I started Laser Storm, one of the world's first laser tag companies. I opened over 200 locations in 30 countries and brought the first ever laser tag and virtual reality arcades to some of the top malls in America. In 1999, on the leadership team at Global VR, I helped launch the most successful VR arcade game of all time - "Beachhead 2000" - built on a proprietary boom-mounted display platform called the VR Vortek. Also at Global VR, I brought the first successfully licensed AAA PC-to-arcade cabinet conversion, "EA Sports PGA Tour Golf" to market to wide acclaim and tremendous sales.
Today, I write for Replay Magazine on technology trends and speak about interactive location-based entertainment at amusement and technology conferences around the world. But what really gets me fired up is mentoring entrepreneurs to help them launch their businesses and products and bring amazing entertainment experiences to their customers.
For the last few years, I've been mentoring the founders of Zero Latency, advising them as they launched their amazing free-roam warehouse scale VR platform and deploy their technology around the world. Under my guidance, they've grown from one single location in Melbourne, Australia to close to 20 sites on four continents, and a dozen more in development. I also work with the independent operators who are opening these locations on marketing and launch strategies. The most recent locations have sold thousands of tickets before they've even opened their doors.
It's like I've become the Genius Bar for Location Based Entertainment businesses. I answer the tough questions that inevitably come up and help the principals address the challenges and opportunities they haven't even considered, guiding them as entrepreneurs to run more successful businesses.
With nearly 30 years of industry experience - always staying on the bleeding edge of innovation - I ably predict both tech and business trends. This gives my clients the unfair advantage of knowing where the market is going and getting there before their competition figures it out. I can connect dots that many technologists just can't see because I view technology trends through the lens of an experienced marketer.
I've developed the uncanny ability to navigate the maze of available products and technologies to select the best combination of hardware and software, so operators can build a sustainable and profitable amusement location, and then develop the most effective marketing strategies to keep customers lined up buying tickets.
One of the biggest issues for entertainment locations, including VR Arcades, is that there is so much consumer technology flooding the market, it's impossible to figure out what products and experiences to offer your guests. Many arcades mistakenly think they should offer everything, but this just confuses consumers, making it unlikely that they will have an amazing experience, tell their friends, or brag about you on social media. Most operators also think that the novelty of VR will just lead to a stream of customers pouring through their doors. While this can be true in the initial weeks or months, once the novelty wears off, you need a solid marketing plan and product update strategy to keep customers coming back.
Bob Cooney is moderator of the following sessions:
- Alternative Content and Strategies for VR and MR Arcades
- How to Make Real Money with Virtual Reality - Best Practices for Running and Marketing a VR Arcade
Bob Cooney is leader of the following workshops:
CEO and Founder
Information about Benoit Cornet's session will follow soon.
Jean de Rivieres
SVP Marketing and Associate Producer
Jean de Rivieres graduated from Wake Forest University (North Carolina) and from the Rouen Business school in France. He started his career in 1996 with Gaumont Buena Vista International, as Head of Marketing for the Disney movies, he then became VP of the Marketing for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France in 2004. In 2008, Jean was appointed General Manager of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France.
Then Jean joined Europacorp in 2010 as Head of International Marketing and Distribution for France.
During his career, Jean supervised the launch and distribution of nearly 200 movies, among which Pixar movies (Monsters Inc., Wall-E, Up), Disney movies (Pirate of the Caribbean) and others (There will be blood, Enchanted, The Fox and the Child, The March of the Penguins)
Since 2011, Jean is SVP & associate Producer of UBISOFT MOTION PICTURES, he worked on the Assassin’s Creed movie as an Executive producer. Soon after the movie release in 2016, he was appointed as head of a new Location Based Entertainment division for Ubisoft based in Los Angeles. In 2013, Jean had been the producer of the first Ubisoft ride ever launched at FUTUROSCOPE Park in Europe with the Rabbids brand, a 4D dark ride that won a TEA award the following year.
Ubisoft aims at not only license its brands in the park industry but also starts developing its own experiences rides in VR as well as a self-operated FEC in Montreal.
2011 – VARIETY - LAUCH OF UBISOFT MOTION PICTURES - JdR
2015 – ATTRACTION MANAGEMENT
2016 – IMDB
Jean de Rivieres is speaker of the following session:
Writer, Producer & Futurist
Charlie Fink is a former Disney, AOL and AG Interactive executive who writes about VR, AR and new media for Forbes. While at Disney, he famously came up with the idea for "The Lion King". In the 90s, Fink was EVP & COO of VR pioneer Virtual World Entertainment. He is the author of "Charlie Fink's Metaverse, An AR Enhanced Guide to VR & AR" and a professional speaker whose numerous appearances include CES, SXSW, and AWE.
In addition to his column in Forbes, Fink is the contributing editor of VR Voice, and a regular contributor to HuffPost, Virtual Realty Pop, and VR Scout. He is the author of "Charlie Fink's Metaverse, An AR Enhanced guide to AR &VR".
In addition to his work as head of story development for Disney Feature Animation during the second golden age of Disney animation (‘85-’92), Fink was SVP & CCO of AOL Studios (‘95-’99). His past experience also features successful exits from several startups, including eAgents, which sold to AG Interactive, where he then served as President for three years, and Charlie Company, an SEO/SEM affiliate marketer and consultancy that most notably created "The Other 98%" for client Moveon.org in 2009, which now has over 6 M followers on Facebook. Charlie Company was sold in a private transaction in 2014.
Charlie Fink is also a producer of live theater in NYC. He is the Producing Artistic Director of the New Musical Foundation, a non-profit that supports the development of new musicals and has won over 15 awards for its productions. From 2007-2017 Fink was Chairman of the Drama Desk Award-winning NY Musical Festival. His next production is "The VR Show".
Charles Fink is speaker of the following session:
Charles Fink is moderator of the following session:
Charles Fink is leader of the following workshop:
I am an Entrepreneur, Father, and Cancer Patient. Most recently I founded The Holodeck, a Mixed Reality Innovation Center. Through these centers, the general public can come and experience tomorrow's entertainment technologies in a world-class environment. Like Walt Disney, I am passionate about creating an atmosphere far beyond a typical, dirty, arcade. I also manage a team of in-house developers who work to create Virtual and Augmented software and games for several industries.
I've travelled the country as a Trapeze Artist and Fire Eater, eventually doing professional magic and opening a computer repair shop in Kentucky. It was there in Kentucky I first learned about the rare cancer I had growing just beneath my skull. While battling this disease I’ve also owned a Hibachi Steakhouse, opened a video game lounge in FL, and started a software development company, amongst also spending a ton of time in Epcot (Disney World) and studying material from the Disney Institute.
Over the last 2 years, my battle with cancer has intensified, causing me to wonder what I would leave behind should I ever have the misfortune of no longer being around. And so, after just one month of my newborn son coming into the world, I took the greatest concept I believe I ever experimented with, my video game lounge, and combined it with two of my favorite things, Star Trek and Disney, to create the ultimate forward-thinking place for gamers to feel welcome and part of something unique; The Holodeck. On July 1, 2017, my son Travis turned 1 month and my legacy was born in Stamford CT with Center #1. We are now going on 5 Centers across the country in just 7 months and we don't plan on stopping anytime soon.
Todd Fuchs is speaker of the following session:
Founder & CEO
Jan Goetgeluk is the founder and CEO of Virtuix and the developer of the Virtuix Omni, the world’s leading virtual reality motion platform for moving freely and naturally in video games and virtual worlds. Founded in early 2013, Virtuix is the pioneer of the Active VR category. Virtuix raised more than $16MM from private and institutional investors, and has shipped more than 2,000 Omnis to date to VR arcades and entertainment centers all over the world.
Prior to founding Virtuix, Jan was an Investment Banking Associate with JP Morgan Chase in Houston and New York. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ghent in Belgium, and an MBA from Rice University in Houston, Texas.
Jan Goetgeluk is speaker of the following session:
Co-Founder & Head of Growth
Kalon Gutierrez is Co-founder and Head of Growth at Nomadic, an immersive virtual reality (VR) entertainment company introducing a scalable, innovative model of VR entertainment that is poised to revitalize the brick-and-mortar retail space. At Nomadic, Kalon drives the company’s expansion and global go-to-market strategy following its mission to bring immersive VR entertainment to communities everywhere.
In his extensive career, Kalon has led business development, marketing, retail innovation and brand partnerships for globally recognized and revered brands including Ralph Lauren, Fox and Sony Picture Studios. Before joining Nomadic, Gutierrez served as Vice President, Business Development for JCPenney, where he worked in step with former Apple Retail creator Ron Johnson. In this position, Kalon led business development for the JCP transformation team’s efforts across digital media, consumer technology, food and beverage and toys and gaming.
Prior to that, Kalon served as Vice President, New Business Development for ZoomSystems Automated Retail, a disruptive, scalable concept in vending systems. Leading brand and retail partnerships, Gutierrez was responsible for deal negotiations, concept development and ongoing profit and loss management for this high-growth company. During his five year tenure, he secured clients spanning the consumer packaged goods space including Sephora, Coty, L’Oreal and Reebok, growing the company to over 1,000 in-market locations.
More recently, Kalon served as the Executive Director – Consumer, Retail and Digital Technology for Russell Reynolds Associates, a global leader in assessment, recruitment and succession planning for boards of directors, chief executive officers and key roles within the C-suite. In this role, Kalon established and led the company’s Diversity in Technology initiative, as well as placed executive-level leaders for clients representing social media, digital content, gaming and consumer products sectors.
Following his commitment to family and philanthropy, Kalon has also co-founded successful companies that give back to the community. Co-founding Bixbee in 2011, a backpack brand for kids, the company operates with a ‘One here. One there’ motto and model: for each Bixbee backpack sold, a specially designed yellow backpack stocked with school supplies is donated to a child in need. Bixbee backpacks can be found today on the company website, as well as retailers including Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Amazon and Virgin Retail.
An MBA graduate of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Kalon continues to serve a consultant and advisor to technology innovators including top-grossing mobile game developer, Jam City.
Kalon lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.
Kalon Gutierrez is speaker of the following session:
Nolan Heimann LLP
Nearly 30 years of experience in immersive, experiential and location-based entertainment - the mere number of years of focus does not do justice to the passion. A career spent negotiating and documenting deals, building relationships, and developing businesses. Experienced general counsel, visionary problem-solver and business strategist, combining practical business experience with legal expertise and creativity. Proven success as dynamic business leader with knack for building consensus and motivating others. Known for energy, optimism and warmth.Specialties: location-based and immersive entertainment, strategic partnerships, licensing, cross-platform monetization, business and legal strategy for creative assets, technology and intellectual property.
Wendy Heimann-Nunes is moderator of the following session:
Wendy Heimann-Nunes is leader of the following workshop:
CEO and co-founder
Alex Hertel is the CEO and Co-Founder of Xperiel. Alongside his brother Philipp, Alex built Walleto, a digital wallet company that was acquired by Google to become Google Wallet. At Google, Alex was responsible for inventing new technologies, market analysis, and technical research and development. Prior to that, Alex completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto. His research there, focusing on complexity theory, forms the core of Xperiel’s technology.
Alex Hertel is speaker of the following session:
Dan Jamele is speaker of the following session:
Tick Tock Unlock
Ali Khan is speaker of the following session:
CFO and VP Business Development
Ben Kim is the CFO and VP of Business Development for Survios, a leading VR development studio based in Los Angeles. At Survios, Ben is responsible for building commercialization and monetization infrastructure for VR in location-based venues around the world. Survios has developed relationships with over 200 individual 'VR arcades', and commercially licenses its flagship title, Raw Data, in over 35 territories.
Ben Kim is speaker of the following session:
President and CTO
Ed Lantz is an entertainment technology engineer, immersive experience designer and innovator in giant-screen digital cinema and large-scale immersive environments. He left aerospace engineering in 1990 to transform traditional planetariums into 360-degree immersive visualization environments, designing over a dozen dome theaters worldwide including the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, National Space Center in Leicester, UK and Papalote Museo del Nino in Mexico City.
Ed founded Vortex Immersion Media in 2007 to bring 360-degree immersive and interactive experiences into mainstream arts and entertainment markets. Vortex has produced 360 venues and programming for concerts, EDM festivals, VR Cinemas and experiential marketing for numerous Fortune 500 companies including AT&T, CAA, Condé Nast, EMC2, IBM, Live Nation, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Nestle, NFL, Nike, Nokia, Sprint and Turner Broadcast. The company also operates the Vortex Dome, the first commercial immersive media studio and events venue in downtown Los Angeles. The Vortex Dome has hosted a wide range of arts, entertainment, cultural and special event productions and is the first in a network of immersive entertainment attractions.
Ed is a Board Delegate of the Producer’s Guild of America’s New Media Council and Chair of the LA Chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH.
Ed Lantz is moderator of the following session:
Ed Lantz is leader of the following workshop:
Alexis Macklin is a leading new voice on emerging technology trends who brings her diverse perspectives and keen insights to the research of growing use of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.
A sought after speaker, Macklin has delivered presentations to organizations like Digital Hollywood and Upload Collective, workshops to investors, and webinars such as "Top Technology Announcements From GDC 2017." Macklin is a graduate of Arizona State University.
Alexis Macklin is speaker of the following session:
CEO and Founder
Morris May is the CEO and founder of Specular Theory, an award-winning immersive content and technology company based in Venice Beach, CA. May has been a Hollywood visual effects expert for more than 25 years, working on 30+ films including two Academy Award winners: Spiderman II and Happy Feet. His VFX work has earned him numerous industry accolades including two Mobius Awards and an MTV Video Music Award. May is recognized as a leader in the VR community and received national media attention for his VR film “Perspective; Chapter 1: The Party” (by Morris May and Rose Troche), which premiered at Sundance 2015 and was one of the most talked-about virtual reality experiences of the festival. This year, May and Troche returned to Sundance as well as the Tribeca Film Festival with Perspective; Chapter 2: Misdemeanor, a relevant and timely look into interactions between police officers and citizens.
Specular Theory has won numerous awards and recognition for their thought-provoking and innovative work including the first-ever VR award at the 2016 Streamy Awards (Game Lab in 360) and their Perspective VR trailblazing original series which has been one of the most talked about pieces at the 2015 and 2016 Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. In 2017 Specular Theory won the Innov8 v-commerce competition presented by Walmart’s tech incubator Store No.8, recognizing the studio as one of the most innovative minds in VR. In 2018, Specular Theory won Best Branded/Commercial VR experience at the VR Fest Awards at CES for Behind The Style; an interactive VR fashion story.
Morris May is speaker of the following session:
Co-founder and Chief Gatekeeper
The Gateway Virtual Reality Showroom
Rob McCarty (Chief Gatekeeper): Emerging media and marketing expert published in Adweek, Digiday, MediaPost, the Drum, and imedia connection. Co-founder and Chief Gatekeeper of the Gateway VR Showroom, a 4400 sq ft. showroom space in Santa Monica designed to broadcast VR and related technologies to the mainstream. Through strategic partnerships, the Gateway is evangelizing VR/AR hardware, software, haptics, and 3D audio through personal connection and interactive pop-ups; one part VRLA, one part Sundance, and one part fashion showroom operating year round.
Rob's passion for VR was kick-started at PopShorts, a social media influencer agency he co-founded and where he co-produced video content for fortune 500 clients. His work yielded over 500 million branded video views coming from both the 2D and 360° video worlds. His passion for 360°/VR content creation continues with the Fortress, his VR music video production and media house.
Former USC entrepreneur of the year recipient and Eagle Scout.
Rob McCarty is speaker of the following session:
Director of Sales and Marketing
Kraftwerk Living Technologies GmbH
Kevin has a diverse career spanning over 40 years across museums retail and themed entertainment and with design and technology. He is an international thought leader in the use of technology to deliver amazing visitor and user experiences. As the VP of Strategic Planning with Austrian creative technology integrators, Kraftwerk Living Technologies, he is based in the UK and is working on projects across the globe including China, Middle East and North America.
His career has included being the Development Director at design group Event Communications in London, and at Electrosonic Ltd, a major audiovisual and technology provider, where he actively participated in a number of Board roles over a 20 year period. He also worked at the Natural History Museum in London, with responsibility for the technology development team established during his 10 years there.
Kevin’s experience throughout technology implementation in Corporate, Cultural and Brand projects is extensive, also supporting and working with many conferences and publications over the years.
He is a founding member of the Themed Entertainment Association, TEA, having held a Board position for 8 years, including President of the European and Middle East Board, and is currently back on the EME for second term. He has actively chaired TiLE conferences and been a conference committee member over 25 years and he also on the fundraising committee for the Big Cat sanctuary in the UK.
Kevin Murphy is moderator of the following session:
Kevin Murphy is leader of the following workshop:
President, Executive Producer
Eye Q Productions
As an entrepreneur and producer, Jenni is known for her creative vision, positive management style and spot on creative direction. Her Recent work includes immersive projection design, animation & 3D mapping for live theatre for "Paradis" and "Elements" onboard the Norwegian Joy, “Twice Charmed” aboard the Disney Magic, “The Golden Mickey’s” aboard the Disney Wonder, and Disney “Dreams” aboard the Disney Magic and projection design & animation for Disney’s “Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” winner of Live Design’s 2013 Excellence award for theater, Universal’s “Uni 360” featuring large scale projection mapping as well as full dome experiences for Constantine at Comicon 2014 and the Battiest Brothers “The Storm” for ‘In The Round’ at Art Basel in Miami.
Jenni is a Board Member & Secretary of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) New Media Council. She is also an active member of Women in Film (WIF), Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and Women in Animation (WIA).
She is currently producing & developing shows for full dome; 360 immersive theatre & experiences, a touring arts education & theatre company, pop-up & location based entertainment, as well as a groundbreaking immersive television series. Jenni’s passion is for producing work that is relevant as well as entertaining; cultural storytelling, diversity, socio-ethical issues, and new & emerging technologies.
Jenni Ogden is speaker of the following session:
VP Corporate Affairs
D-BOX Technologies Inc.
Mr. Paquette was appointed Vice-President, Corporate Affairs in January 2018 after 4 years as Vice-President, Marketing for D-BOX. He has been involved in many trend-setting initiatives for D-BOX namely in the VR space with Sony Pictures ‘Goosebumps’ Project, FOX and RSA Martian VR Experience. He helped define key performance metrics in the commercial theatre spaces for D-BOX. As a global market creative visionary, he namely held positions in sales & marketing in technology for Hewlett-Packard, in high-performance cars for Campagna Motors and healthcare management systems for Thiinc. Mr. Paquette has attended several executive programs in marketing and strategic management from renowned institutions such as HEC, Université de Montréal and INSEAD in France.
Michael Paquette is speaker of the following session:
Since 2006 Marc-Antoine has been a leader in harnessing business intelligence to make companies smarter. A serial entrepreneur, Marc-Antoine has successfully been at the cutting edge of fashion, retail and Out-of-Home entertainment. As CEO of Luckyhammers, his goal is to reshape how we learn, how we live and how we play.
Marc-Antoine Pinard is speaker of the following session:
Sr. Director, Global Branded Experiences
Matt has been with Hasbro since 2007 after completing his MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Matt has held various positions during his 10+ years with Hasbro, including managing the Transformers brand through the first three movies, overseeing the marketing and business development functions for Hasbro Studios, and most recently, leading a multi-business global division (Location Based Entertainment, Music and Promotions) within the Entertainment & Licensing segment for Hasbro, Inc.
Executing against Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint, Matt has been responsible for formulating, constructing and implementing a long-term, global strategic plan for themed location-based entertainment to benefit long-term brand building and revenue growth for Hasbro. Included in this remit is to further enhance the company’s global presence in theme parks, themed entertainment attractions, FECs, hotels and resorts, exhibits and live events. That strategic plan has led to long-term partnerships with various partners, including Universal Theme Parks (Transformers The Ride), Carnival Cruise Lines (Family Game Night), Marriott Hotels and new innovative products such as the Transformers mixed reality centers.
Matthew Proulx is speaker of the following session:
Sami Ramly is a VR/AR Product Leader and an Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) at Outpost Capital, the leading early-stage VC specializing in VR/AR, blockchain, and emerging tech startup investments. Previously, he led product management at Wevr, the renowned VR startup producing and distributing award-winning VR experiences (2 out of 10 Best VR of 2016 according to TechCrunch). Prior to heading Product on the Transport native VR network, Sami worked in 3D Printing & 3D Scanning at Microsoft, where he shipped Microsoft's first 3D Scan app for Windows 10. He also held several other roles in engineering, business and product management at startups and accelerators, including StartX.
Sami is currently a Board Observer and Advisor for Virtuleap, a Mentor at Stanford, UCLA, SIGGRAPH, and VRARA, and a member of the select PTC Product Leaders group in Silicon Valley. He has spoken about VR & AR at CES, Digital Hollywood, Plug & Play, Hero City, UC Berkeley, UCLA Anderson, Otis, and numerous leading industry events. He also sits on the Executive Board of Predictera, the Advisory Board of UCLAx's Product Management Program, the Advisory Board of USC Marshall's Entrepreneur and Venture Management Association, and the Advisory Board of Rabbit Hole VR, Stanford's VR/AR maker community, featured in Business Insider as a place where “the next big thing in VR could come”.
Sami Ramly is moderator of the following session:
Sami Ramly is leader of the following workshop:
Figment Productions Ltd
Simon Reveley is the Founder and CEO of Figment Productions, a media production company specialising in VR and interactive experiences.
The Figment team has worked with Virtual Reality technology for nearly 10 years with corporate customers, museums and visitor attractions, but is best known for its work in theme parks, having produced the world’s first fully dedicated VR rollercoaster Galactica at Alton Towers Resort (UK), as well as Derren Brown’s Ghost Train* at Thorpe Park Resort (UK) and Kraken Unleashed at SeaWorld Orlando. Their latest VR ride, The Great LEGO Race, opens at LEGOLAND theme parks around the world in 2018.
* With nearly 200 HTC Vive headsets active at any one time on 3 moving train carriages, the Ghost Train project was one of the most technologically ambitious in the theme park industry and the largest permanent installation of high-end VR headsets on the planet. In 2017 it won ‘Outstanding Achievement’ at the Thea Awards – the Oscars of the theme park industry.
Simon Reveley is speaker of the following session:
FAR Out! Creative Direction
Blending a unique set of skills developed over 45 years in the world of theater, Disney theme parks, media and museums, Rick Rothschild founded FAR Out! Creative Direction in 2008. Bringing deep technical knowledge together with strong creative perspective enables him to integrate complex concepts and systems into a complete entertainment product.
Providing creative leadership to 25 unique Disney attractions during his thirty years with Disney Imagineering, Rick has continued to lead concept development teams to explore new attractions, theme parks/resorts and immersive experiences across the themed entertainment world.
Notable Disney projects have included Soarin’ over California, Captain EO starring Michael Jackson and The American Adventure for EPCOT Center. Recent independent projects include FlyOver Canada and FlyOver America. Six Disney produced projects in which Rick was involved have received the THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement. Chimelong Ocean Kingdom’s Kaka’s Ocean Adventure provided a seventh award in 2017.
Rick has served as President of the TEA. He continues as a member of the Past Presidents Committee.
Rick Rothschild is speaker of the following session:
Founder & CEO
Founder, CEO with 10 years in IT, + 4 years in international market developing start-up projects. He is the founder of the VR / AR Association in CIS. He is also an expert in VR / AR and founder of Arena Sspace and Arena Lab
Vasily Ryzhonkov is speaker of the following session:
Founder & Game Designer
Matthias Sala is speaker of the following session:
Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games, a team of one hundred people who strive to make the world’s greatest educational and entertainment games, including Yale Medical's PlayForward: Elm City Stories, Water Bears VR, SuperChem VR, the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood games, and Happy Atoms. Schell Games also creates pure entertainment content, such as the award-winning VR game I Expect You To Die, and the comedy space game Orion Trail. Jesse also serves as Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. Jesse has worked on a wide variety of innovative game and simulation projects for both entertainment and education, but he is best known for his book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses and his predictions about the future of gaming technology. He is a previous chair of the International Game Developers Association and former Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio.
Jesse Schell is speaker of the following session:
Founder and the Chief Executive Officer
Brad Scoggin is a founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Springboard VR, a 12-month-old software start-up that has created a SaaS platform for LBVRE management and content licensing. In just one year under Brad's leadership, SpringboardVR has grown to become one of the largest management platforms and distributors of VR content in the LBE space with over 200 locations across 23 countries and a 17% average monthly growth rate in minutes tracked. Prior to entering the VR industry, Mr. Scoggin served as the Executive Director for Mission Generation, Inc., an international nonprofit distributing educational curriculum. Under his leadership, the organization reached and maintained a consistent 30% annual growth rate in funding over a 6-year period. Mr. Scoggin earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Oklahoma. He and his wife, Dr. Merlyn Scoggin, a practicing psychiatrist, currently live in California with their daughters, Abrielle and Sarah, and son, Isaac.
Brad Scoggin is speaker of the following session:
Santa Monica Pier Corporation
Negin Singh is the new Executive Director of the Santa Monica Pier, where she leads the team in pier programming, activations, and more, all towards upholding the pier as a relevant world-class destination that is free and open to all. She is currently leading the re-imagining of the iconic Twilight Concert Series, which draws tens of thousands to the pier every year. Singh is also the founder of cARTel: Collaborative Arts LA, an experiential production company creating immersive experiences (BROKE LA, No Budget Film Festival) that focus on storytelling, discovery, and impact. Negin previously served as the Director of Inspiration at Augmented Reality company DAQRI, bringing new technology to life through cutting edge experiences, such as the award winning AR collaboration with Crayola, Easy Animator.
Negin Singh is speaker of the following session:
Louisa Spring, CEO Vari Parks - Lawyer, producer, entrepreneur, gamer, Louisa is an accomplished executive in immersive media and gaming. Louisa has worked on award winning VR campaigns for Mini-Cooper and NYTVR, the award winning game Firebird: La Peri and other PC and VR games around the world. She has moved the needle at every VR company she has worked with including facilitating deals with Intel, Oculus and Walmart with Spatialand which resulted in a successful acquisition. As a TV producer Ms. Spring has worked with Far Moor, (successfully acquired by Endemol), William J. Macdonald, (Rome) and has represented Sir Roger Moore, John Rhys-Davies and Christopher Judge. She's a former member of the board of BAFTALA, and practiced law in London. As CEO of Vari Parks, Ms. Spring is bringing immersive entertainment and esports to locations in the UK, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
Louisa Spring is moderator of the following session:
Louisa Spring is leader of the following workshop:
Sr Director of Innovation
Charles Taylor leads experiential technology strategy for Caesars Entertainment, which includes eSports, casino gaming, guest entertainment and resort marketing applications. In his role, he identifies emerging technology platforms and content including VR, AR, 3D, and holograms that have the potential to enhance the guest experience and drive new revenue streams. Prior to Caesars, Charles ran several consumer media and social commerce startups in Silicon Valley. On March 3, 2018, he produced "Clash of the Drones", the first professional drone race on the Las Vegas strip, with a $20,000 purse.
Charles Taylor is speaker of the following session:
SVP of Strategy and Business Development
Baba Uppal is the VP of Strategy and Business Development of two-time Emmy® Award-winning Secret Location, a content and technology studio for emerging platforms. With a background of management, strategy consulting and finance, Baba has gained expertise in start-ups and institutional media companies alike. Baba leads the overall strategy for the Vusr product in response to market demands and trends and has been crucial for identifying untapped opportunities within and surrounding VR applications, and for developing strategic and strong partnerships for Secret Location.
In 2016, Secret Location was acquired by Entertainment One (eOne). Secret Location develops its own original technology IP, platforms as well as brand and content properties. The company has been recognized with hundreds of accolades for spearheading innovation in Virtual Reality media, becoming the first to win a Primetime Emmy® for a Virtual Reality project through its work with FOX.
Baba Uppal is speaker of the following session:
Bruce Vaughn currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Dreamscape Immersive. As the company’s CEO, Bruce is responsible for setting Dreamscape’s corporate direction and strategy, as well as helping to cultivate a strong working environment where his world class team is driven to perform at the top of their abilities.
Prior to joining Dreamscape, Vaughn was Chief Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering for the Walt Disney Company. In this role, he lead the integrated creative teams of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), Disney’s Creative Entertainment (DCE) and WDI Research and Development to drive excellence in product development and innovation. The scope of Vaughn’s responsibilities included theme park attractions and special effects, innovative theater experiences, and new business opportunities that leverage invented and emerging technologies.
Bruce Vaugn is speaker of the following session:
CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
As CEO and Chairman of VRstudios, Kevin has shaped the company’s vision and set the strategic direction for it to be a leading innovator and provider of commercial virtual reality solutions to the Location Based Entertainment industry. His experience in emerging technology, product development, branding, global sales and marketing has been instrumental for focusing the company to deliver its award-winning, turn-key, large-scale, multiplayer, free-roaming commercial VR systems while in a very dynamic early stage market.
Kevin brings more than 30 years of deep C-suite corporate experience leading domestic and international operations, primarily in technology companies. He has held multiple CEO positions in organizations ranging from venture or private equity-backed emerging companies to publicly traded global organizations serving the Fortune 500.
Kevin Vitale is speaker of the following session:
Blueprint Reality Inc.
Tarrnie Williams is a highly experienced, creative leader who has dedicated his career to building products on the leading edge of interactive technology. He has led development on almost every platform launch, new device, and business model, and has helped build and operate multiple successful studios and teams, including Electronic Arts Canada and Los Angeles, Relic Entertainment and Roadhouse Interactive. Tarrnie is currently the co-founder and CEO of Blueprint Reality Inc., an inter-reality media company that enables the sharing of experiences between people in the real world and the virtual world, via mixed reality.
Tarrnie Williams is speaker of the following session:
English born Kevin Williams has spent most of his career in the electronic entertainment industry, first as a fascinated player of the fledgling video amusement, then as an amateur computer devotee. At present he is a leading member of the emerging Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) Leisure entertainment industry, both as consultant, observer and founding chairman of the sector association.
An early member of the personal computer boom in the UK and a game reviewer for the fledgling consumer game magazine scene – he designed his first game in 1984 (‘Bear George’). After leaving college Kevin worked for one of Europe’s largest amusement distributors (Electrocoin Automatics), and then for one of the most famous early independent consumer game developers (Andromeda Software). Following this he was involved with the launch of immersive entertainment systems, initially through Hughes Rediffusion (Thomson Entertainment) on the world’s first arcade simulator – the ‘Commander’. Then in the field of virtual reality with the UK’s first floated developer of this technology (Division Limited). He was then head hunted to become an Imagineer for The Walt Disney Company, specifically tasked on their emergence into the Location Based-Entertainment (LBE) field developing ‘DisneyQuest’ and its digital attractions. Following this, Kevin would go on to manage projects under contract as an executive for Angel Studios, developing their successful signature attractions for clients such as GamesWorks. The new millennium found him establishing an amusement division for European consumer software publisher Infogrames (INSKOR Entertainment Ltd).
Head of IP Development
Minority Media Inc
Michael Zaidan is a seasoned IP and Sales Executive with 20+ years of expertise in content creation, strategy and management, He has been a member of Minority Media Inc for two and a half years during which time he has transitioned from Creative & Narrative Director to Head of IP Development and Deployment, creating content for, and managing partner relationships with, Google, HTC, Facebook, Samsung and Oculus.
In a previous life he was Director of Content and Editorial at Los Angeles based Frequency Networks Inc. where he was responsible for the deployment of over 200+ channels including Maker, Machinima, TasteMade, BroadbandTV, CNN, and MSNBC and managed a team of fifty curators and editors programming video content over seven time zones. In the life before that one he was a writer, director and producer and worked with A&E, NatGeo, Paramount Pictures, and FOX.
In his current role as Head of Intellectual Property Development and Deployment Michael is helping guide Minority Media’s pivot to the Location Based Entertainment industry as they deploy their new LBVR Game Systems to FEC locations worldwide.
Michael Zaiden is speaker of the following session: