The virtual format for the Top Tech Awards. Courtesy Cox Business

Cox Business will honor the San Diego region’s information technology innovators for the 13th consecutive year Thursday with the Top Tech Awards.

And fittingly for technology awards during the pandemic, Cox will use a new immersive technology platform — VirBELA, — to safely honor dozens of the regional innovators.

“We are thrilled to have found a collaborative virtual environment for the Top Tech Awards” said Duane Cameron, vice president of Cox Business in San Diego. “We recognize that in these unprecedented times, people are experiencing video conferencing fatigue and people are missing real human connections. We look forward to our collaboration with VirBELA and are excited to offer a true event experience to our esteemed IT honorees and attendees.”

San Diego’s business community will gather safely in celebration of the region’s best tech leaders. Event attendees can create and customize their own 3D avatar, congratulate the honorees, explore sponsor booths, play soccer, search for prizes, take a boat ride, and network with other attendees as they would in the real world.

“The focus of Top Tech, the largest annual tech event in the region, has always been on honoring our IT leaders who go above and beyond to enable all that we do. We’re continuing with that tradition through a new virtual experience during this global pandemic,” said Sam Attisha senior vice president and region manager for Cox Communications in California.

VirBELA builds virtual worlds to help organizations bring their in-person experiences to life online — from expo halls that hold thousands of attendees, to auditoriums for speaking engagements and presentations, to a music stage for social events.

San Diegans can log in to the livestream of the awards event beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.