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.
A list of popular Bay Area meet-ups is below and new groups are added frequently. There are many VR/AR groups globally, check here for groups in your area. A calendar of SF Bay Area events is here.
SVVR - Silicon Valley Virtual Reality
AWEnite - SF, Toronto, NY and more
AR VR Women and Allies - Breakfast Fight Club and Live Facebook Spaces
VRARA - dozens of chapters worldwide
AR + CV
NGVR - Non-gaming VR AR