Despite the cancellation of Mobile World Congress and several high-profile companies pulling out of the upcoming Game Developers Conference, Magic Leap is pushing forward with hosting its own developer conference.
Instead of organizing a major public conference as it did with the LEAP Conference in 2018, Magic Leap will instead host developer attendees at its headquarters in Plantation, Florida for a pair of events scheduled for May 19-20 and May 21-22.
The company's developer relations team is inviting 400 developers to attend the events. Parties interested in attending must apply for consideration via a webform distributed via emailed invitation, where applicants can choose their preferred dates to attend.
Magic Leap promises to notify applicants within 30 days whether there is space available for them to attend. The events are free, but chosen attendees will need to cover their own travel costs.
"This is the first time we've hosted an event of this scale at our headquarters in Florida, and there are plenty of surprises in store," the team stated in the email invitation.
The itinerary for the conferences includes a day of tech talks followed by a day of hands-on workshops, including tutelage from senior engineers and designers available and access to new apps and developer features. Among the topics covered at the conferences are technical best practices from Magic Leap Studios teams, success stories from other developers, and monetizing apps. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network with others in the community.
By contrast, Magic Leap's inaugural LEAP Con was announced in late August 2018 and took place Oct. 9-10 in Los Angeles, so, assuming applicants receive confirmation of acceptance by March 24, attendees will have more time to make travel arrangements than LEAP Con.
Furthermore, Magic Leap is foregoing the cost of renting out an event space by hosting the event at its own facilities, but also limiting its capacity versus a conference center designed to accommodate hundreds, if not thousands, of attendees. Spreading attendees out over two separate events doubles the company's capacity, but it is unlikely to achieve the scale and spectacle that it did with LEAP Con.
But, there's an elephant in the room in the form of the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced major tech companies to cut back their travel plans to protect employees and curtail production. Despite the widespread health concerns currently gripping the tech industry around in-person conferences and meetings, Magic Leap is inviting developers to its home base.
It is unclear whether the outbreak will be contained by May when Magic Leap's event kicks off, but a disclaimer in the event application absolves Magic Leap of "any direct or indirect losses, damages, or injuries" from the events, including any costs related to the events being postponed or canceled.
So, while the conference is free, attendees should make sure they are covered for refunds on airfare and hotel reservations, just in case.
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