Before the media and technology calendar has even reached its halfway point, the year has typically already seen its fair share of can’t-miss events, such as the Consumer Electronics Show, SXSW, and Cannes Lion. And seeking to become a larger industry player in 2017? VidCon.
Once considered a less professional, more community-driven gathering of online video stars and their devoted fans, VidCon has become more robust with greater corporate and industry presences. Now in its eighth year, the conference, which runs June 21-24, has made an increasingly convincing case to be taken seriously as a must-attend event for the entertainment industry.
What is VidCon?
Started in 2010 by the Vlogbrothers (John and Hank Green), VidCon was envisioned as a place for creators and fans to finally connect in person. What launched as a 1,400-attendee community gathering nearly a decade ago has now become a Mecca for major industry players to meet with their viewers, share trade strategies, and get face-time with other big names. In 2016, more than 25,000 attendees swarmed Anaheim, California, for the event.
@VidCon, conceived as a place for online video creators and fans to finally connect in person, has become a must-attend event for the entertainment industry. We've got an inside look at #VidCon over the next two days. Tune into our Instagram Story to watch it live, get behind-the-scenes chats with @Instagram, #YouTube and #Snapchat personalities, and more! Hosted by our very own @danieltaroy
What happens at VidCon?
Billed as the quintessential online video conference, VidCon has increasingly moved in the direction of SXSW Interactive to become a large industry conference–albeit one that feels more like a party. That Comic Con-type atmosphere is thanks to the many branded activations that line the crowded expo hall. But when attendees (broken up into Community, Creator, and Industry tracks) aren’t scrambling up NBC’s American Ninja Warrior obstacle course or playing with Nickelodeon’s Slime VR station, they can sit in on panels with everyone from their favorite Instagram influencers and YouTube Red stars to producers on The Late Late Show with James Corden and CEOs of major tech companies. And while major creators now avoid walking the floor at the risk of getting mobbed, fans can still meet their idols up close at meet-and-greets.
New in recent years, however, is the increase in meetings between executives, all of whom schmooze, network, and discuss business deals at the nearby Hilton and Marriott hotels. And that makes attending VidCon worth more than its weight in gold, or green slime.