Conferences and meet-ups are excellent ways to dive in and learn about both VR/AR/MR companies and technologies.  Additionally they often bring opportunities to try out new experiences (though you may need to wait in line). The Bay Area is extremely fortunate to have many meet-ups weekly, and conferences almost monthly.

Meet-Up Groups

A list of popular Bay Area meet-ups is below and new groups are added weekly.   To contribute to  bay area events calendar, email enteringvr@gmail.com.  There are many VR/AR groups globally, check here for groups in your area.  

Global VR/AR meet-ups as of Nov 2016

Global VR/AR meet-ups as of Nov 2016

Conferences

There are many, many VR/AR conferences worldwide.  I listed a few of the most popular below, and here is a link to a more extensive list.