A guide to the free sessions focused on immersive experiences

A growing number of broadcasters, independent filmmakers, educators and AV integrators are using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) in innovative ways, such as for behind-the-scenes tours, storytelling for stand-alone segments or for improving learning in educational settings.

Yes, technology is powering this new entity. But keep in mind that the real engine propelling it all remains storytelling. These free sessions will tell you more.

You can get a glimpse of the power of immersive storytelling during the session “Story First: A Toolkit for Every Platform” on Wednesday from 11:20 a.m.–12 p.m. The head of the production firm ModernEpic will showcase the educational and health features it has created such as the vignette “The Boy Inside,” a profile of a young man with Tourette’s Syndrome, as well the use of virtual reality for creating music and experiencing extreme sporting events. The recipe that ModernEpic CEO Aaron Lewis will discuss combines modern storytelling insights with interdisciplinary production tools like animation and VR.

[Read: Tom Foreman: Tech Must Always Serve Storytelling]

Hold up — first of all, do you know the actual difference between virtual and augmented reality? In the session “Augmented Reality: The Basics, Case Studies and How the Market is Expanding” on Wednesday at 3 p.m., the CEO of custom AR development company BundlAR CEO and co-founder John Martin will take a deep dive into the mechanics of the growing augmented reality market and learn how video is being used to enhance user experiences.

Martin will talk about the ways that AR is already being used for real estate, for advertising, on trade show floors and for tours. He will also touch on real-world examples for industries like education, which can use AR for everything from campus tours to in-class educational enhancements.

The message on Thursday will be all about the messaging.

On Thursday, Nov. 29, a creator of digital interactive experiences explores how VR and AR are revolutionizing the ways in which consumers absorb information.

In the session “How Virtual and Augmented Reality Are Quickly Becoming the Most Effective Mediums of Communication” on Thursday at 1:40, the CEO of the technology company Brightline Interactive will look at the ways in which virtual and augmented reality are being used to effectively communicate and increase brand awareness with consumers. Erik Muendel, CEO and CCO of Brightline, will discuss the key differences between virtual and augmented reality and how government entities are taking advantage of these new tools.

[Read: Low-Cost VR/360 Headsets Are a Game-Changer, Director Says]

Immediately following Muendel’s keynote, a need-to know session titled “Welcome to the World of VR/360!” on Thursday at 2:20 will give GV Expo attendees an overview of the latest developments in VR. As director and VFX supervisor for the technology firm VArtisans, Mark Lambert has created 360 video and VR experiences on endangered species and for tourism sites by filming in a mix of monoscopic and stereo 360 video.

One of the firm’s more compelling projects is the VR Bus, a 360 video production that takes viewers on locations as diverse as a rickshaw ride in Asia to the base of the coliseum in Rome to the streets of Washington, D.C., to create a series of family-friend VR experiences. Riders hop on a modified tour bus, sit in specialized rumbling seats, and place on a VR headset to take a guided VR tour of famous cities and sites.

Lambert will also discuss the VR Zoo, a virtual exhibit that tells the stories of African elephants, cheetahs, sea lions and more at the Dubai Aquarium. Visitors enter custom pods, select animals on a touch screen and then watch a three-minute VR experience for each animal. Directed by Lambert, the project filmed 360 video on land and underwater in Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, South Africa, Maldives and Australia.

The complete schedule for the 2018 GV Expo can be found here.

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