VR & AR: The Next Evolution of Hospitality | AWE Nite Chicago

09/07/2022 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm CST

3 hours

  • Early Stage
  • Growth Stage
Event Start Date:
June 17, 2024
Event End Date:
June 17, 2024
Event Venue:

The hospitality industry is one of the broadest but most relevant industries when it comes to experiencing the vast world ‘out there.’ Virtual Reality (VR) allows us to experience things beyond the limitations of our physical location while Augmented Reality (AR) enhances the limitations of our physical environment. It is only logical that immersive technology can be paired quite well with hospitality. But how is the hospitality industry benefiting from these emerging technologies?

Immersive technology is being used to give people a chance to look at places before they book their travel arrangements. VR can permit people to get a feel for what landmarks, restaurants, and cultural establishments are available to see or what a hotel (room) looks like to get a feel for what they are committing to. AR is being used to provide training and performance support tools to workers in hotels and restaurants, from operating instruction for commercial laundry equipment to troubleshooting support for industrial kitchen equipment.

Learn with us from experts in the hospitality industry how immersive technology is being used today, what they would like to see, and how it will revolutionize the industry in the future at The Next Evolution of Hospitality (AWE Nite Chicago) on September 7th at 5:30pm CDT (6pm CDT in Virbela).

Physical & Virtual Venues: 

1871 | 222 W Merchandise Mart Plz | Suite 1212

For our Physical Venue, 1871 can be found in Suite 1212 on the 12th floor of theMART, which is located on the North side of the river between Wells and Orleans. For easy access, enter through the Orleans entrance on the west side of theMART and take those elevators to the 12th floor. All guests will need to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID to enter. 

Virbela | Virtual Environment | virbela.com/download

For our Virtual Venue, we will be using Virbela‘s Open Campus to host the program. We suggest that you download, set-up, get familiar with the Virbela program and environment prior to the program, as we will be unable to provide support during the event.

The virtual environment resembles a physical space, so you will be able to talk with other attendees during open networking both before and after the presentations. The sound is spatialized, so if at any point it feels too loud, feel free to move your conversation to another part of the room where there are less people.

Live Stream | facebook.com/VRARChicago/live_videos

People can join by watching the scheduled live stream where we will field questions from!

Presented by: 

Register for this event.

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What’s the Format:

We begin with informal networking and then start the stage portion promptly at 6:15pm CDT. There will be a handful of presentations before we move on to answer audience questions and then finish with more networking. We keep it simple and informal – this program is about you, our members, and not the host or presenters. Come and get your questions answered, take your next step into immersive technology.

We will be serving the Revolution (Beer), cold!

  • 5:30-6:00 PM Technology Demonstrations & Networking
  • 6:15-6:30 PM Introductions & Welcome Message
  • 6:30-7:10 PM Panelist Presentations
  • 7:10-8:00 PM Panel Discussion with Q&A
  • 8:00-8:30 PM More Networking & Technology Demos


Tracy Cosgrove is the Founder of VRHTI.

Tracy is known as a social and commercial entrepreneur. She has made a difference for a variety of industries and clients, from 5-star International branded luxury resorts through to public sector and government services by creating innovative training roadmaps. Tracy has also built many schools and orphanages believing education is the key to alleviate poverty, where she also committed to the SDG1 End Poverty.

Tracy has been fine tuning individual visions, creating taglines, helping to hire the right people, creating open communication channels with transparency, empowering employees, setting up service rewards, identifying problems and creating a lifelong learning experience. She has translated and orchestrated cultural goals into organizational strategic plans based on the departmental requirements for both the public and governmental sectors. 

Eric Rosentreter is a Woodinville Brand Ambassador for IL, WI and MN.  He worked for over a decade at the globally renowned Delilah’s, served as the Tasting and Production Coordinator at the Beverage Testing Institute and was a Regional Brand Ambassador for the Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits whiskey portfolio.  During the pandemic Eric stayed quite busy working full time at Warehouse Liquors and conducting virtual whiskey tastings/classes through The Beer Temple

Evgeniya Simmons is the Founder of VR Travel Expo. She has over ten years of experience working in tourism and the hospitality industry, and has visited 17 countries around the world. She worked as a travel agent both in Russia and in the USA, and she also worked as a licensed New York City tour guide, a destination manager, and as a Tour Ambassador at One World Observatory.  Early on she realized the tremendous potential Augmented and Virtual Reality can have, specifically when it comes to the travel industry. She taught herself how to build AR/VR applications, and in 2019 published her first AR app called NYCbook, which was an extention to her photographic guidebook called “New York City Through A Tour Guide’s Eyes.” The project was successfully funded on Kickstarter. She transitioned her career to building worlds for the Metaverse, both for her own projects and for other people, but her passion has always been to build the Metaverse for the travel industry. She recently opened up a new world in AltspaceVR called VR Travel Expo, which connects travel enthusiasts and travel brands in the Metaverse. She is also the founder and organizer of the VR&AR of Southwest Florida meetup group, and a founding member of the Tech Alliance of Southwest Florida.