On Saturday, April 30th, The Interactive & Immersive HQ hosted its first in-person community meetup in Los Angeles, California. It was a public and free event where people in the interactive and immersive field could come hang out with other like-minded folks.
Over 60 people RSVPed for the event, including some TouchDesigner patrons: Jarrett Smith from Derivative; Matthew Ragen and Zoe Sandoval from SudoMagic; Harvey Moon from MB Labs; Dylan Roscover from The Experiential Company; Akiko Yamashita, Bileam Tschepe, and many more. The meetup started with ice breaker games, including seeing which attendant traveled the furthest – the prize went to fellow HQ Pro member, Scott Mann, for flying in from Vermont.
The meetup was held at Barcadia, a bar arcade located in Arcadia, California. More relaxed than your typical tech meetup, the event’s main aim wasn’t to showcase individuals’ works, but instead to provide an opportunity for people to get to know one another over drinks, food, and retro arcade games.
Naturally, people could still gathered in smaller intimate groups to discuss their latest TouchDesigner projects and receive feedback from the community – for example, Ben Benjamin shared the current iteration of his TouchDesigner VJ deck.
For the past few years, people met primarily in online group events; many attendees commented that it was rather refreshing to see people from the community face to face, and were excited to meet their online TouchDesigner teachers in person. Some of the attendees knew and worked together virtually, but the community meetup was their first time having an opportunity to have a live conversation. Even though the event was scheduled to end at 9 pm, many people stayed past 11 pm.
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The event was free and open to the public to foster a community with diverse experiences and backgrounds: Some attendees brought friends who are only just getting into immersive design, and the format of the community meetup allowed them to feel welcomed and excited to be part of this fast growing network.
The event is the first of many community meetups The HQ plans on hosting. We aim to aid spaces to support not only people who are already in the field but also people who are curious about becoming part of this expanding community.
Do you want a meetup in your town?
Let The HQ know! Send us an email to tell us what is the closest major city to you, and we will have it on our radar!
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re excited to see you at the next Interactive & Immersive HQ Meetup!!