Rotorua's newest tech festival to help launch, grow and scale digital businesses will take place at the end of June.
The Taiopenga Hangarau Rotorua Tech Festival is a local initiative run in partnership with Rotorua Lakes Council, Firestation and Rotorua X.
The hope is for this to become an annual feature in the Rotorua business calendar.
Over three days the festival will leverage the skills and experience of local businesses and experts.
A range of speakers will share their knowledge of using tech for business in free one-hour clinics covering a diverse selection of tech related topics.
Free co-working at Firestation will be available throughout the festival.
Matt Browning, co-founder of Salt & Tonic, a VR and app development tech start-up said he was stoked to be part of the event.
He is running three tech clinics on virtual reality, using the festival to help people understand what VR it is and how it can be used by businesses.
"People have been hearing about virtual reality for a while but often don't understand how this related to business.
"Our first session will provide a high-level view of where the technology is at now, the devices used, the cutting-edge applications that are currently out there and what's coming in the future.
"Our second session will focus on the potential of virtual reality specific for tourism businesses. The final session is a VR Showcase where people can try out the Salt & Tonic's Virtual Reality Arcade."
Browning said to be immersed in a virtual reality scene was something that had to be experienced.
"Words can't convey how amazing it is. Everyone who has tried our virtual reality is astonished at how enthralling and captivating it is.
"We have already had tourism operators come to us saying that they are looking at unique ways of getting in front of decision makers and they think that virtual reality could hold one of the keys to this."
Event director Darren McGarvie from Firestation Business Growth Centre said he was looking forward to the festival and thought it would be an epic event for the business community.
"Regardless of industry, tech will help your business. Whether it's marketing, streamlining processes or product innovation, tech can help you stay relevant to your target audience and future proof your business for longevity.
"It is the easiest time in history to start a business. Digital and tech businesses can be started from anywhere and investors like them as they are easily scalable. This event was designed to support local people who want to start new ventures."
The clinic topics are wide and varied.
As well as VR the sessions they include protecting your intellectual property, scaling a digital non-profit, electric vehicles and their suitability for business, digital marketing, going global from Rotorua, attracting angel investment and more.
"Rotorua has a lot of talent here. The festival is an awesome way to showcase what people are already doing with tech and in the tech sector as well as lead the way for others," McGarvie said.
"Seats will be limited at each session. We encourage people to register early to secure their seat."
The festival runs from June 26 to 28. For clinic times and to register go to www.bit.ly/techfest18.